IF THERE’s one thing comedian Tony Martin loves about Ballarat, it’s the fact the city has retained its old-world charm and not been converted into “plastic and styrofoam”.
Of course, there are many other things Martin – a self-confessed mad Kryal Castle fan – loves about Ballarat, but its looks and personality are big drawcards ahead of his first stand-up performance in the city for 21 years.
He will perform at Balla Rat Cat Comedy club on Friday night, with supporting acts Xavier Michelides, Tommy Dassalo and Ethan Cavanagh.
In fact, the 51-year-old stalwart performer says he often likes to catch a train to Ballarat from Melbourne and simply wander around, a break from what he says is the latter city’s tendency for “hideous” modern architecture.
He joked about the fact Sturt Street seemed to have a real estate agency on every corner.
“In my capacity as a citizen, I often get on the train and have a wander around. I think you need more real estate agents. I’m assuming it’s a reflection of everyone wanting to move there,” he said.
“I’m always struck by that fantastic main street there and you can get fantastic shots because it hasn’t been ruined, it doesn’t have plastic and styrofoam like Melbourne.
“I’m on a current project with my girlfriend to walk every street in Melbourne and we’re six years into it and you get quite observant of the hideous apartments popping up around everywhere. They’re so cheaply and hideously made.”
Martin, who was born in Te Kuiti, New Zealand, came to Australia as a 21-year-old where he embarked on a high-profile career, highlighted by roles on classic Aussie comedy shows The D-Generation and The Late Show, and radio show Martin/Molloy.
In fact, his nationally-syndicated radio show Get This was broadcast by Ballarat’s Power FM station during the mid 1990s, which Martin cheekily says cements his profile as an an “ex-Ballarat radio show personality”.
More recently, Martin performed at Daylesford Dharma School in mid-October after something of a sabbatical from stand-up since the year 2000.
He said he’d been practicing his stand-up plenty of late, but warned audiences not to expect anything too avant-garde.
“It’s finally at a standard suitable for Ballarat, but it is straight-forward stand-up, it’s not any kind of concept show. We’re not suggesting something fancy.”
The show starts 8pm at The Lounge, November 6. Tickets: www.ballaratcat.com.au