TWO elderly Australian punters, having smiled benignly throughout Malcolm Hardee's boudoir production of I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, commented upon leaving: 'He was a bit over our heads.' Others prefer to keep the intellectual and escapist aspects of performance apart. Bod from London recommends Greg Proops for giggles and A Strange Bit of History at Hill Street Theatre for cerebral thrills. 'It's fascinating to see people from Eastern Europe come to terms with their past.' Jessica from New Zealand highly recommends both professional lesbian Lea de Laria and Ukrainian Theatre, in Podol's A Feast during the Plague. 'It's all in Russian but it's easy to understand. I'd say it was spiritual.' Comedian Pete McCarthy also craves the lyrical. His choice is writer-singer Kinky Friedman who uses 'well-chosen words'. Kinky, unfortunately, appeared at the book festival for only one night. Interested punters can always buy his classic Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed.