Is it really time to be putting together some plans for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
The Plus Ones have once again taken the time to bring you our top ten picks from the over 600 possible performances vying for your patronage. By the 28th of this month, the city will have transformed into a haven of comedy delights, and a dedicated festival goer will want to fill their nights with as much variety as possible. Here are some absolute highlights we recommend adding to your schedules.
Coming into this festival after securing the Director’s Choice Award last year, Demi Lardner’s quirky and energetic style is going to even more heavily recognised this year. Mark our words; she will be delivering upon her recent frenzy, and attending her show will end up being a no-brainer.
Lou Wall is an outright natural talent. ‘It’s Not Me, It’s Lou’ showcased so much of what makes her a rising star during last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. With a captivating charm, and with some of the funniest songs of any solo cabaret artist, come and see why her future reviewers will shower her with praise.
Glanc is bouncing from festival to festival with warranted praise, and sweeping up awards while he’s at it. Anybody who has attended his shows, (before they sell through), will attest as to why. His character comedy is strong, his sketch is abnormally brilliant, and his audience engagement is grounded and solid. Book away.
Any veteran audience member of the Melbourne Comedy Festival will know that Zoë Coombs Marr dominated the 2016 season, and took away the Barry Award that very same year. In 2018, the genius creative behind ‘Dave’ returns to perform as herself, and will undoubtedly cement her legacy further.
Steen Raskopoulos has an insane ability to generate a seamless and hilarious show either from expertly incorporating his audience, or delving deep into character through some amazingly proficient improvisation. If you have not been to see his skilled performances before, you most certainly should this time around.
After such a whirlwind season at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Po Po Mo Co head into the Comedy Festival with a strong following. Going by the hilarious sneak peeks thus far, their brilliantly creative and boldly hilarious commitment is top of the line. You were probably buying a ticket to see them anyway.
Russell and Michelides are comedy powerhouses by themselves, and when the two combine forces, their strengths align wonderfully. The creators of the high-paced and absurdly funny ‘Nö Shöw’ return to 2018 with another twisted late-night creation. It will be wacky, and most certainly laugh out loud.
Lauren Bok goes from strength to strength every festival. Her writing, natural humour, and wholehearted storytelling are always on form. Be sure to find time to appreciate her refreshing approach and ownership of the craft.
In terms of a show with a unique premise, combined with one of the most charismatic hosts of Melbourne, this is tipped to be sure-fire success. Prepare to learn history without the exercise as McClelland uses a giant screen, Google Maps, and his well-known comedic guile, to present to you a tour like no other.
Perhaps one of the absolute highlights of the comedy festival is seeing what Clara Cupcakes has in store for her next foray on the stage. With character exploration at the forefront, and combining burlesque, sketch, and a party atmosphere, you would be silly to miss such a staple asset to the art of comedy.
Artists love audiences, and with such a big array of comedy spread across so many venues, there is so much talent waiting for you to explore. We implore you to slip into the buzz of the occasion, fill a night with a dedicated schedule, and take a chance on something new and unexpected. The future stars of comedy will be waiting for your attendance, and raucous reactions, with open enthusiasm.
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor, and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 28 March – 22 April 2018 at various venues around the city.
Many venues are accessible.
Follow The Plus Ones’ coverage of MICF 2018.