First Dog On The Moon

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

First Dog On The Moon is the pen name of cartoonist Andrew Marlton who, in his online cartoons, combines political and topical issues with cutesy drawing of animals.

His live show involves the same elements, but they make strange bedfellows, and the result is an uneven, awkward affair that’s borderline baffling for those who aren’t already followers of his work.

The cornerstone is a section comprising three ‘orations’ - dry, read-from-a-script speeches about climate change, feminism and life in general. These were originally written for more po-faced affairs than a comedy festival, and it shows. The middle one is especially earnest, and does nothing for the idea that feminism can have a sense of humour. The others fall into the ‘mildly amusing’ category.

His monologues are illustrated with images of his own, or harvested from the internet. If you want a show that includes gifs of cute cats, you may be in your element, but then you don;t need to pay $28 a ticket to see that. The images are certainly in keeping with his humour, though, which is generally too soft to raise more than a wry smile and leans very heavily on the limited charm of cartoon canines to provide a chuckle.

Dryly self-described as a ‘national treasure’, Marlton is one of rather too many performers as this festival who believes you can’t go wrong parodying interpretive dance, and gives his creation Bandi, the ABC Interpretive Dance Bandicoot, a wafflingly long introduction, including a lengthy, repetitive and cringe-inducing introduction from the broadcaster’s managing director. We get the joke straight away, and this is not one of those occasions where building up the silly idea adds anything.

For fans only.

Review date: 12 Apr 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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