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Review: Paul Williams - Mamiya 7 at Melbourne Town Hall - Backstage Room - MICF

Updated: Apr 16

Review by Benjamin Lamb

The Melbourne Comedy Festival is upon us — humour fans from all around the world embark upon our great state to see the best in the genre talk for an hour in the back of some bar you didn’t know existed. 

Tonight’s shenanigans took place at the comedy mecca of the Melbourne Town Hall, in the 64-capacity Backstage Room. 

Paul Williams is perhaps best known for his appearance on Taskmaster NZ, arguably the standout franchise of the series. He has appeared alongside some of NZ’s greatest comedians as the Taskmaster’s Assistant, alongside Jeremy Wells. The show has featured other MICF alum — such as Mel Bracewell, Guy Montgomery, Urzila Carlson, among many more. 

If you’re at all familiar with his appearance on the show, his deadpan delivery alongside musical talents makes for a performer you can’t help but keep your eyes on. 

With very little info shared about this show, besides reference to it being about a camera, we were all in for a treat. 

It’s hard to mention things without it being spoiled, this hour is one of the most perfectly crafted shows ever, it has stuck with me days later. The intensity slowly builds, you are drawn into every single world uttered from Williams’ mouth. 

The show details the journey of bidding on a Mamiya 7 camera, and the discovery of a roll of film inside. The journey starts in Paris, continues in New Zealand and ends in Los Angeles, almost like a movie.  

This, alongside various musical moments, showcased Williams’ far ranging talents, simply armed with a few octave keyboard, you’d think Paul was backed up by a full band, his presence during the songs really helping the songs hit a little bit harder. 

The show was assisted by a powerpoint, which helped move the show along, while sometimes being used for a visual gag. It was immediately clear also that the timing of the show was worked out to a T — every joke hit perfectly as a new slide appeared. 

After seeing a number of different shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival over the years, its always exciting to see a comedian with original takes, enthusiasm and humour that you really can’t find anywhere else. 

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Paul Williams, do yourself a favour and check his work out, he’ll be going places.

Image Supplied


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