A Social Science grad with a never-ending appetite and lust for Sydney life. Community and Social Media Manager @ProjectFutures www.projectfutures.com
Published February 21st 2013
Comedians bare their souls & much more @ The Laugh Stand
There is little I enjoy more than a night of live and local comedy. It's a great stress reliever, being able to sit in a semi-darkened room sipping on a beverage or two and laughing yourself silly while some brave soul is on the stage cracking funnies. It can also be a fantastic social glue, bringing strangers together through shared experiences, laughing along as the comedian bares their soul and thinking 'oh yeah, I've been there'. Most of all, it's a great excuse to get out, enjoy yourself and get those happy-go-lucky endorphins pumping.
The Laugh Stand, presented by Magners cider and supported by Time Out Sydney and Punchline DVD, is a monthly comedic offering in the FBI Social room at Kings Cross Hotel. An intimate little venue, perfect for a spot of comedy, The Laugh Stand can be accessed through a decorative and somewhat magical looking door to the left of the main entrance of the hotel, bathed by the glow of Kings Cross' gawdy Coca-Cola sign. Up a couple of flights of stairs and you enter into a little cocoon of comedy heaven. The decor is an eclectic mix of nothing that matches but in a very, very good way. Giant spiderwebs mixed with Chinese lanterns mixed with fake vines = a very good place to be.
Accepting my complimentary drink from the softly spoken barman I pull up a pew behind the sound desk and engage in a bit of people watching whilst waiting for the comics to psych themselves up. I note that there is a row of very cushy looking couches down in the front row, aka 'the danger zone', which would be a very relaxing place to sit if you don't mind a bit of banter with the comics. And with $5 Magners all gig, life is good.
Our witty MC for the night was Andrew Barnett, entertaining us no end with his tales as a stay at home dad after convincing his wife 'she's just not that maternal', and leaving us pondering the ethics of lying to your children in the name of preserving their innocence. Featuring a line up of 8 local acts, first comic off the ranks was petite Madeline Stewart who opened with busty Brynne Edelsten's love life and ended with a one-armed shoe tying challenge. In her wake was Andrew Wolfe, a live wire entertaining us with backseat deals with cabbies gone wrong.
Jazz Twemlow followed, a cheerful bearded Englishman, and had the crowd in fits of laughter with the perils of living on Darlinghurst Rd and trying to order coffee in the midst of a hipster takeover. Closing the first set was Smart Casual, a lumberjack-esque musical comedy duo. With one half wielding a late-night talk show voice and the other an unassuming straight man, they are masters of turning the mundane into a sultry ballad. Straight faced but not straight laced, Smart Casual were definitely a stand out on the night.
In the second half of the night came self-confessed human sprinkler Dane Hiser, consequently also the brains behind the whole operation, who had the crowd laughing with not-so-fond memories of driving tests and the link between comic books and singledom. Coming in strong next was Matt Okine, a comic I'd had the pleasure of seeing before and was very much looking forward to. And I have to say he did not disappoint as I laughed myself hoarse through his whole act. His high-energy comedy stylings were well received by the crowd as he regaled us with hilarious tales of a less than opulent lifestyle.
Bringing up the rear was Tim "Rosso" Ross of Merrick and Rosso fame. Although the headline act on the night I have to say he was one of the weaker comedians. I think the celebrity name-dropping, a relatively constant feature throughout his act, isolated a good portion of the audience. However, when his comedy focused on the everyday, particularly those familiar male insecurities on a first date, I had a good ol' belly laugh.
All in all this was a fantastic midweek outing and a fitting way to celebrate the end of 'hump day'. It's great to see such an initiative supporting live and local comedy and it's well worth a visit to laugh yourself silly in this comfortable hidey-hole. And for a measly $20, or $15 if you're an FBI member, there are really no excuses not to head along and support these live comics who bare their souls and much more in the name of comedy. Coming up next month on March 20 are the comedy maneuvers of the 3 D's - David Williams, Daniel Townes and Darren Sanders, plus a whole lot more. So if you're after a night out filled with hilarity enough to tide you over until the weekend comes then The Laugh Stand is just your ticket