10:00pm, Fri 21 Feb 2014
I was surprised to learn that this was my first Shaggers show for many years; previous shows had been good value, probably due to the more focussed nature of the ensemble. And, once again, Nik Coppin emcees the show, and – based on his interaction with the decent-sized crowd that had gathered in the Red Room – it’s evident that the Shaggers brand has built up a bit of a following… there are plenty in the audience who have returned to Shaggers after previous shows for more sex-laden stories.
Coppin’s material is on the more timid side of shagginess, but Lisa Skye soon kicked it up a notch. Her tales from moderating phone sex chat lines start slowly, but her readings of pickup lines get the audience onside. And that creates a good mood for Jacques Barrett.
Now, regular readers (hah!) should know that I love Jacques Barrett. In the absence of Nick Sun (who I’ve sadly not seen in nearly five years), he is easily my favourite Australian comedian at the moment; and for his Shaggers spot, he used his superb Dolphin Girls material… I must have heard those stories at least half-a-dozen times now, and they don’t lose any of their appeal. It’s amazingly good material, relayed with a superb sense of timing; Barrett is still a must-see.
British comic Christian Elderfield was up next, and understandably struggled in Barrett’s wake. Opting for “shock” tactics, his recollection about receiving a painful (and damaging) hand-job was worthy of a cringing smile… whereas his cunnilingus shit-chin tale was gigglingly gross.
The final comic for the night was the Scotsman Larry Dean, who joyously discussed being a “manly”-looking gay Scot (who happened to have camp-looking straight friends). With a wonderfully open and honest delivery, he discussed the act of coming out to his family – the trepidation of his approaches, the humour in the familial responses. Warm and funny, Dean proved himself worthy of another look.
In all, this was another great Shaggers experience. Barrett was his usual exceptional self, Skye and Elderfield entertained without outstaying their welcome, and Larry Dean showed exceptional promise – so much so that I now feel guilty for not having seen his full show this year. And, for an ensemble show, that’s a pretty good result.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) February 22, 2014