2013 Melbourne Fringe—Tony Martin: The Yeti

Posted on 23 September 2013

Yes, I am enjoying more Dr Who based comedy. In Tony Martin’s show The Yeti, it is a symbolic presence, referring to the Patrick Troughton era when The Doctor battled some humorously constructed Yeti. So, don’t expect anything more than a couple Whovian jokes, but they do form the basis for some good punchlines.

What the show is actually about is Martin’s early adult years when he lived in a boarding house with an odd collection of characters. In loving detail he brings to life Gunter the Swiss landlord and his Samoan wife, as well as a number of young men all starting out during the 1980s.

The Yeti is more storytelling than stand-up and more theatre than raconteur. Martin wisely chose to perform at The Butterfuly Club so that expectations would bend toward his chosen style of comedy. Without introduction he leaps into his stories with similar colour and quirkiness as a New Zealand He Died with a Felafel in His Hand.

Martin uses a variety of voices and mannerisms to fill the stage with vivid personas. He employs the lighting to indicate scene changes. We are treated to anecdote after anecdote that paints a picture of Auckland life with literary verve. One of my favourite slices of life was the Samoan woman’s embarrassment at drawer-tongues, pieces of clothing hanging out of a closed drawer, as if they were some sort of wardrobe malfunction.

This is a masterful piece of performance. And though Tony Martin has won Arias for the comedy he has done with Mick Molloy, he hasn’t really had the full attention his talent deserves. My only niggles are that he needed to acknowledge his audience when he began the show, giving them a quick glance and a smile, then he needed to talk to people, rather than across their heads to the wall behind. If you can’t get a ticket during Melbourne Fringe, it will be worth trying to see Tony Martin: The Yeti next year at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Melbourne Fringe website: Tony Martin: The Yeti

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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