Posted by Ben Hargreaves
30. Mar, 2015
Comedian David Quirk’s new show Thrasher is underway at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. A cult figure in the Australian comedy scene (and further afield), Quirk has maintained a unique mode of considered introspection, bleakness, and, well, humour for over a decade. He returns this year with long time collaborator Declan Fay directing his new work.
Thrasher is being staged at Fast Times Skateboarding, Quirk’s long time employer. Undoubtedly the novelty of the venue and the authenticity of Quirk’s relationship with it (himself being an avid skater) secured the support of the Moosehead Awards – a MICF institution that provides funding to select interesting shows each year.
Quirk’s second Moosehead funded venture, he previously won the award in 2010 for his show The Incident with Sam Simmons. This follows Quirk’s receipt of the ‘Piece of Wood Award’, administered by comedians and previous award winners. Recognition of Quirk’s subversive presence in the scene is solidifying into a reputation that precedes the emblematic Thrasher.
The show builds on Quirk’s history of incorporating theatricality into his stand up. The usual reservoir of gloominess Quirk draws on for crisp, morbid observational comedy is partitioned to serve the through line of the story. It’s intentionally jarred against the sheen of the more traditional workplace observation enabled by the skate shop setting. Quirk deftly lampshades this contrast throughout the show.
Of course as an audience member, you encounter the standard festival dilemma – when is it the best time to see a comic during the run of shows? Word of mouth has spreads throughout the run making it harder it is to get your hands on tickets, but the later you go, the more worked and better tuned the show is. This balance is obviously harder to strike for shows following the festival formula, rather than the honed hour of club comedy that some comics bring to the table. Quirk’s piece will undoubtedly benefit from this conditioning as he settles into his expected stance of unflappability – but without wanting to give anything away, he hits the ground running with some unique set pieces.
Quirk can be elusive on the internet – but if you’ve already seen the show, or you’re just interested, you can see his stand-up on YouTube or hear more about his work on various podcast appearances (including Stewart Goldsmith’s The Comedian’s Comedian or The Little Dum-Dum Club).
You can find tickets to Thrasher through the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s website.
David Quirk’s Thrasher
Fast Times, 121 Swanson Street, Melbourne
Wednesday March 25 – Saturday April 18
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