Stephen Hall: Letters From My Heroes

MICF-Stephen-Hall-Letters-From-My-HeroesFor the purposes of this show, performer Stephen Hall (Fawlty Towers Live, Monty Python’s Spamalot) has spent years writing to pop-culture stars to ask for advice. As they didn’t reply, Hall relays some imagined responses in his MICF show: Letters from my Heroes.

Many will be familiar with Hall’s work through his years on Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell. Appearances there showed his talent in distilling certain features in the creation of new characters, such as for the geeky Crane Girdle.

Other memorable turns resulted from an ability to capture features of political figures, like ScoMo’s smirk, or the combative nature of Darius Horsham – Spokesborg for former Australian Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann.

Whilst this new show has some cameos from his own characters, it is mostly about celebrity impressions. Hall effectively captured the vocal nuances and mannerisms of around 20 characters, including Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, and David “Hughesy” Hughes, although some segments had a stronger finish than others.

Certainly Homer J. Simpson provided advice with a side-order of self-awareness that earned some good laughs. As a white, middle-aged man, Hall is aware that he shouldn’t try to imitate certain voices, but with an impish twinkle, did so anyway, to good effect.

If the audience was wondering how the advice from heroes might fit together, the pieces combined in an impressive musical finale that demonstrated Hall’s physical commitment to the work.

Tickets are reasonably priced, especially for a tight-arsed Tuesday. If you’re not an “economic girly man”, then a ticket to Letters From My Heroes will provide a MICF experience that’s quite different from most other shows on offer.

There’s no doubt that Hall is a high-quality mimic, and for many MICF-goers this is probably the closest you’ll get to some Hollywood heavyweights.

Stephen Hall: Letters From My Heroes
Swinburne Studio – ACMI, Fed Square, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 1 April 2023 – 6.00pm
Season continues to 23 April 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Stephen Hall (supplied)

Review: Jason Whyte