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The Crimson Goat Cabaret Club

If you're looking for an old-fashioned comedy variety show, the Crimson Goat Cabaret Club is right up your alley, says upstart's Sofia Monkiewicz.

The Crimson Goat Cabaret Club. What type of weird and wacky image does that phrase bring up for you? I personally imagined some kind of animal-related performance night with goats on stage, somehow bleating tunes in a Sound of Music fashion.

You may be surprised to discover this was not the case.

It’s actually a variety show, held every couple of months, and doesn’t really feature animals at all.

I witnessed my first Crimson Goat Cabaret Club performance at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It exceeded three and a half hours in length, and was a showcase that included a massive range of acts, from musicians and stand-up comedians to magicians, hula-hoops and a ventriloquist.

When I was choosing shows to see in the festival, I mostly picked out acts that I’d heard of before, or whose performance description sounded like something I would appreciate. However when I saw the name of this gala, I knew that no matter what it was about, it was something I had to see simply to quench my curiosity.

I wasn’t disappointed. Though the evening made no mention of goats, crimson or otherwise, it kept me attentive with the very random mix of performers. I saw Bob Franklin, of BoyTown and The Librarians fame, who told us some dry but amusing stories; Mic Conway and Robbie Long, who were one of my highlights with their combination of music, singing, dancing and magic tricks; Anna Lumb, who hula-hooped her way into our hearts with her cartoon character appearance; and Elliot Goblet, who made me cry with laughter with his clever one-liners.

The Crimson Goat Cabaret Club was created by Jack Levi – who also performs as Elliot Goblet – and Mitchell Faircloth, who wanted Melbourne to once again experience the comedic variety nights that existed in the ’70s and ’80s. They began the event mid-2009, and are drawing in more and more audience members at every show they do.

The evening is relatively family-friendly, and draws in an older audience, as the majority of performers are over 35. It is held in Ormond Hall, and I liked the cabaret-style of audience seating with the many fancy-looking tables filling up the space. Food and drinks were available throughout the show, which was quite necessary as you are sitting in your chair for a rather extended period of time.

If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned comedy-filled night out, the Crimson Goat Cabaret Club will suit you to a tee. Its level of variety will ensure that you are kept entertained all the way through, something that I definitely appreciated as I have quite a short attention span.

The next show is on Sunday, 5 June, and will feature Simon Rogers as the MC, with comedy guests Karl Chandler, The Nelson Twins, Gulia Jillard, and Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band. If it’s anything like April’s show, it will definitely brighten up your Sunday night, and I recommend you bring a parent or two along for the ride. They might even enjoy it more than you.

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.

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