And as I always like to remind people, sometimes the shows that will stick with you months and years after you've seen them, that will leave an imprint on your heart, body and soul, will not always be the big budget, flashy ones but the ones that are only on for four nights with ten people in the audience. In this current arts climate, remember to support your independent theatre makers and venues - some shows can cost you as little as $20 and can be one of the most original, inspiring and though provoking performances you might see.
Take a risk, see something new, unknown and different in 2022.
Here we go:
|Izabella Yena. Image credit: Jack Dixon-Gunn
|Image Credit: James Welsby
4. Wilde Night In
Alex Hines will be presenting To Schapelle And Back during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Butterfly Club. Tickets on sale now.
5. This Is Our Show
|Lena Moon and Annie Lumsden
Sketch comedy show This Is Our Show by Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon
was a laugh-athon and a half. Some of the zaniest and most bizarre sketch
comedy I've seen in a long time. What I really enjoyed about this show was the banter between Lumsden and Moon, where even when they were playing specific characters, they still let their own personalities shine. You could clearly see how they were supporting each other throughout the show and making sure their focus was on making the other one look good.
Fortunately the two have made a livestream recording of the show available, so those you missed it can see it and those who've seen it, can rewatch it and relive the many laughs in store.
|Kristen Smyth. Image Credit: Cameron Grant
8. Tight Fit - review
The venue might have been small, but the energy emanating from the stage during Werk It - Tight Fit is an incredible circus show. With a focus on work in all its meanings, including working out and the daily grind of employment, the five circus artists (Vincent van Berkel, Lisa Lottie, Richard Sullivan, Cassia Jamieson, and Malia Walsh) dressed in funky neon clothing, dazzled the audience with their foot juggling, acrobatics, hoops and clowning. With a killer soundtrack, sassy attitudes and general tomfoolery, Werk It - Tight Fit allow us to sink in our chairs - and sometimes sit on their edges - and get swept up in the fun and entertainment being presented to us by some of the country's finest acrobats.
9. This Genuine Moment
|Ilai Swindells and Tom Dawson. Image credit: Darren Gill
This Genuine Moment is a comedic but truthful conversation between two young gay men (Tom Dawson and Ilai Swindells) who meet on a night out and end up spending the night together. Waking up the next morning, the two discuss what led them to this point and where they think - and hope - they are headed. The set design by Kate Beere added some realism to the men's surroundings and supported the carefree attitude they currently hold as well as the uncertainties that follow them. The two performances were strengthened by some highly intelligent and touching writing by Jacob Parker that made this show very relatable and sometimes all-too-real for anyone who has ever looked for, sought after or longed for, a moment of connection not only with another adult but also with themselves.
And just because rules were made to be broken, here are the shows that were pipped at the post:
11. Little Monster - Written and performed by Telia Nevile
12. Cactus - Written by Madelaine Nunn and performed by Ayesha Harris-Westman and Lucy Rossen
13. Everyone is Famous - Written by Morgan Rose and presented by Riot Stage
14. JSMR - Written and performed by Jessica Stanley
15. Let Bleeding Girls Lie - Written by Olivia Satchell and written/performed by Chanella Macri, Belinda McClory and Emily Tomlins