2019 rolled in with resolutions of hard work and achievement and, needless to say, we’re already slightly behind schedule. Overhearing a colleague look at the calendar and say that hated phrase ‘April already! Where has the time gone?!’ was a bitter pill to swallow. The upside is that being April means it’s time for the 2019 Sydney Comedy Festival. And there’s nothing like a bit of comedy, watching other people’s hard work and admissions of misery and embarrassment to distract you from the fleetingness of life.
Once again, Elli de Ryckman de Betz has trawled through the long line up and used her insider knowledge to put together a robust list of acts you really shouldn’t miss:
Arj Barker 2 – 4 May
Judging by the number of times he’s been back to the Sydney Comedy Festival, Arj Barker is probably their favourite American. His relatable jokes and clever linguistic camouflage make him a winning mix of funny and extremely likable.
Tom Ballard 9 – 12 May
Fresh from Tonightly, Tom Ballard is known for biting satire and having his finger on the pulse. Make sure you see his show if you want to have your eyes opened while you laugh.
Stephen K Amos 4 & 5 May
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Stephen K Amos has been touring the world with his comedy and has been a regular at Edinburgh Fringe and both Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals for many years now. Amos has been working on his routine and stage presence for years.
Demi Lardner 15 – 19 May
Proving time and again that you don’t have to make sense to be funny, Demi Lardner’s new show Ditch Witch 800 promises to be filled with nonsense and laughs.
Becky Lucas 16 – 19 May
Becky Lucas’ quick wit and unexpected punchlines have been praised time and again for making her stand out from the rest. And stand out she does. As well as sold out comedy stand up year after year, writing on TV series like The Other Guy and Fresh Blood, there was also that international furore after she got banned from Twitter (well, maybe not international, but still). She has been wowing audiences with her excellent comedy and superb delivery for years. As Becky herself says in the title of the show, ‘um, support me?!’
Ross Noble 9 – 11 May
Famous in the UK for his lengthy comedy career and appearances on shows like Have I got News for You, Noble’s seemingly random and stream of consciousness wit makes for interesting and unexpected comedy.
Rhys Nicholson – 11 May
Go and see Rhys Nicholson. Just go and see him. Better each year (if that’s even possible?), his biting humour, quick wit and perfect presentation cannot fail to have you in stitches. You will not be disappointed.
Matt Okine 16 – 18 May
If you’re wondering what Matt Okine has been up to since his Triple J days, you must have been living under a rock. Between winning ARIA awards and writing and producing his own show The Other Guy, Okine has been busy. The Hat Game was a sold out performance last year and those who missed out will have another chance to see this insightful, hilarious and well delivered show.
Nina Oyama 15 – 19 May
Nina Oyama Needs A Lift is a debut stand up covering everything from Bathurst to meth. Actually, they’re part of the same gag. Nina may be relatively new to stand up but her presence in everything from Tonightly with Tom Ballard to ABC’s Logie Award winning show Utopia promises that the writing and content of her show will be well worth seeing.
Zoe Sitas 9,10, 12 May
Combining gross nursing stories with fresh faced delivery and a slightly political edge, Zoe is a newcomer who promises big things.
Elli de Ryckman de Betz trains for comedy festivals the way others train for marathons. For months she has been dedicated in the pursuit – drinking wine and watching stand up online seemingly without rest, to hone her abilities and make sure she laughs at only the best quality jokes.
Sydney Comedy Festival will be all over Sydney’s venues from the 22nd of April to the 19th of May. Make sure to check out the website for further information and to get tickets.