Tim Minchin makes mincemeat of Altitude's Alpine comedy slopes
Tim Clark30 March 2012
Tim Minchin is one cocky fella – and he's happy to admit it.
The musical comedy maestro has just hurtled himself down a run at Mayrhofen's Ahorn piste at a speed which belies a beginner's first day on a board.
A few swift turns later and the Aussie comic is on his keens while I help him retrieve his sunglasses from further up the slope. Laughing while brushing the snow off he admits 'I might have got a little overconfident there', before racing off down the mountain, eager to
master this sport as well as he has the comedy genre.
Another comedian snowboarding addict has been born, you can almost hear Andrew Maxwell cackle with delight. At times you could be forgiven for thinking that Maxwell is secretly trying to lure every comedian on the circuit into part of a secret snowboarding ninja clan - if he is then he's doing well at it.
It is the third day of Altitude Festival, which began in style on Monday night with an opening Gala that would be the envy of pretty much any other comedy festival on the planet.
The festival opened with three-hour long show curated by Andrew Maxwell which included sets from Ed Byrne, Brendan Burns, Michael Winslow, Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr.
That trend continued into Tuesday when Minchin was joined by Milton Jones, Kevin Bridges, Terry Alderton, Marcius Brigstocke and Rufus Hound.
Yes, with Altitude even the lists of comedy talent feel endless. While the shows themselves are going to be dealt with in a separate blog post tomorrow, so far Carr was the only comic who had to speed off back to the airport, with a car waiting for him straight after Monday night's gig.
Apart from him though almost all the other comics have stayed long enough in Mayrhofen to try their hand at winter sports.
I spent my first two days mostly in the company of the up-and-coming snowboarders Carl Donnelly, Ben Norris and James Hancox from Abandoman. In between runs and talks about wedding cakes, the sporty trio seemingly enjoyed playing up in the snow.
It is this relaxed atmosphere which the organisers seem intent on cultivating, and is akin to the Kilkenny Cat Laughs, which receives rave reviews from comedians who venture there.
Even the journalists took part in the festive nature of Altitude, with Chortle's Steve Bennet trying his and on the nursery ski slopes and the Sun's Tommy Holgate looking like he was practicing for the freestyle gymnastics while heading down the mountain on one ski.
Even those who don't enjoy partaking in a daily routine of throwing themselves down the mountain enjoy themselves, with Tiernan Douieb seemingly intent on catching up on his writing while he is here – and Frankie Boyle spotted on frequent rambling through the town.
Monday night's headliner Jimmy Carr looked stunned at what he had flown into and though he was only in Mayrhofen for a very short period of time, he vowed to try and return next year and spend more time at the festival to soak up the atmosphere. Kevin Bridges, who
had also only flown out for a short period of time, seemed equally intrigued by the Alpine town, though he didn't head up to the mountain himself.
Speaking to SSP Maxwell described Altitude, which is now in it's fifth year, as a child which he is saving up to pay for rehab, yet though the festival has taken a while to get off the ground it looks like it is in rude health.
Tomorrow we'll mostly be trying to explain the concept of Terry Alderton's alternative comedy universe...
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