[2012006] The Phatcave

[2012006] The Phatcave [FringeTIX]

Craig Egan, Mickey D, Tom Gleeson, Svetlanka Seczskittenya, Jamie Bowen, Heath Franklin @ La Cascadeur

11:30pm, Fri 17 Feb 2012

I decide to man up nice’n’early in this year’s Fringe assault and start pushing my sleep pattern out (I know I tend to crap on about sleep patterns a bit, but I can’t help it – I’m a sleep wuss). So I decide that a visit to The Phatcave is in order; I check the Fringe iPhone app and learn that there’s Rush Tix for tonight’s show. “Scoop,” I think in a very retro kinda way, as I toddle up to one of the ticket booths that have been erected in The Garden, to acquire an aforementioned cheap ticket for the aforementioned show. I’m then informed that the ticket will cost $27 – substantially more than the $10 I was expecting. I mention that to my friendly ticket vendor, who subsequently rolls his eyes in the manner of one who’d heard this query many times before. “We don’t do Rush Tix,” he explains, “you have to go to FringeTIX for that. Outside The Garden.”

Grumble. Little networks of conspiracy start weaving through my head as the drunken hordes sway around The Garden. I am miffed, but options are limited. I pay the man, and head over to Le Cascadeur, where I encountered the most arrogant prick I’ve ever met in a queue. First he turned his nose up at my very presence, sneering at my dress sense; then he gave me the cold shoulder (with a blocking turn and everything!) when I tried to chat amiably with him. Oh how I loved watching him struggle with Le Casca’s seats.

Craig Egan is already present when we’re ushered in, resplendent in his shiny suit, DJing some tunes from his iPad. Once host Mickey D takes to the stage, however, Egan acts as the straight-man, with Mickey’s usual coarse performance motoring along. It’s crude, and some of it’s familiar, but it’s that fast-paced that you get washed along with laughter. After a bit of a planning kerfuffle – Mickey D was convinced that Heath Franklin was supposed to be first cab off the rank – Tom Gleeson takes to the stage.

Gleeson started off his slot by veering into scare-mongering media bashing territory – which was quite a surprise for me. That sort of material – political – is not something that I’d have associated with him. But then The Heckler started, insinuating that he was a better man than Gleeson for (a) having sired more children, and (2) not selling out to appear on TV. Gleeson’s instant rebuttal – that the only thing he’d sold out was his show this evening – was both funny and brutal; the way he toyed with The Heckler thereafter was a masterclass in crowd control. But The Heckler continued regardless; when the calls from the audience to throw him out became more frequent, Mickey D tried to placate them somewhat by appealing to our compassion.

If you’ve wandered into any of Adelaide’s comedy hotspots outside the Fringe, you’d be familiar with Svetlanka Seczskittenya; she presented some of her usual material, capped off with the “pussy teeth” gag. Crude, but fun, with some whip-cracking to-boot.

Jamie Bowen (whose alter-ego Munfred Bernstein was recommended by Sam Wills – The Boy With Tape On His Face) was up next, and he was the real reason I decided to come along to The Phatcave this evening… to see if he was Shortlist-worthy. He’s got great pacing, and the ability to make a plain story pretty funny – so on The Shortlist he remains.

Finally, Heath Franklin had a long segment in his Chopper persona – and that’s about all the Chopper I can comfortably handle (fnarr, fnarr). I find his blunt crudity to be bloody funny in small doses, and he dealt with the return of The Heckler (and a new contender, The Dumb Skank – his description, not mine) in an amusing fashion (which even saw Franklin cracking himself up).

Le Cascadeur was nearly full for this first Phatcave of the year; I think the only thing the audience had to complain about were the hecklers. All up, it was a decent hour-or-so of entertainment; don’t be scared by the 150-minute duration listed in the Guide. Unless they all fired up again after I buggered off, of course…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *