Ben Russell and Xavier Michelides are two very proficient performers and comedians whose character work has earned them significant reputations. ‘Nö Shöw’ at this year’s Comedy Festival immediately became a top suggestion, with the premise of these two comics collaborating on a performance about the tribulations, fears, and doubts about putting together a show, and the possibility of performing to an empty room. What results is a phenomenal and absurd piece that shows how teamwork, strong acting, and naturally comedic minds combine to produce something exceptionally special.
This show is ridiculously funny and has been workshopped and rehearsed to a fine art. The opening number, which shall not be spoilt, sets the level of energy and silliness that will stick in your head and make you chuckle for days afterwards. Some concepts hit right at home of what it feels like to be both on stage and in the crowd, (adeptly nailed in the scene about crowd-work), and others are just so absurd in their delivery and content, (big boy, a certain scene involving props flailing over the audience, and too many others to choose from), that there was hardly a moment when the crowd had fully recovered from laughing.
This is sketch and collaboration at its very best, and a special shout out must go to the use of props throughout. The show has a late time slot, perfect for ending a night on a guaranteed high.
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.
‘Ben Russell and Xavier Michelides – Nö Shöw’ runs from the 23rd March – 17th April, (no shows Mondays), at the Imperial Hotel. The venue is not accessible.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.