Saturday 30 March 2024

Mozart-182 review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Do opposites really attract? That's something that Callum Straford is testing with his experimental stand-up, clown and musical comedy concerto (that's a mouthful!), Mozart-182. Through various sketches and songs, Straford attempts to highlight how quickly life can get messy and there's nothing we can do but embrace it, with arms wide open.

Straford has an affable nature to him and you can't not like him, and if this is what you would judge a comedy show on, then he would get two thumbs up, but the structure doesn’t reach the same level of likability. The conceit of the show is a comparison and contrast of Austrian composer Mozart to American rock band Blink-182, but apart from the obvious of coming from different centuries and musical genres, there's no eye-opening or unexpected link between the two.

Most of the songs and anecdotes also fail to tie in with the aforementioned artists, including one song about the annoyances of singing with an Australian accent. One of Straford's best stories is an experience he had in India, but the way it is told is too rushed and could have been played for more laughs with a tighter arc and punchline delivery.

There are some light interactions with the audience, including a short recorder performance of "My Heart Will Go On", and while it's good natured and fun, like much of what we see in Mozart-182, it doesn't add anything to the bigger picture.

At one point, Straford tells us that Mozart composed a piece of music called “Leck mich im Arsch” (“Lick me in the Arse”) and Blink-182 released an album called Enema of the State. A link of sorts, but unfortunately nothing really happens beyond that. This show needs to find a common thread and then make sure that all songs, stories and everything in-between are working towards that idea rather than the mixed bag of froot loops that it currently is.


Venue: Tasma Terrace, 4-7 Parliament Place, East Melbourne
 until 7 April | 6:40pm
 50 minutes
 $27 Full | $24 Conc | $22 Tightarse Tuesday
 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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