Sensational MICF debut
By Bradley Storer
The evening began with a visit from comedian Thomas Jaspers’ close friend ‘Rhonda Butchmore’, who sauntered onstage, all long legs and six-pack in one hand, to warm up the crowd with a few dropped names and withering witticisms about the likes of Chrissie Swan and Patti Newton. This delightful opening segued into a soap opera-styled look at Jaspers’ hometown of Aspendale, dubbed ‘Downtown Assy’, before Jaspers himself emerged (still half dressed as his drag alter-ego) to begin the show.
No Place Like Homo, Jaspers’ debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, documents the comedian’s journey from a flamboyant, Priscilla-loving child through adolescence and his break-up with a certain well-known Australian comedian and its aftermath. The major theme of the show is family, with the members of Jaspers’ own family (all played by Jaspers himself) made present throughout the evening via a series of projections that, in a very inventive stroke of media, interject and interweave through all of the material. All of these characters provide hilarious and heart-warming moments, Jaspers’ delightfully dirty grandmother in particular, and in their portraiture you can sense great love and affection.
Despite this being his first appearance at the Comedy Festival, Jaspers already shows great comedic skill and ability in his story-telling. On this night the performer showed some signs of nerves (probably not helped by the presence of his actual family in the audience) but there was no need for worry – Jaspers has crafted a fantastic, hysterical yet touching debut, which we can only hope for more of in the future.
VENUE: The Horse Bazaar, 397 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
TIME: 8:00 (7:00 Sun)
TICKETS: Full $20, Conc $18, Tightarse Tuesday $16, Group (10+) $18, Laugh Park $18.
BOOKING: www.ticketmaster.com.au Ph: 1300 660 013, www.comedyfestival.com.au, at venue.