Friday, April 17, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Alice Fraser
One does not go to a comedy festival show expecting to cry.
I cried during Alice's show and I'm not afraid to admit it.
This show is brave and beautiful.  I don't want to reveal too much, but Alice had some horrible things happen to her while she was writing this show, and the way she has weaved them in and out of the show is wonderful.
Please don't think that it's all sad, there are a lot of really funny parts. There are accents and there are banjo songs. 
This is not conventional 'comedy', but I really loved it.
4.5/5 stars
There are only two shows left in Melbourne, but then Alice is Sydney bound.  Get tickets for Melbourne here!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - David Williams

I first saw this guy years and years ago, I think at Stagetime and then definitely in a few comedy festival shows. I've looked for his name in the comedy festival guide every year since, but he hasn't been there and I've been really disappointed. David informs us at the start that he hasn't done a comedy festival show in eight years. I'm glad he's back!

Cool Genes Man is mainly about David being a sperm donor for some friends of his, but it has lots of other bits in it as well. I loved the section on cruise ships and even though I had heard it before, I really enjoyed the story about the party in Adelaide, it's one of my favourite comedy routines, so to hear it again was wonderful.

This show was worth it for the cockatoo impression alone.  There's two shows left, go see it!

4/5 stars

He's at Trades Hall, tickets here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Em Rusciano

This is a show for anyone who has ever been, or ever had, a mother.

I had a really great time at this show. Em mixes comedy and music seamlessly. Her re-writes of songs from Frozen and The Sound of Music were a highlight for me. I loved her tales of motherhood, and of growing up in the 90's.  I especially enjoyed the John Farnham medley.

There was an Auslan interpreter at the show I saw, and I will confess that I spent a lot of time watching her just to see what the sign was for all the swearing Em was doing on the stage.

I've seen Em's shows at the last couple of Comedy Festivals and she only gets better and better.

4/5 stars

There are no tickets left for this season, but if you're lucky you might get tickets to her encore show in Yarraville.  Details here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - The Shelf (Part Three)

It's entirely possible that I'm too tired to accurately review this show.

On the Comedy Festival website, The Shelf is listed as having a running time of 120 minutes.  Tonight's show went for over 4 hours. It was ridiculously good. However, I am too tired to accurately remember exactly what went on. The Shelf really is one of those 'you just had to be there' type shows. So, next time, be there, eh?
The Shelf is finished for this season. If you want tickets to the next one later in the year, check out their website

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Le Noir

I don't why this is billed as part of the comedy festival, just extra advertising maybe?  In any case, it wasn't very funny.

It was expensive and I'm not sure where my money went. It didn't go on fabric for costumes (the majority of the cast spent most of their time in some kind of underwear) and it certainly didn't go on the chairs.  I paid extra for premium seating on the stage at the State Theatre. I was sitting behind the small circular stage where most of the action happened. Almost all the show was performed to those people sitting in the stalls of the actual theatre.

The ringmaster/clown person had no microphone, so I couldn't hear a word he said. His attempts at humour by getting people up from their seats to do things on the stage were long, drawn out and painful. There were a lot of acts that seemed the same. How many times can acrobats throw someone up and pretend they aren't going to catch them before it gets boring? I was over it by the third act to do the same thing.

The music was annoying and far too loud. However, I did like the lighting effects. And the performers themselves were very clever at what they do.

The Wheel Of Death thing at the end was great, but not worth the money I paid for the whole thing.

It would be fair to say that I was really disappointed in Le Noir. I really wanted to like it, but I just didn't. I've had much better nights at travelling circuses (circusi?) where I paid a quarter of what the ticket cost for this one.  And those ones have fairy floss!

1/5 stars

Tickets can be found here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Rod Quantock & Fiona Scott-Norman

This show is called 'Drivetime with Two Leggy Redheads' and that's exactly what it is. There are different guests each time.  When we went it was loosely 'musical comedy' themed, with Casey Bennetto, Gilliam Cosgriff, Tripod, Dave Callan and Jonestown on the bill.

It's a mix of performances and chats. Oh, and cake!

It's the perfect start to a night of comedy,

4/5 stars

Only on weekends - tickets here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Festival Club - Comedy Up Late

The line up at the Festival Club is always different.  We had these guys and gals:

MC DeAnne Smith
Josie Long
Rohan Ganju (RAW Comedy Runner Up)
David Quirk
Joel Creasey
Mark Watson
Beau Heartbreaker
Ivan Aristeguieta

The night we went it was filmed for ABC, it will be on the TV and iView and is well worth a look.

Great spots by all involved.  Highlights for me were DeAnne Smith and Ivan Aristeguieta.

For $20, if you're still up, it's a great way to finish off a night at the Comedy Festival.

Tickets and upcoming line ups available here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Gillian Cosgriff

I've seen Gill do bit and pieces on other shows (and on YouTube) over the years, but this was the first time I'd seen a whole show. I am kicking myself that I haven't been before.

Her opening song (that is NOT part of the show) tells us that she has been compared with Tim Minchin, and that she's OK with that. I think it is a fair comparison. If you like musical comedy at all (and let's face it, why wouldn't you?), then you really should go and see Whelmed!

Filled to the brim with clever songs and really funny anecdotes, Whelmed was a really great show.

Go see it!!!

4.5/5 stars

Whelmed is at Trades Hall. You can get tickets here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - The Narelles

I loved this show.  Loved it.

The premise is that this is a reunion concert of a great band you've never heard of. Mainly because they don't exist. But that doesn't stop Alan Brough and Casey Bennetto reminiscing. Filled to the brim with great music and hilarious lyrics, you should not miss this show!

