Best Of Adelaide Comedy

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

This rotating early-evening collection of local, relatively inexperienced stand-ups at Adelaide’s permanent home of comedy, the Rhino Rooms, offers a well-timed appetiser for an evening of Fringe entertainment.

Tonight the show was hosted by the affable, but lightweight, Craig Egan, jollying along the 30-strong audience with energy, but little substance.

Scott John opened the show with a few neat, silly gags, although his big finish – to rewrite the Billy Joel song We Didn’t Start The Fire to list various celebrities with moustaches seemed futile. The joke is obviously that there’s no joke, but you’re always on thin ice with that route.

Though she lacked the upbeat delivery of Egan or John, Hannah Gadsby, pictured, brought something of a spark to the night, by the strength of her material alone. British comedy anoraks may remember her from the final of last year’s So You Think You’re Funny?, and she displayed some fine, original gags tonight to demonstrate how she earned her place in Edinburgh.

Ultimately, though, the deadpan got the better of her, and as she moved on to more conversational material about her family, the delivery was crying out for more punchiness to engage the audience. But the material remains promising.

In complete contrast, the grinning, gurning Lewis Gentry seemed to be trying too hard, overcompensating for below-par material with a cartoonish performance. His completely stupid two-dimensional characterisation of any women in his set had some silly appeal, mind.

The show’s headliner, always a more experienced cove, is billed as a ‘legend’ – which perhaps leads to expectation it’s hard to fulfil. Phil Cowie was lively, but had a routine that would struggle to stand out on a half decent bill, the highlight of which was a tale about farting into bottles, which perhaps shows where the bar was set. To close, he compared sport with sex, applying the comic formula rather mechanically to produce predictable lines about ‘coming first’ and imagining a post-coital interview in the style of a locker-room analysis. Average, at best.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Adelaide, March 2007

Review date: 28 Mar 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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