Hugs achieved x 2
Dirty Secrets Comedy is held every Wednesday at Caz Reitop's Dirty Secrets (80 Smith Street, Collingwood). Entry is free and it kicks off at 8:30pm. After having some excellent Biggie Smalls Kbabs next door, we made our way down to a quieter night at Dirty Secrets Comedy. I was particularly drawn to the long line up of comedians, many of whom I had never seen perform live. On the night we saw (in order of performance): Timothy Clark (MC), Peter Jones, Jack Druce, Daisy Berry, Jay Morrissey, Emily Tresidder, Sam Taunton, Naomi Higgins, Gabe Hogan, Jez Watts, Roland Hoffman, Raewyn Pickering, Angus Gordon and Lewis Dowell.
Every comedian on the night put forward a solid all-rounder performance, with no particular sets standing out. With this in mind, I want to highlight some moments of the night that were particularly memorable. However, before I do, just a small bit of (hopefully) constructive discussion. My last couple of experiences at Dirty Secrets Comedy demonstrate how vital it is for comedians to read a room and adapt their material/set to the crowd. For example, if the first drug-use reference does not go down a treat, there is a possibility that this type of material may be better saved for another night. Secondly, if a joke doesn’t get the laughs, a comedian does not need to point it out. The audience needs the comedian to keep their composure and not get overly frustrated that a joke has not worked. Now that’s over and done with, onto the fun stuff!
With a smaller crowd to work to, Tim Clark presented as a friendly but slightly silly MC for the night. Tim’s late 90s pop music references, even when repeated to excess, continued to draw laughs. He appeared to relish in the puns and banter with the audience and other comedians.
Welcome to Melbourne Emily Tresidder! While her take on supermarket aggression is in development, she executed her humorous take on dating well. Similarly, Sam Taunton’s exploration of a seemingly ‘mundane’ scenario was both relatable, funny and demonstrated excellent story-telling ability. Peter ‘Mr. Reliable’ Jones continues to deliver composed, well-rounded sets and has yet to disappoint. As one of the room runners, I would expect nothing less!
Where I particularly appreciate a comedian’s performance is where they feel comfortable in their style. Daisy Berry is confident in her approach and doesn’t appear to let interruptions faze her. She has a quick wit and excels when she moves beyond self-deprecation. In regards to style, Naomi Higgins may still be developing hers but early indications are good. She plays on contrast well and performed a solid set focusing on the juxtaposition of her unintimidating presence and darker material.
While not 50/50, Dirty Secrets Comedy should be commended for continuing to present gender diverse line-ups. When I discuss this website with varying friends, lovers, associates and/or acquaintances, I continue to hear the sentiment “Australian female comedians are not funny”. While I can rattle off many quality names from my experience, it is essential that Melbourne comedy rooms continue to provide exposure for a diverse range of both established and developing comedians in the Melbourne comedy scene. This not only applies to gender but also race, culture and sexuality.
Look out for my write-up of Dirty Secret Comedy’s sister room ‘Lido Comedy’ in the coming weeks.