With more than 600 acts on offer, patrons at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival are spoiled for choice.
One local hero, Dave Thornton, is a veteran player on the national stand – up comedy circuit. At thirty – eight, he already has a long and impressive list of live, television and radio appearances.
In 2013, I had the honour of reviewing Thornton’s MICF show, Tall & Pointy. Five years on, his laid – back, trademark charm is stronger than ever. So What Now? demonstrates why he is a story – telling king. Right from the outset of this fifty – minute journey, Thornton is friendly, goofy, self – deprecating and engaging.
As a choice of venue, Max Watts creates an up close and personal experience. Meaning, So What Now? is at times less an actual show, and instead like we are reuniting with a long – lost buddy.
Prior to his jam – packed set, Thornton chatted and connected with several people in the first few rows. Always on his A Game, he managed to generate big laughs from the most innocent conversation. Thornton is switched on, always in the moment, and sharp. Seeing him work the room with utmost confidence, is a pleasure in itself.
Like my previous experience, Thornton covers a wide range of topics, this time, including:
- Attending a Foo Fighters concert;
- Binging on gritty Netflix dramas;
- The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne;
- Donating clothes to charity;
- Pedigree dogs;
- Gentrified suburbs;
- Alternatives to dairy milk;
- Cute babies;
- Trying for a child;
- Safety words;
- Buying condoms from a supermarket;
- Mums and smart phones;
- Flying Qantas versus Jetstar or Tiger Air;
- Mobile phone dependency;
- Grammar police;
- Sympathy claps;
- The meaning of words;
- Letter redundancy;
- Cashless societies;
- Fruit molestation;
- Taking an Uber with your mum;
- Five – year financial plans;
- Teaching kids sign language;
- Infant logic;
- Swearing in front of children;
- Anticipating his daughter’s teen years;
- Comedians who are parents;
- Truth in silence;
- Being stung by a jelly fish;
- Male versus female egos;
- Missed call paranoia;
- Katy Perry’s marriage to Russell Brand;
- The Brunswick Baths kiddie pool; and,
- Messing with the mind of an eight – year old bully.
In the mere space of an hour, who knew we could learn so much about contemporary society?
This is more than stand – up comedy. As Thornton cheekily declared at one point, for the benefit of any reviewers out there in the audience, “It’s a Ted Talk with punch lines.”
Thornton closed the show, by dragging a volunteer up on stage. Dylan, whom he had been grilling earlier, was more than happy to be a willing victim.
Together, they played a game, where Thornton asked five multiple – choice questions about his routine. (For the record, Dylan aced it.)
It was a delight to see Thornton in top form. So What Now? plays for the full duration of the festival until April 22.