Review | Melbourne International Comedy Festival | The Comedy Confessional

by Anastasia McInerney | @anastasiamc_

Confessing your inner most secrets is confronting. Add a group of strangers seated in pews along black velvet lined walls, a microphone, a spotlight and what manifests is a type of “gospel” -a purging of sins- as coined on the night by comedian Bev Killick. Was it mentioned humour is imperative?

Melbourne Comedy Festival show The Comedy Confessional fuses stand-up comedy with psychological therapy where comedians take to the stage to confess painfully humiliating and wickedly hilarious stories, some more entertaining than they are discomforting.

Los Angeles-based comedian and MC of the night, JC Coccoli is a stimulating relief in between comedians. She confesses her own story of chasing what she thought were children playing tag through the American cemetery-turned-movie-theatre Cinespia after having consumed certain fungi. The children were really just adults, the game of tag was the search for their picnic blanket and the fungi were just regular mushrooms.

Jimmy Reilly was first to the stage, with the microphone cord unplugging in a superstitious fashion. Clearly working against the universe, Reilly’s performance was less of a ‘story-time joke’ and more venting about his ex.

Interestingly, Reilly was a contestant on Beauty and the Geek Australia, a reality TV-show which he likens to the movie Saw. The blood and guts, however, were reserved for the $300 genital waxing session he chose not to partake in. Now that would’ve made for a good confession.

Madeleine Culp, who “exclusively writes in pencil”, tells of her stolen credit card incident in which her funds were used to donate to Oxfam. A humanitarian fraud? Mind blowing.

Dave Bloustein will never watch Frozen the same way again after treating a supposed STI using cryotherapy -a method using liquid nitrogen to freeze skin cells that need removing. It’s time to let it go.

Duo Neil Hamburger and Dr El Suavo are a little too eccentric and ‘staged’ in comparison to the other unrehearsed performances, though provide an interesting praise of New Zealand and its overwhelming population of sheep.

Townsville local Bev Killick recalls her clubbing days with mum with a highly amusing use of hand and face motions. Oh, and never let a dog eat a tampon.

Helen Duff, for the first time in her life, tells of her excessive bran diet leading to a heightened metabolism and therefore fast digestion where she shits in public. Enough said.

Lessons to learn from the show: Don’t piss behind a parked car unless you’re sure it’s stationary. Do turn up to a comedy show already half drunk.

‘The Comedy Confessional’ is playing at The Tuxedo Cat until April 11. More information is available via the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website.

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