Boom! That’s the sound of my head exploding. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is here, and I popped my tender laugh-cherry with Mick Neven’s innovative #ShitMickNevenSays last night. Is that a hashtag, I hear you ask? Quiet you, you’re just a literary device. But yes, imaginary person, that is a hashtag. You see, Mick Neven isn’t just a comedian – he’s also a trailblazer. This is the first festival show to incorporate the feedback and contributions of Twitter users in real-time, and guess what? It fucking works.
Roxanne Parlour is an intimate venue, and the contributions from Twitter and occasional audience participation made for a genial, collaborative atmosphere. Don’t expect the entire show to be based around Twitter though – I’ve only devoted as many words on it as I have due to the genuinely fresh and fun nature of it. Mick has a great set of stand-up that this all hangs from. He tackles the basic stupidity of modern life with a cutting wit and zeal that can only be described as inspired, building concepts and ideas only to smash them down with a brilliant punchline. Mick Neven’s subject matter is relatable and familiar, comparing old to new, dumb to smart and irrational to reasonable. I don’t want to go into great detail regarding the material, but Mick touches on the difficulties of raising a young girl in today’s media-saturated world, his marriage, the changing face of Australian society and dumb shit.
The Twitter stuff was handled pretty well, although there were one or two minor technical hitches. An iPad is connected to a projector, and the iPad went on standby at one point – however this was rapidly resolved, and that fun and friendly atmosphere I mentioned earlier kept it from being anything more than an understandable and minor problem that was quickly forgotten.
If you want guaranteed laughs, Twitter participation and a good night out, check out #ShitMickNevenSays. Tickets here.