Michael Williams @ ACMI Games Room 07/04/17 (Live Review)
Michael Williams is a local (well, Warrnambool) visual comedian who, at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, is presenting his first play, Escape From A 90s CD-ROM. The one hour performance tells of 12 year old Michael who got sucked into his Microsoft Encarta rip-off and is trapped inside for 23 years. In the play, we are witness to his daring escape plan, his annual struggle to return to the real world, before he is destroyed by a software virus.
The concept is clever and engaging, with Williams interacting seamlessly with his computerised buddy Jobe the globe and bringing as much of the CD-ROM world out of the computer and into the ‘real’ world as he can.
The show is very well written with several 90s references thrown in, but not so much that somebody who didn’t grow up with the joy that was Microsoft Encarta would not enjoy it. Williams is an exceptionally talented performer who draws the audience in to his fictitious plight. Will he escape? Will he get devoured by computer bugs? Will he ever venture to the sports section of ‘Hello Learning: Aussie Edition 1994’?
Complete with a musical about Colonel Sanders, and cameo appearances from the likes of President Lincoln to Con the Fruiterer, there’s a lot to like about Escape From A 90s CD-ROM. Visual comedy is often greatly underestimated in favour of traditional stand up, but if you’re going to check out one play at this year’s Comedy Festival, make it Michael Williams. At best you’ll have a great time and have a laugh, at worst, you’ll pick up some misinformation courtesy of a 23 year old encyclopaedia.
Michael Williams will be performing at the ACMI Game from from March 30th – April 23rd. Tickets from Ticketmaster.
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- Sofie Marsden