Daniel Kitson - Stories for the Wobbly Hearted

Melbourne International Comedy Fesitval 2005
Council Chambers, Melbourne Town Hall
Sunday, 10th April 2005

Tagline: The story of heroic loneliness

The great thing about the comedy festival is that if you are in the right place at the right time, you can end up going to shows you didn't know you wanted to go to and ending up really enjoying them.

That was the case with this show as I had just got back into the city from seeing GIT play in Brunswick. I had also failed in my attempt to tell one of my friends what I really thought about her while catching a lift in her car to a better tramline.

In the line there was a really pretty woman who was dressed in 1920's jitterbug style with a Betty-Boop haircut, but she made a comment while waiting in the line that was really smarmy, arrogant and self-centred.

As the bottom part of the chambers were full we were lead up to the public gallery with the wide ledges at the front for resting notebooks on. This meant that I could lean forward on them and rest my chin on occasion.

I had heard that Daniel Kitson was doing two different types of shows at the festival. One was the usual stand-up and the other was where he got to tell stories. Watching him walk around switching on bedside lamps that were sitting on the floor while an old record played, this was going to be the one where he told stories, which was great.

It would be doing a tremendous disservice to actually tell you about any of the stories he told us during the show as I can't tell them as well. I would say that they are influenced by Daniel Kitson's love of movies such as Amelie, but they usually turn out like a joke from the Simpsons.

Pathos is a very difficult tool to work with in comedy. It has a very powerful effect on people, but if used incorrectly it can make them change the channel or make people feel too uncomfortable. I didn't really feel that was the case here, if anything, the lucky men who saw this show with their girlfriends would be more likely to get sex afterwards for taking them to see something nice.

Some people would doubt the elaborate ways in which people in the stories construct their lives, but if you are living by yourself it is quite easy to do this. I know from my own experience in changing what I had for breakfast (a cheese & bacon roll for 3 months in a row, then hot Milo for 1 month), that is quite easy to make these little changes that only effect yourself. What he also got right during the show was explaining that the ritual is probably more important that what you end up actually doing.

There were some film clips played between each story, but these were used to underline the main message of the show and were nicely understated. Sitting where I was I had to stick my neck out to watch these, I swear I wasn't looking down the top of any woman in the audience though.

What I got from the show was that the best that you can hope for in life are small moments of happiness that you create yourself. If you are really lucky you might meet someone who at least tolerates you enough to be around you occasionally.