MICF: Figments and Fragments

I take my hat off to anyone who has the courage to get up on stage and deliver a stand up comedy show. Really, they have my full admiration. Comedy is a risky business and, ironically, the winning formula for any great comedy show is that it needs to take risks of its own.

Figments and Fragments
Figments and Fragments

Cy Fahey and Frederich Jones intertwine their two very different styles of comedy to bring us Figments and Fragments.

Unfortunately this show is lacking in said risk factor; the comedy comes off like a gun blazing fully automatic machine gun of puns, most of which rarely hit the mark. With the puns over-laboured, the content lacks the narrative and depth that it requires to catapult it to truly funny moments.

I’ve always found it exciting when different comedic styles are juxtaposed, as it can proffer some interesting interactions and tonal movements in a show. Fahey and Jones do need to work on how they combine their styles and routines so that they blend more naturally to look less like a cut and paste.

Fahey is an affable presence on stage but he’s yet to find his voice as a comedian. His delivery is forced instead of having that conversational style which engenders a sense of comfort in the audience.

Fahey talks about subjects that seem important to him such as his indigenous background, rearing a child as a single man and sex addiction all of which have the potential to be revelatory offering fertile ground for exciting comedy. It’s disappointing that he never digs deep enough to find the comedy gold. Fahey needs to trust that the audience can pause long enough for a comedian to build a story and momentum, which acts as a more solid springboard to the inevitable gag. Of course, like all comedy, the gag still needs to pay off.

Jones is a clever mind at work. I like that his style is slightly absurdist delivered in a goonish-like monotone. Nonetheless the intelligence of his work is also reduced to a fire spray of puns. Jones needs to take some time to flesh out his ideas or even incorporate some physical comedy to build upon his character and routine. My boyfriend thought that Jones’s “date” routine was quite funny and I’ll have to take his word for it as I was sitting on stage at the time feeling awkward in the spotlight. It’s likely it was funny because Jones took a simple idea, expanded upon its nuances to make it funny and something the audience could relate to.

Look, when you’re only success as a comedian is measured by the audience’s instant gratification its easy to become over-zealous about pleasing the audience (and we can be such an ungracious lot!) But it seems that Fahey and Jones are working so hard to find what it is that makes us laugh they’ve forgotten what it is that they find funny and worth saying. Comedians have never let the truth get in the way of a good story but at the heart of every exhilarating comedy moment there’s a foothold on something authentic for the comedian.

Karla Dondio

Karla Dondio is a Melbourne based freelance writer who has been reviewing theatre, comedy, cabaret and other live assortments for five years now.

Karla Dondio

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