On the recommendation of UK comic Gordern Southern, last night we saw Aussie act Justin Hamilton perform what is the first of an ambitious trilogy of shows, (named in gentle parody of the classic French film trilogy).

We couldn’t resist seeing a comedy show with such ambition evident in its structure and we weren’t disappointed.

The first thing I noticed was the music at the start of the show which was a fine selection of Beatles songs. It shows Hamilton is the sort of artist who pays attention to the complete presentation and content of his show and sure enough a booklet was handed out offering interesting insight into the background, structure and inspiration of the shows, and confirming that the music was specially chosen. Like many a classic trilogy, the three shows follow a structure upbeat/adventure – downbeat/adversity – confrontation/resolution and the music is unique to each. The second show is underscored by the Beach Boys so for me thats definitely something to look forward to!

Hamilton took the stage at a suitably climactic point in the musical build up and immediately hit the ground running with an opening line that kicked us right into the story, like the opening line to a good novel. By comparison, other comics are positively lacklustre in their opening routines – there was no “hi, where are you from?” stuff here, just Bam! – into the story.

The tale quickly unfolds dealing with Hamilton’s move to the vibrant metropolis of Melbourne from the comparatively sleepy country town of Adelaide, and along the way paints nice little portraits of Hamilton’s life in his beloved adopted city. This able and confident comic sets a consistently lively pace, rattling through a personal and evidently, (ok presumably) true tale of his personal life.

Love found and lost, the single life and relationships are central themes and along the way there is some good if fairly standard observational work on these topics, all serving the storyline well and involving the audience with passion and commitment that the telling of such a personal tale demands.

Philosophically, Hamilton makes a good case for personal development and indulging your passions as opposed to the exhausting and predictable job/kids/retirement treadmill.

The hour went by very quickly with a lot of story covered and was plenty satisfactory as a stand alone show. It’s certainly tempting to go along to the next installment – which begins playing next week – to find out what happens next.

Stand Up Comedy

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