Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 


It’s no joke, Aussie comedy, Ben Plazzer’s The Heckler, is being screened around Australia during October via the TUGG system, in which audiences are invited to buy tickets to screenings scheduled in local cinemas by interested parties, reducing the risks for the cinema and the distributor. See schedule

In The Heckler, a self-obsessed stand up comedian on the fast track to fame has his body hijacked by a jealous heckler; it stars Simon Mallory, CJ Fortuna, Kate Jenkinson, Emily Taheny and a gang of comics including Tony Martin and Jeff Green. The screenplay is by Steve Mitchell. Big idea … small budget….

Andrew L. Urban says: This grey-to-black comedy with romantic undercurrents has Aussie larrikin humour at its heart, and an ambitious concept that comes off pretty well, if not perfectly. Cleverly inserting an intruder’s (aka “lowlife parasite”) persona into a comic’s body, writer Steve Mitchell uses comedic tricks and genuine dramatic situations (eg conflict of separated couple with young son) to propel the screenplay, recognising that humour needs pain to work. He even has the Steve Austin character say as much, and in due course it’s proven on stage.

Performances are critical to the work, and they all excel, from the leads to the supports, including the youngster playing the son.

The first half is especially engaging and funny, silly humour alternating with raucous. An audience pleaser with elements to appeal to pros.

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