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MICF Interview: Dylan Cole's Case Numbers!

Comedian Dylan Cole tells Theatre Thoughts all about his Melbourne Comedy show, Case Numbers

Written and performed by writer/performer Dylan Cole, Case Numbers is a fascinating meta-thriller that analyses the narrative conventions used in writing. It has no beginning or ending and, while there is a middle, it’s entirely pointless.

Nominated for Best Comedy Award at the 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival, this MICF premiere season is a gripping and thoroughly entertaining story containing all the twists and turns of a trashy Dan Brown novel, but also the overly complex and confusing narrative of a Christopher Nolan film. It has nothing to do with COVID. So, relax.

It's about guessing numbers and trying to open a briefcase.

It's about one man trying to figure out a combination.

It's about Case Numbers.

A show for comedy lovers who prefer their humour to be witty, well crafted, and very much left of the centre, Case Numbers runs for ten performances only at the CBD’s Greek Centre during the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.


Your show is described as a meta-thriller, what’s so meta about it?

I’m thinking about how to answer this question while simultaneously being funny - I guess I’ll write the following: The show is self-referential. For example, the first 20 minutes of the show is a series of notes and disclaimers about the show, while simultaneously lamenting that I could have written a better beginning.

I’m not sure I achieved the funny bit in writing this answer, but don’t let that fool you - the beginning and the show is funny… and awesome.

Can you give us a hint about the purpose of your inclusion of 90's Cold War film The Hunter for Red October?

The show is about cracking the code to a briefcase, so the whole “Cold War Spy Genre” is a big part of the theme and feel of the show.

I’m also a sucker for an out-of-date pop culture reference, so how could I not include it? Arguably the best film of its genre, and the best film of the 90s. Therefore, during the middle I re-enact the whole film playing all the characters… well not quite the whole film, but the important bits.

It doesn’t progress the narrative at all. But it does serve to wake people up with a bit of silliness, in the event they get bored by the beginning.

But don’t let that fool you, the beginning is not boring… it’s awesome.

This is your first solo show at MICF in 10 years. What made you want to return?


Annoyingly, it drives a lot of my decision making. Like the other day I was at Woolies checkout and they asked me whether I wanted some Bricks for my Bricks Farm and I didn’t really know what were, but I got them anyway so I didn’t miss out.

The MICF is also a big festival, so you need to make sure you take a good show and after years of doing “theatre” I thought I’d return to “comedy” - emphasis on the quotation marks. I also think audiences have got more sophisticated in their comedy viewing and the types of shows they want to see. The MICF is no longer just the domain of the stand-up comedian… it’s awesome.

What will audiences most remember about your comedy show?

They will probably remember that there was a briefcase, and they will remember what’s inside the briefcase (which audiences discover towards the end of the show).

I won’t say that they discover it at the end of the show, because there is no actual end to the show. The show is endless. It’s a Never-ending Story.

There, I’ve managed to work in another out-of-date pop culture reference. Awesome.


Known for his style of combining theatre, comedy, and fictional storytelling, Dylan Cole is a Melbourne-based writer and performer. Previous shows include It All Sparks Joy, The Moon and Me, Safety First, Ned: Ideas You’ll Never Have and Blank Tiles, which had sold-out seasons at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe and Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival at Assembly, and received multiple five star reviews. 2023 sees the premiere of his latest work, Case Numbers, at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

★★★★½ “…hands-down one of the best comedy acts the Adelaide Fringe has seen.” - University of Adelaide Review

30 March to 9 April 2023

Tues - Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm

Opening Night Friday 31st March, 8pm

Tickets: $28 Full, $22 Concession, $20 Groups 4+, $15 Preview and Tuesdays

Bookings: 03 9245 3788 or online at

Venue: Greek Centre (Two) - 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD

Duration: 55 minutes no interval

Suitable for audiences 13+



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