Have you ever heard of Melbourne comedian Dylan Cole?
Me neither, but I took a risk and checked him out last week at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Leave Me Alone took place upstairs at Fad Gallery — a little hidden bar in one of the CBD’s dark alleyways. It smelled of incense, and there were framed artworks covering the walls. Immediately I loved it. It was a cosy, intimate space.
Despite having an obviously small budget for his show (he did his own voiceover from the back of the room before running to the stage, and explained that he couldn’t afford a decent tech guy) Cole did a reasonable job of entertaining the audience. He had little narrative to his routine, with just a series of random jokes and observations.
Cole’s shorter stories were the funniest and he had some really hilarious one-liners. But when he started telling longer stories, the jokes sometimes got lost as he spent too much time getting to the point. He tried talking to the distracted audience members – who weren’t giving him much response – but this soon got old.
Whenever Cole had to improvise, which wasn’t often, the show picked up its energy and I enjoyed it more — he was quick and witty whenever anything happened that steered away from his script. These were the points when he wasn’t clearly trying to remember what his next joke was, and I wanted to see more of that. He was funnier when he didn’t mean to be.
Cole also used a video projector, which in most cases is not the best move — the show was filled with technical difficulties. The projector was overused, and some of the video footage Cole showed us was unnecessary. He probably could have cut 15 minutes of material out of the show, which would have tightened it up and made it funnier.
This self-proclaimed Robert Pattinson lookalike had great energy and some quality material. He played an amusing word game, which was the highlight of the show for me because of how clever and simple it was, and told us a story about a weird childhood stalker. With some more experience and improvisation, Dylan Cole definitely has potential. Look out for him and his red ukulele in the next couple of years.
Sofia Monkiewicz is a Journalism Honours student at La Trobe University and is a member of the upstart editorial team. She loves theatre and music, and is currently working on a thesis about the role of arts journalism in Melbourne.