AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Comedians Jacob Lingard, Ciaran Lyons and Matt Stewart talk about "The Comedy Zone" at MICF

The Comedy Zone is made up of five of Australia most promising comedians each coming from different parts of the country to deliver a varied palette of humour. Matt Ford (QLD), Jacob Lingard (QLD), Ciaran Lyons (WA), Nina Oyama (NSW) and Matt Stewart (VIC) are a collective of young comedians who has already started to make waves through the country. Ahead of their run at the Melbourne International Comedy Lingard, Stewart, and Lyons sat down with me at the Peter Cook bar inside of Melbourne Town Hall to discuss their upcoming shows.

The trio joke around and make small talk about the traffic before debating about the best way to start off the interview. “ Read the question off of the coaster” suggests Stewart. And so we do. The question is “what super power would you choose to have?” which got the banter rolling about their chosen abilities and the fine print that comes with them

“Maybe immortality” says Stewart, who is immediately pounced on by Lingard

“Oh man, the world ends and you’re just going to hang out in space?”

“Well I’d have the power to turn it off”

“Just in case you had a really sad day and because you still have to pay taxes?”

Stewart changes his mind “the power to always be financially sound”. The group agrees this is a handy power to have. Lyons propels the discussion into further ridiculousness with his choice of “the power to be able to change traffic lights” – the traffic must be atrocious in WA.

I ask them to walk about their collective showcase and what they have planned for Melbourne audiences. “It’s just the good stuff” assures Lingard “it’s like our ‘Best of’ collection”.

The three think it’s best if they try and explain each other’s sets.

“Kieran talks about being a young man in the struggle of university and stuff like that” says Stewart. Lyons is quick to play down his struggle but not before Lingard and Stewart poke fun at his tender age of 18.

Lingard tries to pinpoint RAW comedy winner 2014 Matt Stewart’s demographic “you’re the most…not flippant, but you’re the most rude in silliness. The most absurd, most surreal. You’re like the Noel Fielding. “

Stewart and Lyons try to discuss Lingard, but they confess, “he’s indescribable, he’s just really funny”.

The three have quite a report built despite their short time together. Free flowing discussions come from all questions whether it be favourite acts of the festival so far (Nick Capper, Jack Druce, And Peter Jones) or about their intentions to perform at The Exford Hotel, a late night open mic gig notorious for being a brutal, heckle-filled gig where no one can hear your scream. “That’s the closest thing you have to a Brisbane gig,” laughs Lingard.

Matt Stewart, despite being one of the more polished comics around Melbourne, hasn’t been plying his trade in comedy all that long. His induction into comedy only came just prior to his successful run at RAW last but he hasn’t gigged much since, he admits he’s like to though. “I’m trying to do more and more now. I find the thing with comedy is, is that it’s a lot about momentum, like I’ll build it up, but then something will come along and I’ll just lose it and have to start again.”

The show was directed by award-winning comedian Kate McLennan, who the trio all speak incredibly highly of “she’s great, she gives good advice and guidance” says Lyons

Lingard loves the freedom they’ve been given with the show “Mostly she’s just supportive, like I’ve never been cut down on an idea, it’s always like yeah, let’s give it a crack”

“I mean I’ve never been directed before but she seems to have this style that gives you as much help as you want or need. Like she doesn’t make you do anything unnecessarily” adds Stewart.

Finally we got onto to the discussion of how each of them got into comedy. “Well I turned 18 and I immediately started doing it,” says Lingard “I had always wanted to do it, but I couldn’t get into bars before then”. Ciaran Lyons didn’t seem to have that issue, although he did have to take his dad to shows with him, limiting his swearing “I started just before I was 15 and have been doing it for about 3 years”. He immediately gets made fun of for starting comedy at the age most people are allowed to work part time at Safeway. “When you’re allowed to work at McDonalds, then you can do comedy”.

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The Comedy Zone is a part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 19th. Tickets and more details are available here: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2015/season/shows/the-comedy-zone