4.5/5 stars

They're playing at Trades Hall.  Tickets here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Dolly Diamond

I could see the potential in this show.  I think with a bit more focus and direction it could be great.  As it is now though, it's pretty average. Dolly's show is all about how she desperately wants to be the Queen of Moomba, but how the powers at be keep choosing other people for the job.

Unfortunately, Dolly's singing was far overshadowed by the singing of her piano playing accompanist. She was the highlight for me.

1/5 stars

Dolly is playing at Trades Hall. Tickets available here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Adam Hills

I really enjoyed Adam's show. It was full of the Adam Hills we all know and love, there was audience interaction (if you don't want him to talk to you, then you should get there on time), there was poignant bits about kicking cancer in the dick and there was even a song.

Nothing ground-breaking here, and I think there were some parts that didn't need to be there, but over all I had a good time. 

4/5 stars. 

Tickets here:

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Nina Conti

I am amazed by ventriloquists. Always have been. Nina Conti is a damn good one. Her show is completely improvised, so is different each night. 

Tonight's show wasn't great. It's not Nina's fault. She started out really well. But a fuckwit audience member ruined the night for everyone. Why do people go to comedy and think people want to hear the shit they say instead of the person they have paid to hear? I will never understand it. 

Had Nina not already had two people and a monkey on stage (and therefore was doing three voices and her own!) at the time, she would have taken the dickhead down.  It's a real shame, because the first half of the show as brilliant! Please don't let this review put you off seeing her.

3/5 stars. 

You can get tickets here...

Monday, April 6, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - The Shelf (Part Two) 

Just home from another fantastic night at The Shelf. Just look at the line up above and tell me that's not a recipe for success?

Everyone was in fine form, highlights for me were Celia Pacquola, Cal Wilson and Aunty Donna. Puddles was terrifyingly great and I loved Susie Youseff.

If you haven't been to The Shelf yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

Tickets here. They also usually release a limited amount on the door a couple of hours before it starts.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Ali McGregor's Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night 

I've seen this show in the Famous Spiegeltent for the past few years and it has NEVER disappointed me. If you're a first timer to the festival, get tickets to this show.

Ali chooses her guests and only has people on she likes. They are always good. Even some microphone problems on the night I was there couldn't stop the good.

In between the four comedy acts (we had EastEnd Cabaret, Tony Law, Asher Treleavan and Nina Conti), Ali sings. And man can the woman sing. There were mash ups, there was opera.  It was divine.

It's easy to see why this show has been going for nine years, here's hoping it goes for at least ninety more!

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - James Acaster 

James Acaster is another comic I first saw at The Shelf. His show did not disappoint. 

He used the story of being on a jury to tell the tales of various characters in his show. I thought this was really clever. He spent the hour strutting about the stage, his show was sharp and filled to the brim with jokes that I found hilarious. He talked about growing up in London, being in a gang and how he always wanted to do jury duty.

This show is really worth seeing.

3.5/5 stars

Tickets available here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Justin Hamilton 

I heart Hammo. I think he is one of the best comedians ever. I think his comedy is smart and his timing is great.  He makes you think.

If not for the odd cough and slightly croaky voice, on Saturday night you wouldn't have known he was unwell.  He performed a cracking show. The topics were many and varied, and even though I had heard him do some of the routines previously at The Shelf, it really didn't matter.  They were that good that I didn't mind hearing them again.

I just don't understand why this guys isn't playing to bigger rooms.

Please go and see this show, you will not regret it.

4.5/5 stars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Josh Earl in Square Peg

A last minute decision to fill a gap in the schedule with Josh Earl turned out to be a great move. He has created a beautiful little show this year. Filled to the brim with funny little songs and hilarious anecdotes about growing up in Tasmania. There's also some great bits about his wife and kids.

I really enjoyed this show. You will too.

4/5 stars

He's playing at the Victoria Hotel, tickets here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Picasso and Other Problems


Every year during MICF, Hannah Gadsby does a lecture at the National Gallery of Victoria. I'm not going to put a link to tickets on this review, because they are all gone, but get in early next year because they are always well worth seeing.

This year's topic was Picasso. Hannah thinks he is an arsehole and she isn't afraid to tell you why.  There's a lot of talk about one painting in particular, which was a shame, because I was sick of looking at it by the end.  Other years she has talked about lots of different artworks and why she loves/loathes them.  She also points out things I would never have noticed in them. and explains the symbolism. All this in a really amusing way.

I always leave these lectures knowing something I didn't before it started.

3/5 stars.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Puddles Pity Party 

I just don't know where to start to review this show. I'm not sure if I love him, or if he terrifies me. Maybe a bit of both?

Puddles is mega tall and imposing. He doesn't speak, and yet holds the small audience in the palm of his hand. They do whatever he wants them to.

And then he sings. His voice is like honey. It makes no sense. And afterwards he gives out Puddles Cuddles. 

Go see this show. Unless you are scared of clowns, because he isn't going to help your fear of them.  Not one bit.


Get your tickets here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Rhys Nicholson 

This show was super fun. I first saw and fell in love with Rhys at The Shelf.

This show isn't ground breaking or profound, but I really enjoyed it. I loved his timing, just when you think the joke is over, it turns out it isn't. Always pushing the envelope just a little bit further. This show was a whole hour of that. And there were a lot of penis jokes. A great show, but maybe don't take your grandmother.

3/5 stars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Sammy J and Randy 

Why oh why haven't I ever been to see these guys before?

Sure, I'd seen them on the TV, and I'd laughed, but nothing compared to how much I laughed when I saw their whole show. These guys produced one of the tightest hours of comedy I've seen in a long time. Their timing was impeccable. It was impossible to know what parts were scripted and what they were making up as they went along. I love that.

And they're dirty. Filthy even. 

Just wonderful. I defy you to go to this show and not have a good time.

5/5 stars

Tickets here.
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