Andy Balloch: Killing Time {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Andy Balloch’s ‘Killing Time’ is the show I was most looking forward to at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. After wowing Melbourne audiences last year with his previous show ‘Am I The Drama?’, I was keen to see what Balloch had up his sleeve with his brand-new work.

Balloch began Killing Time dressed in a sparkly gorgeous black number with a drink in hand. Charming and engaging from the get-go, Balloch welcomed each patron personally as they entered The Motley Theatrette and eagerly took their seat. Assuring his audience that the show is ‘non-interactive’, it wasn’t long before the performance kicked into gear and what entailed was pure blissful chaos. In fact, witnessing chaos had never felt so good.

Maintaining his signature storytelling style while dishing out fun sketches in between. Balloch is a master of his craft, even making technical difficulties funny and giving the issue its own adlibbed skit. Some patrons in the front row even assisted to shine their phone lights onto Balloch to give him that extra glow, as if Andy Balloch wasn’t a shining star already.

Killing Time is a smart new show title with multiple meanings. While you are indeed killing time at a ‘Game Night’ with Andy Balloch that he states he is “hosting but not running”, Killing Time also addresses topics of death, with Balloch citing that, like a cat with nine lives, he’s battled death and survived 5 times thus far. The show is never too dark though and if anything, Balloch is the loving reminder that life is finite and that we should make the most of our time while we’re still here.

Throughout the evening, we witness Andy Balloch transform into multiple characters, my favourites being a flight attendant with a very public affair, and a fortune teller that conjures a crystal ball out of nowhere. Actually, Killing Time is filled with multiple cool props which include ‘countdown clock’ and a book of fire (I want one) which only help to enhance each of Balloch’s character scenarios no matter how relevant or ridiculous.

I can’t think of a better way to kill time than to spend an evening with Andy Balloch. But it’s not just killing time, it’s time well spent with wonderful company, fascinating stories, giddy sketches, clever callbacks (Balloch is the King of callbacks), dark facts, and important life wisdoms that only the best comedians would be able to get through to you, and Andy Balloch is by far one of the best.

Not only does Balloch artfully manage to get these important topics across all the while you’re having fun, but you’ll find yourself happily taking this information home, embracing its messages and inspirations which will stay with you long after the show is over.

Andy Balloch is a rare, talented, and compelling artist that uses his quick wits and camp humour to both entertain and inform on topics that many of us need reminding about. It’s not Balloch’s responsibility to hold us accountable nor to aspire us to live and not simply exist, but he takes on the role regardless and magically melds comedy and awareness with ease.

Killing Time is by far Andy Balloch’s best work yet. It is also a deeply rooted open love letter to his late Nanny, and the artists and people in the queer community who came before him that couldn’t stay.

Andy Balloch is currently performing Killing Time at The Motley Theatrette until April 21.
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