Come for comedy, and be charmed!

By Jessica Cornish

‘Tis the season for comedy: the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival has begun. Last night I was lucky enough to have tickets for Ivan Aristeguieta’s sold-out preview of Lost in Pronunciation.

Lost in Pronunciation

Performing in the Portland Hotel’s cosy Pool Room, we were treated to an hour of steamy bikram comedy. However, I’m assured the bikram experience was a one-off event due to a broken air conditioner, but to be honest it didn’t make the performance any less enjoyable. He likened our dilemma to a Spanish adage which roughly equated to being trapped inside a soup lid: it defiantly conjured up some strange images in my head, but seemed accurate.

This light-hearted hour of comedy was essentially the highlights of Australian life through the eyes of an exotic Venezuelan. Luckily for Ivan, Australia has been kind to him – until people learn he’s from Adelaide, and then it’s another story entirely…

Making fun of Aussies’ adoration of yeasty vegemite and tomato sauce is a running joke that he subtly weaves into each segment as he segues between family-friendly witty stories and meringue-style covers of beloved Aussie folk songs.

Ivan has great facial expressions and was very charming and charismatic on stage. His comedy style wasn’t aggressive and didn’t rely on belittling people in the crowd. It was happy and harmless fun, and included a dig at our homophobic PM which is always entertaining.

However, at times I did feel as though I had snuck in to an exclusive Latino club. Three-quarters of the crowd were South American, which even included a Venezuelan contingent who adored the show. They definitely embraced the chance to reminisce about life back home and how different life in Australia is, and to laugh at themselves as well. However, the material wasn’t so refined as to be alienating, and I certainly enjoyed the show overall.

Chosen as one of five up-and-coming comedians to participate in Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s The Comedy Zone, Ivan definitely put on a good night’s entertainment and a polished preview performance. He will be performing at the Pool Room until April 20.

Tue-Sat 8.15pm
Sun 7.15pm
Cost: $15 – $22