Friday, 30 March 2012

Akmal, March 29, 2012 ***

Athenaeum Theatre, March 28 to April 22, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on March 29, 2012
Stars: ***1/2


Jumps the fence between offensive and amiable with peculiar ease.

Akmal is not everyone’s cup of tea, which he proves in his story about his disastrous corporate gig in Rockhampton that saw him punched in the face by a woman and vilified on the front pages.

His voice is strident, he litters his material with expletives and he jumps the fence between offensive and amiable with peculiar ease.

He targets particular audience members, lulling them into a false sense of security with his warm banter, only to turn to teasing and taunting, then a swift apology.

Akmal is never subtle as he wanders from topic to topic, using half-sentences, interruptions, repetitions and scattered thoughts.

Tony Abbott gets a serve for confusing church and state, teenagers should get back into the playground for some real bullying, and Jesus looked like Bjorn Borg in his family’s religious pictures.

From what he describes of his own petty criminal antics as a teenager, he may be right about being ADHD.

By Kate Herbert
Newsy tip: He calls for questions from the crowd at the end, so be prepared.

Your Days Are Numbered, March 29, 2012 ***

Your Days Are Numbered – The Maths of Death
By Matt Parker and Timandra Harkness
Where and When: Portico Room, Melbourne Town Hall, March 28 to April 4, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Strangely illuminating and unnerving collision of comedy, maths and death.

After 30 minutes of slightly disturbing mathematical jokes about death, my mouth was gaping, my brain was hurting, but I was still listening – and laughing.

Did you know that a ‘micromort’ is the name for a one in a million chance of death, or that by the end of 60 minutes on the Death Clock, the entire audience will be dead?

We learn there is a critical amount of alcohol that makes you cheerful before it all turns ugly and we study graphs indicating the odds of dying by autoerotic asphyxiation, shark attack or bees.

Your Days Are Numbered, performed by Matt, the good-looking maths nerd, and Timandra, the groovy, red-headed Brit, is nerdy humour for statistic-heads – there was even a real mathematician from Florida in the crowd.

The laughs are not riotous but it has novelty value and is strangely illuminating and unnerving.

By Kate Herbert

Funny line: “Canoeing looks the same as taking Ecstasy.”
Newsy tip: Sit up the front and you’ll get to use the calculator, like I did.