Courtesy of the team of The Six, the Fringe Festival Club transforms into The Tickle Club on a Sunday night. This night acts as a showcase for a selection of Fringe acts as well a playground for some friends not actually in this year’s festival.
Keeping control of the inaugural evening’s proceedings was everyone’s favorite kranky old lady Ethel Chop. Ethel wasted no time in letting us know her views about the modern world, in particular her disgust at the youth of today. She was more than happy to share her opinion of the acts performing that night almost reducing Otto Rot to tears. Just because she was introducing these acts doesn’t mean she had to like them!
The first act to grace the stage was Dave Bushell appearing as his alter ego Dr Alex McFarlane , celebrity self help guru from the US. He lectured us unfulfilled masses as to why we should improve our lives using many buzzwords and self help techniques. It was an awesome advertisement for the full show.
Next up was The Bedroom Philosopher , Justin Heazelwood. Armed with a guitar and his surrealist mind, Justin treated us to a trio of his newer songs from his Fringe show and his wonderfully awkward between song banter.
Rounding out the first bracket was a close friend of The Six, Randy the Ranting Puppet. Randy went about venting his foam spleen about various social and political issues while shooting off many humorous lines and self referential puppet comments. He continued the ancient tradition of sticking it to The Man using the puppet as a mouthpiece to distance the actor from the words (“It wasn’t me, it was the puppet!”).
During the interval, Die Roten Punkte went about setting up their equipment for their involvement in the second half. In doing their sound check, they inadvertently entertained the crowd. Otto continually told the punters “You shouldn’t be looking at us, we are just checking the sound!” and told the Techie to turn down the monitors or they would explode. This ad libbing was brilliant. The duo performed in the second bracket by playing three short sets around the other acts. They did all their hits and threw a some spontaneity into the show when Otto targeted a girl behind the bar, abandoning the stage mid song to jump over the bar to score a pash.
Next up was the cabaret troupe The Caravan of Love . Dressed in the burlesque manner, the ladies from Snowmanlandia performed a bizzare line dancing routine that involved a bit of bumping and grinding, all whilst remaining po-faced. It was intriguing to watch.
“Wrong night” stalwart Sammy J was the headline act of sorts and had the honour of performing in the centre of the room on the venue’s baby grand while the adoring crowd surrounded him. Performing in the round like this prompted Sammy to make a comment about the view of his “skinny arse” offered to those behind him. He played a number of songs from his show Cyclone , “Duet for one”, “The return of Y2K” and his show stopper “The Backwards Song”.
The Tickle Club was an ideal way to end your week and helped the punters to fill in any gaps in their Fringe schedule.
Head on down to the North Melbourne Town Hall next Sunday night (8th of October) for another stellar line up with Wes Snelling holding the night together as MC. Also appearing will be Andrew McClelland, Wilson Dixon and many more special guests. The show starts at about 9:30 , entry is free and there are drinks available to purchase for your intoxication pleasure. While you’re at it, become a friend of The Six by visiting www.myspace.com/thesixcomedy .