Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017: Late Night Letters and Numbers

Across the corridor from the Blind Dating Show Spectacular in the Melbourne Town Hall is another TV-inspired show, the much more intellectual Late Night Letters and Numbers. The Comedy Festival version of this SBS classic included two mainstays of the TV version, David Astle along with the massive Macquarie Dictionary he uses to verify the spelling of the few words he has any uncertainty about.

David seemed totally in his element in this live presentation, sharing the dictionary with Alanta Colley, while Nick Caddaye hosted and Lisa-Skye flipped the letters and crunched the numbers.

The show faithfully followed its TV inspiration, even including the Conundrum and Word Mix rounds. Our contestants were Lloyd Langford and Brianna Williams. Lloyd made an amusing and very Welsh start by asking for only one vowel in his first 7 picks, but apart from that the two of them appeared to be trying hard to win. Despite the competitive pressure, we had chaotic interludes, such as when Nick was drawn into a tortuous explanation of what had been happening to the characters on Neighbours (which he wrote for previously) and when Alanta described a truly horrific worm that saws its way out of its host’s body as a plug for her show.

Most audience members appeared content to sit back and enjoy the repartee on stage, but a decent proportion were clearly prepared to pitch their brains against the contestants, whipping out paper and pen to scribble furiously during each round. Three were rewarded for their superior anagram-solving abilities: Nick gave two “official prizes” (trays for making π-shaped ice cubes), and David gave a prize to the guy who came up with a humourous non-word that he really liked.

If you enjoy the TV show or puzzles in general, give Late Night Letters and Numbers a go for a version with added laughs.

– Craig
If he’d been a contestant on the TV version, Craig Macbride would rather have received a π ice cube tray than a dictionary.

Late Night Letters and Numbers has two more shows on 10 April and 17 April at the Melbourne Town Hall.
The Venue is accessible.

Read The Plus Ones’ guide to MICF 2017, and visit often to see all our reviews.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Late Night Letters and Numbers.
Image credit: Melbourne International Comedy Festival.