8:15pm 6 April, Lunch Room, Melbourne Town Hall
There was going to be trouble from the moment we stepped in the room. It's a small room and even then, it's barely a room. All those pipes and the proximity to the loading bay, The Lunch Room is, at best, the preparation area for catered functions.
Half way down the rows of seats was a woman applauding people coming in, saying: "Yeah, come in. Yeah, this is going to be great." She was unseasonably enthusiastic for before the show had even started. Also, someone seemed to have dipped her in rum.
The show starts and Melinda Buttle took the stage. She quickly identified the hooping and hollering. In only her second comedy festival show, it's unlikely she's had to contend with the kind of heckling that I've only ever seen in Melbourne: enthusiastic and supportive.
It got to be a bit much for MB and she didn't really know how to continue. The offender was eventually ushered out and the show could continue. Unfortunately it was now a little bit broken.
Melinda Buttle's been writing a blog for about a year. A lot of it is about her life living with her father and that's what this show is about. In fact, a lot of that material is the same. This is probably fair enough. A lot more people are likely to see the show and be introduced to Buttle's work through exposure at the comedy festival. It's a lot easier to be told the stories, and a lot nicer, than to sift through blog posts to read them.
And here's the kicker; The stories are funny. Melinda Buttle's dad is hilarious in his old man nuance. It's a nice change from the tired old "I never knew my real father" comedy routines we've seen so much of in the past. Unfortunately it's also a little bit "Shit My Dad Says" and stupid-father syndrome. So while the material is funny and really well performed, I'm a little bit fence sitty about it.
Still, nobody does gen y white-girl rap like Melinda B. She's the Princess of Self-deprecation and the Minister for Buffalo Stance. That gets her a pass in my book. Plus she was faced with a shitty situation, dealt with it and gave the people a show they paid to see.
She should have won best newcomer for her show last year and, while this isn't as strong as her debut, is still worth it to get a taste of the future of this country's comedy.
Written while lying in bed, having also seen Doc Brown in the meantime.
DISCLAIMER: Soupgiant created Melinda Buttle's excellent website.