MICF: Andrew McClelland is like a jolly school teacher as he takes us on an adventure of historical hilarity in his latest Comedy Festival offering: Andrew McClelland’s Somewhat Accurate History of the Fall of the Roman Empire.
Andrew McClelland is like a jolly school teacher as he takes us on an adventure of historical hilarity in his latest Comedy Festival offering: Andrew McClelland’s Somewhat Accurate History of the Fall of the Roman Empire
With a title that makes your average Joe need to pause for breath, it is a good thing that Andrew is much more skilled than the rest of us he beguilingly pushes through an hour of odd facts and fascinating history without appearing to stop to blink.
With a memory like a sponge he bandies about information like there is no tomorrow, easily recounting various hilarious theories about the fall of the Roman Empire. He involves the audience by giving several volunteers roles - on the night I went, the man who was chosen as Julius Caesar appeared perilous at first, but delved steadfastly into his role with an amazing fervor and uproarious result.
At the Comedy Festival last year, Andrew McClelland performed with Lawrence Leung in a show called Time Ninjas
at the Trades Hall. In a much larger venue, most likely due to Leung’s success with his ABC show at the time, it must be a transition to go solo to a much smaller room. Andrew is definitely a force to be reckoned with on his own though, and it is great to see what he’s all about alone.
The Lunch Room is quite a small venue at the base of the Town Hall. Filled to capacity, the somewhat sweaty room was cramped but superfluous to what was an engaging late night show. Andrew kept the audience engaged with his palpable energy at a time when many comics might find themselves fighting a losing battle to keep attention drawn to them. Andrew is a pro; however, and never for a moment did I feel the need to stifle a yawn.
To close the show Andrew dons a toga and belts out a song, which I won’t give away. This is testament to his enviable talents as both a comic and all round performer.
And if you don’t know anything about the Roman Empire, don’t worry. This show is accessible to everyone – the facts and jokes are hilarious on their own and don’t need to be referenced to a wealth of knowledge in order to gain laughs. In fact, some of the show is quite silly in a very endearing way as we are walked through tales of orgies, the punishment for adultery and what a vomitorium REALLY is.
School debater articulate, Andrew is sharp and extraordinarily clever. If you know nothing to begin with, you certainly will at the end and you not only feel satisfied but also find yourself wishing you’d had Mr. McCelland for year 10 history.
Andrew McClelland’s Somewhat Accurate History of the Fall of the Roman Empire.
25 March - 18 April
Tue-Sat 9.45pm, Sun 8.45pm
Melb Town Hall - Lunch Room
Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
What the stars mean?
- Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
- Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
- Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
- Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
- Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
- Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
- Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
- One star: Awful, to be avoided
- Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level