Last Saturday night, I was fortunate enough to attend my first-ever live show at the annual, Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
I was out to dinner at a cheap Thai restaurant on Swanston Street with a couple of friends, when half way through my Papaya and Prawn Salad, a friend of a friend of ours called to say she had a spare ticket to the comedy festival and asked me if I would like to have it.
Naturally, I obliged. Afterall, it's practically ingrained in my DNA as an Australian to love anything funny, anything free, and anything that comes with an excuse to have a drink with friends!
The ticket was randomly selected to a show entitled, "A Fistful of Apologies"; and despite his ironic surname, Tommy Little knows how to deliver BIG comedy. He's performed on The Today Show, as well as the The 7pm Project; and during the month of April he's starred at his own Com-Fest gig in the basement of Arthur's Bar on Flinders Lane.
Beat Magazine named him "the future of funny", whilst the Adelaide Advertiser admits "you can't help but smile at Tommy Little". Indeed, at his live show, "A Fistful of Apologies", Little brings all of his critical acclaim to the floor in a witty, well-timed performance chronicling the many lessons he's learnt the hard way in life.
As a self-confsessed 'middle class man', born and raised in the waspy, Melbourne suburb of Surrey Hills; Little delivers some cheeky, yet bitingly accurate digs at the superfluous pomp and frivolity of upper middle class suburbia. Nothing is sacred in this live comedy hour - from macaroons to everyday 'coffee connoisseurs' - his tongue is quick to poke fun at all the ridiculous idiosyncrasies, which are readily adapted in modern society.
As one reviewer from the Herald Sun noted, "his ability to banter with his crowd, full of quick-witted one-liners and genuine enjoyment of his surrounds, makes Little's show a very funny hour". Certainly, this is the case for those sitting in the first two rows who were frequently spotlighted by Little, as he interacted with several members of his audience in what turned into a hilarious hour of quick-witted, cat and mouse banter. He is incredibly sharp-tongued, intelligent and fast on his feet - turning even the most mundane audience responses into an unexpected pun, striking anecdote or larger-than-life reenactment.
The show revolves loosely around a single piece of advice bestowed upon him by his father: "no matter how wrong you are, always stick to your guns", from which a web of hilarious incidents and crazy events begins to unravel. With his impeccable impersonations and outlandish caricature depictions, Little has a true talent for recapturng a moment and creating characters before your eyes.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tommy Little's "A Fistful of Apologies" and since seeing the show, have developed a whole new appreciation for stand-up comedy. I look forward to supporting more local talent at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.