Many would agree that a comedians best tool is his voice, after all, how can you tell a joke or a story without using your voice? But for this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne based comedian Rob Caruana is taking that away. In his aptly titled show, Silent Comedy, Caruana presents a three-act solo black and white silent cinematic experience that is bound to leave audiences speechless.
"Don’t expect me to talk, but there will be orchestral music playing the entire time that will relate to what’s happening on stage," Caruana explains. "I want people to feel like they are watching a live silent film that’s been blended with stand-up comedy. It’s a show that will cover various topics including how hard it is to write and perform silent comedy."
Caruana has spent the last few years performing stand up comedy around Melbourne and in a review for his 2015 comedy festival show, Learn Comedy, he was referred to as a "new comedic talent who has plenty more to offer". So apart from the obvious challenge, what makes a comedian want to lose their voice? "I wanted to go back to my roots for this show, and I spent the first eighteen months of my life not talking, so losing my voice was a no-brainer really," Caruana tells me.
Creating a silent show has not come without its own set of challenges however. "Silence can be golden, but it can also be DEADLY! These days everybody has iPads, iPhones AND eyes, and so we live in a very visual world. But we are also flooded with options, so to be seen, you have to be loud," Caruana explains. Even with the orchestral music that will be playing, he still has a few trick up his sleeve in ensuring the audience's aural senses remain active. "It’s hard to be loud when you’re being silent, which is why I bought an air horn."
Despite his experience being a stand-up, Caruana still admits to having some nerves with this show. “I’m always nervous when people are spending their time and money on me, and this time will be no different; but if I don’t seem confident then that’s a huge con and I’m not a huge con man, so I always come prepared with some confidence tricks…um, let me just reiterate, I am NOT a conman."
And yes, Caruana does confirm that there will be free popcorn for everyone who comes to see his show. "Absolutely, 100%, completely, free; for everybody who pays for a ticket.”
If you had to name your child after a vegetable what would it be?
A totalitarian state?
Which reality TV show would you most like to appear/compete on?
I have an idea for a reality TV show called ‘Dig’. It’s about digging. I already have a shovel and I know a dog that likes digging. We’d both be great for that show.
The most irritating habit I have is that I have a bad memory so I don’t remember most of my bad habits, so I’ll just say memory loss and grand larceny.
What's a song that sums up for life?
The theme from The Monkees by The Monkees.
During the MICF, I really, really, really want to see as many shows as possible! The festival is full of amazingly talented people, and sometimes the best shows are the ones you know nothing about.
Venue: The Downstairs Lounge at The Grand Mercure Hotel, 195 Swanston St, Melbourne
Season: 24 March - 3 April | Tues - Sun 9.45pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $18 Full | $15 Conc, Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website