The comedy festival circuit provides a welcome distraction and humorous release for most, but for the performer it can be an unforgiving monster. With an insatiable hunger it preys upon the potential fodder who desperately walk the streets handing out flyers for their shows, each entertainer gripped with the real fear that they may become the next victim of a near empty room, or worse still, a near full yet silent audience.
The often jam-packed scheduling of talent provides the arena in which each performer does battle with this beast, with only those with the most talent and more perhaps in reality, the most effective marketing strategy, not only surviving but achieving success through acclaim and increased fame.
The 30th Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) is host to more than 500 shows, that includes Stephen K Amos, Arj Barker, Bridget Everett, performing at more than 120 venues across Melbourne. Melbourne is also home to many of Australia’s most well-known LGBTI comedic talents including Tom Ballard, Hannah Gadsby and Nath Valvo.
Following her critically-acclaimed debut in 2015 with The Real Queen of Moomba, Dolly Diamond returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2016 with her new show, Alive Intimate & Up Late.
Dolly Diamond (Michael Dalton) is the battle queen of the circuit, a drag performer brandishing a powerful marketing weapon that has seen her plastered upon tram stops across the Melbourne CBD (pun intended) and is a regular headline performer at Melbourne’s Midsumma and Daylesford’s ChillOut Festivals.
This late-night cabaret show features a wonderful collection of songs – an eclectic mix of originals and reinvented classics including: That’s Life, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, Let The Good Times Roll, just to name a few… interspersed with some deliciously ‘blue’ banter between herself and the hilariously witty Mark Jones – who also provided the piano accompaniment.
Never allowing itself to become too serious, Dolly’s continual interaction with the audience provides a plethora of laughs, and plenty of OMG moments – just avoid the front row… and each night, a special guest is introduced, on this occasion, the divinely charismatic Geraldine Quinn – who is also performing throughout the festival, gets to share the stage, if just for a moment, with this delightful Diva.
Guests for the remainder of the season include: Alan Fletcher (31 March), Chelsea Gibb (1 April), Yana Alana (2 April), The Divas (7 April), Jan Van De Stool (8 April), Melissa Langton (9 April), Michael Griffiths (14 April), Supergirly (15 April), and Kane Alexander (16 April).
Without giving too much away – a finale of a rather unexpected musical montage – that also nods to Dolly’s alter-ego’s performance history – finishes off a highly refreshing, entertaining evening. Her emergence into the mainstream festival sector will continue to delight new and old audiences alike.
Dolly Diamond – Alive, Intimate & Up Late
Old Met Shop – Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 25 March 2016 – 11.00pm
Season continues to 16 April 2016
For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Dolly Diamond
Review: Jimmy Twin