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James McLean: Big Enough and Ugly Enough at The Butterfly Club

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by Melissa Duffy (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Melbourne.
Event: -
A one-man show about becoming a man
James McLean, Big enough and ugly enough
James McLean
In his new one-man show, 25 year old James McLean has finally left the safety of his Adelaide Hills family home and embarked on a journey - not only to Melbourne - but also into adulthood. Striving to be a member of what he calls the CIA that is to be a Competent Independent Adult, McLean is guided by a loving, encouraging letter from his dearly departed grandmother who believes his nice voice and honest face should see him through.

In this coming-of-age cabaret comedy McLean shares with us the amusing, uncomfortable and sometimes scary encounters from his adventure, proving to be a multitalented performer.

His skills at the piano evident as he sings the 'hospitality blues' of long hours spent waiting on the drunk and disorderly, as well as undertaking an instrumental duet with his beloved cat. He is also responsible for the voiceovers of a Dame Edna-esque sounding grandmother and a God like conscience that questions some of his more reckless decisions.

Brimming with confidence Mclean is endearing, likeable and very funny. Much like an entertaining dinner party host recounting one great story after another, he has our complete and utter attention as we joyfully await the punch line of each humorous tale.

After a sell-out season at this year's Adelaide Fringe Festival, McLean has worked with award-winning comedy and cabaret director, Wes Snelling, to cleverly localise the content for Melbourne audiences. Through his impressions we are introduced to an ensemble cast of hilarious virtual characters including senior swingers in Fitzroy, donation seeking paedophiles and other undesirables that emerge in St Kilda only after 11pm.

Like all great venues in the culture capital, Melbourne's home of comedy, cabaret and cocktails can be found down a bin filled lane, up an unassuming stairway which leads to one very cool location. The kitsch filled Butterfly Club houses an eccentric collection of knick-knacks and memorabilia that has to be seen to be believed. Performing in this small, yet delightful, intimate theatre works in McLean's favour, showcasing his natural interaction with the audience and without any sign of nerves.

From the dark and quirky laneways of Melbourne shines a bright new comedic star who, as it turns out, is big enough and ugly enough to hold his own on the stage.

James McLean, Big enough and ugly enough
James McLean in Big Enough and Ugly Enough
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*Melissa Duffy was invited as a guest
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Why? For a feel-good night out
When: Tues 8th to Sun 13th September 2015
Phone: 03 9663 8107
Where: Carson Place, Off Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $25-$32
Your Comment
Will look out for him if he comes up to Sydney:)
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 1382 days ago
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