On 16 October 2008 I went to the opening night of a new Melbourne comedy night called A Mic in Hand upstairs at Vibe on Smith St. It’s hosted by Daniel Moore and Tommy Dassalo, and the performers were mostly excellent. I’d not seen any of them live before so it was the perfect introduction to some fantastic talent, and Rove (above) in front of a live adult audience is infinitely better than his work on television for a ‘family’ (inane childish suburban) audience.
Tom Ballard performed first to a sold out crowd (above) and I found his take on being gay and coming out hilarious. Karl Chandler was not to my taste but 2006 Raw Comedy winner Hannah Gadsby was brilliant. Gadsby was a quieter and more subtle performer than most of the others on the bill, but her wit and insight made her one of the strongest acts of the evening.
I was not able to see Celia Pacquola (above) in her fringe festival show and was glad to be able to see her perform here. She’s very confident and a natural on stage and her performance flowed effortlessly between rehearsed lines and seemingly spontaneous observations. Charlie Pickering is great and he is the headline act tomorrow night (Thursday 23 October 2008) at the next show.
Headline act Rove McManus was impressive and a welcome surprise. He’s obviously very professional and talented but as I had previously only seen him briefly on television, I was not overly excited at the prospect of seeing him live. Some of the audience did seem to be there mainly to see him, but I was there to enjoy the whole program. He was very good live and although I am unlikely to watch him on TV I now have much more appreciation for his work.
I had emailed with co-organiser Daniel Moore (above) some time back when the event was first announced (it has been running in Sydney for some time) to find out more about their plans, and I’d like to congratulate him and co-organiser Tommy Dassalo (below) on a very successful opening night. The room was full, Vibe has reasonable beer prices and at $10 A Mic in Hand may become my regular Thursday night entertainment.