Eddie Cleaver | 9 April 2017
James Acaster, The Trelogy (UK)
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
29 Mar – 23 Apr 2017
Melbourne is buzzing with activity during the Comedy Festival. Comics, promoters and punters intermingle across town in the hope of putting bums on seats and smiles on faces. The choice of shows is vast and varied with comics congregating from all corners of the globe. Nowhere is this more so the case than at Melbourne Town Hall, a central hub for the Festival with an array of acts within its myriad of rooms each evening, and venue for my choice, “James Acaster, The Trelogy”. It’s also bloody conveniently close to my apartment.
For those who aren’t familiar with James’ work, he has followed a well trodden path on the UK comedy circuit from Edinburgh Festival Fringe through to numerous appearances on hugely popular comedy panel shows including “Mock the Week” and “Have I Got News For You”. Along the way he has picked up various awards and his shows have been widely critically acclaimed and generally sold out. His offering for Melbourne Comedy Festival, “The Trelogy”, is a collection of three of his shows, Recognise (2014), Represent (2015) & Reset (2016), each rotating on different days over the course of the festival. This means you can watch him three times and see a different show on each occasion, which is business genius. My roll of the three sided dice (the trice?) delivered “Represent”.
An unorthodox introduction set the tone for a rollercoaster ride. Highlights included his divulgence of gossip surrounding celebrity “A-Listers” Jorge Galleguillos and Jimmy Sanchez (who you no doubt recall from the Chilean Miner Crisis of 2010), his insights into delivering the “perfect” massage and the potential pitfalls of playing “Devil’s advocate” while on jury duty. His recollection of the popular fable “The Goose and the Sloth” (you’ve heard of that too, right?) is a hugely entertaining insight into a vivid, quick-witted and slightly surreal mind, which leaves you questioning whether he’s a comic genius (he is) or whether he’s absolutely totally bonkers (he is).
The delivery is laid back, understated, whimsical even. A style only broken with a few choice digs at the local crowd which only an Englishman can deliver.
With so much choice on offer during the Comedy Festival, navigating your way through the hits and misses can be a daunting and potentially expensive task. I’ll save you time and save you money (your welcome) because James Acaster, The Trelogy, is an absolute hit. Make it top of your list †.
† meeting James in the middle of Swanston Street after the show had absolutely no bearing on the angle of my review whatsoever.