I’ve heard comedians describe their work as a craft. A Late Night Birdhouse has more artful ambitions as it delivers some unexpected moments and delightful music, as well as a good sprinkling of laughs.
If I’ve made this sound like some sort of fringey affair, well, it is. You won’t get standard topics or profanity-laced rants here. You will get a varied experience. This includes an assortment of fun snippets from The Birdmann’s back catalogue. (Nobody does juggling like The Birdmann.) He’s the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Award winner for Best Circus, and has some very physical spots that progress in unexpected ways.
In short monologues, The Birdmann shared some oddball perspectives on life. Sometimes these had glimmers of relief on an undercurrent of melancholy over the state of the planet. However, there were plenty of joyful scenes to lift the audience.
Underscoring the on-stage action was music devised by Egg – a Japanese clown with a radiant grin and exuberant dance moves. Instrumentals ranged across a variety of styles, including some cool jazzy, loungey tunes. Talented multi-instrumentalist Egg even supplied some live music.
Egg and The Birdmann have toured the world for over 10 years, playing big festivals. Their spots individually and together are accomplished. It seems like they’re trying to hatch a show to raise issues but not anxiety. You will probably enjoy the show more if you can surrender to uncertainty, as the pair encourage us to do with our lives in general.
On that point, festivals give you a chance to take some risks, and to be surprised. Don’t let the 10:15pm start of A Late Night Birdhouse deter you. You can make a night of it at The Melba Spiegeltent by starting with Art Vs Entertainment featuring “Dandyman” Daniel Oldaker and “Foxy Moron” Rani Huszar. This show also considers (ill-advised) aspirations towards making art, delivering on its MICF guide promise of “physical comedy in an hour of outright stupidity.”
The Birdmann and Egg – A Late Night Birdhouse
The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Performance: Thursday 4 April 2019 – 10.15pm
Image: The Birdmann and Egg (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte