Aridhi Anderson is a theatremaker, performer and reviewer based in Melbourne. Check out her work at aridhianderson.com.
Wholesome and entertaining comedy for reading nerds
The Comedy Festival might seem like an unusual place for booklovers and reading nerds to seek out a space that feels like home. But at A Booklovers Comedy Show (hosted by George Dimarelos at Tasma Terrace), you'll find a gorgeous celebration of our shared passion for books, and among the audience, a real sense of bonding over it.
George Dimarelos, our host and 'fantasy Greek', is an extremely well-read and supremely likeable book nerd who knows how to get the energy levels up in a room full of bookworms. He talks about his favourite books, invites the audience to name some of theirs, and touches upon some of the big questions that every booklover has to think about (eg. paper books or e-readers?). He talks passionately about books, but is thoroughly unpretentious at the same time - the space is as welcoming to people who read a book a day as it is to those who read one a year.
The show features a rotating bill of comedians and storytellers who each bring their own perspectives on reading and books, among other things. The night I attended, the three featured comedians were Jez Watts, Jacqueline Mifsud and Sam Kissajukian, all absolutely hilarious performers with their own distinctive performance styles and content. Watts stood out with his stories about his career trajectory, how he moved away from science and got into comedy. He also had good advice about how to get your books back when you've gifted them to someone. Mifsud had impressive stage presence, incredibly quirky content and delivery, and a surprise bit of French in the end. Kissajukian started out with an understated style but stole the show with his unpredictable and wacky stories, and a book auction. The evening was full of laughter from beginning to end, and each of the four comedians on stage played an equally substantial role in it. Watts and Kissajukian have their own solo shows still running at the Comedy Festival till April 21, and Mifsud also had her own solo show at the festival, but ended her run before the start of this show.
If you like reading, if you like hearing about what other people are reading, if you like comedy about books and reading-related stories, you cannot go wrong booking into A Booklovers Comedy Show. You'll find wholesome and genuinely entertaining content, a bunch of book recommendations from fellow readers in the audience, and a heap of validation for your inner nerd.