How To Make An Hour Disappear In Ten Minutes

22 March 2016 | 4:15 pm | Staff Writer

"'Overfloweth' is a lot darker. It's more of a risk and a challenge."

Billed as one of the highlights of this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival after his breakthrough this time last year, Joshua Glanc could be getting cocky but he's anything but.

The man behind 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain't One), a favourite at last year's festival and his new collaborative work, Overfloweth, is humbled by the praise, saying, "I still feel really green and really new and it's exciting to be learning. There are so many incredible performers out there and I'm just excited to get better."

Glanc sees himself as absurd and surreal and he hates predictability. All vital attributes for leading shows that are full of improvisation and audience involvement.

"We had some people walk out and some people laugh non-stop."

When asked what brand of comedy he creates, Glanc notes the differences in the two shows he has at the MICF this year. "99 Schnitzels is more accessible I think. It's fun, fast-paced and high energy.

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"Whereas Overfloweth is a lot darker. It's more of a risk and a challenge." According to Glanc, his maiden run of this new show delivered to an Adelaide Fringe audience divided people. "We had some people walk out and some people laugh non-stop."

While 99 Schnitzels returns to MICF, back by popular demand for four shows at the Town Hall, Overfloweth, the love child of Glanc and his collaborator Oliver Waters will premiere to fresh eyes in Melbourne.

The shows are so radically different in tone that, Glanc remarks, fans of his first show might have trouble with Overfloweth. "I can see a lot of punters who saw Schnitzels who will come up and say 'Mate, what the fuck was that?'"

Glanc isn't afraid of that though, acknowledging that it's a part of developing as a performer and creating new worlds and new situations. "The style is more consistent with Overfloweth," he says. "There's something in there for everyone."

99 Schnitzels has received rave reviews from critics and audience members alike. "One of the big things people tell me after the show is that it felt like it only went for ten minutes."

Both shows, in fact, are brimming with music, audience engagement, improvised segments and surreal scenarios that keep the audience and Glanc himself on their toes.

Glanc, who doesn't want to give too much away about the shows, discusses how his experience at the Adelaide Fringe shaped and changed Overfloweth: "The ending of the show was completely different by the end of the run. We were chopping and changing things as we went along based on audience reaction.

"Melbourne audiences will be treated to a polished show as a result," Glanc reassures. "Someone told me in Adelaide 'You're only as good as your last performance,' and I think that's true."

Glanc is dedicated to his craft after being out in the 'real world' for a long time and finally embracing his love of comedy and performance. "This year was huge for me," he says. "I just recently resigned from my job as a lawyer to pursue my love and it's really nice to get positive feedback about something I'm passionate about. But I know I still have a long way to go.

"The legal world is pretty mapped out; you have defined paths to promotion and you know where you're going."

Making the shift is a challenging endeavour for even the most dedicated and hilarious. But so far Glanc has risen to the challenge, grabbing comedy by the balls and creating offbeat and at times out of this world sketches.