The Melbourne International Comedy Festival for 2019 is underway! The town hall is bannered in pink, filled with comedic talent flyering for your attention, and rightly so. Here at the Plus Ones we understand that a guide of over 600 shows can be overwhelming, so we have chosen ten ‘highlights’ to add to your arsenal in your mission to seek out a variety of shows to appease your comic desires. So take those flyers, read that chalkboard that faces the Town Hall steps, and take a look at the selections that follow:
A Clara Cupcakes show has been a regular inclusion for these lists of ours, and with very good reasons. The performances are always dynamic, and every year there is something new and fresh to promote. For 2019 Clara’s show will be different every time, with a show built around whatever the audience suggests they want to see. The location of each show changes as well, updated daily on her social media pages. Oh, and it’s also free. Free!
It’s Rocky Balboa’s epic story and journey as written by the Bard himself, Mr. Shakespeare. With the catchphrase of ‘now is the winter of this contender’, this is a deliberately well conceived crossover that deserves a hearty mention. Be quick, however, as the season will be over after the first weekend of the festival.
Becky Lucas has been a very busy performer, and is a deservingly well recognised name in the business of comedy. Taking on almost every day of this festival, there will be plenty of chances to see why she is a no-brainer to highlight – as long as one is smart enough to book in advance.
Lisa Skye is very, very funny, and such a vibrant performer and storyteller. This showcase, coming right off the success of the Adelaide Fringe, promises to be everything unique and entertaining as a Lisa Skye show could, should, and will be.
The recently titled master of ‘crazee’ comedy was always going to return to this year’s festival. In fact, he has hardly taken a break from festival activities since last year, solidifying his name and reputation as a one-man comic genius with an incredible following. He sells out frequently, so book a ticket if you have never known about the above, and see what all the fuss is about.
Snort are a glorious band of tightly knit improvisers from New Zealand, and masters of their craft. As regular visitors to the Comedy Festival, their shows are always well-connected, witty, smart, and entertaining. Please do pay them a visit.
Garry Starr’s abundance of energy, variety, and talent have been highlighted many times before, and his return to this year’s Comedy Festival carries the weight of many accolades. Starr is a powerhouse, and will undoubtedly collect up even more recognition by the time April is done.
As individuals, Lardner and Walker are exceptionally bizarre and entertaining units. Combine them together, and we can only imagine what mischief may ensue. Luckily, this year we get to find out…
Murder Village is the location of this murder mystery. You would think its inhabitants would move away by now, but then we wouldn’t have this grandiose inclusion in the multitude of improvised shows abundant in this festival. Audience members get to vote on the victim and murderer before the show starts from an array of characters they haven’t yet met, and then watch the mystery unfold as one cast member, who is as in the dark as the audience, tries to piece together what has occurred. Top notch stuff.
To include Haus Party on this list feels like a bit of a cheat, but for those new at the Comedy Festival selection process, this stalwart event of Sunday night entertainment is a highly recommended experience. Astrid and Otto, (as well as esteemed DJ and performer Andy McClelland), rock out and evening of bold and energetic variety acts selected from the festival. You will be expected to momentarily dance at some point during the night, (and punished if you do not), and expect to stay until the very early hours of the morning with the following dance party that ensues. Who needs to work on a Monday anyhow? It’s festival time!
The beauty of the Comedy Festival is how hard it is to whittle down the amazing array of talent into a list so small such as this. There is so much to see and experience, and comedy stars will be drawn forth from the unknown, as they are every year. Take a punt on something new and refreshing. Be that person who has to schedule their night to tick off as much as they can. We’re only in this crazy frenzy for a month a year, and the feeling of ‘being there’ for those special comedic moments is a highlight of its own. Go forth Melbourne!
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 the 27th of March – 21st of April at various venues around the city.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Image credits: MICF. Haus Party image credit: Jim Lee 2018.