Comedy, Festivals

MICF: 10 shows for the last 10 days

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The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is only 10 days away from wrapping up, which means that the comedians will soon be leaving town, the cold will be well and truly set in, and there won’t be whole lot to laugh at until this time next year. If you’re in Melbourne and you haven’t caught a show yet, here are 10 of the best we’ve seen so far for you to catch in the next 10 days. Get to it!
Denise Scott – Mother Bare – 4.5 stars
“In news that will not surprise even the most casual student of comedy, Denise Scott is so good it’s stupid. Faced with first-rate material delivered at an expert pace made possible only by talent and time, the critic can offer little more of use here than gratitude.” – Helen Razer
Hannah Gadsby – The Exhibitionist – 4.5 stars
“Gadsby has matured as a comedian to the point where she can get up and talk about the time she fell over in an alley, and bless me but it’s hilarious. Gadsby is at her dry, self-deprecating best in this show, which is a tour of her personal photo album. If, like Hannah (and indeed like me), you spent the 90s in an over-sized t-shirt and Harry Potter glasses, you’re in for a treat.” – Cathy Alexander
Paul Foot – Words – 4.5 stars
“If the best comedians hold a mirror up to us, Foot’s mirror is just a little bent, forcing us to adjust our eyes slightly and look again. But if you don’t want to think too hard, you can just laugh at the funny man with the funny haircut saying funny things in a funny voice. He is otherworldly and uncommonly funny.” – Ben Neutze
Des Bishop – Made in China – 4.5 stars
“Bishop is quick on his feet, and he can make a crowd laugh pretty much at will (“I know what ye want, and ye’re not gettin’ it,” he said in a faux – but very good — Irish accent to the 80% Irish crowd). He knows the Irish comedy shtick like the back of his hand – and he thanks Ireland’s current economic woes for helping him sell out shows in Melbourne. But this show is about more than easy laughs; he spent the last year in China, and he wants to bring both humorous anecdotes and cultural understanding back.” – Cassidy Knowlton
Lawrence Mooney is a Stupid Liar – 4.5 stars
“Mooney’s immodest intelligence and his skill with filth have never been so delightfully apparent. In fact, they’ve always been buried under layers of camera-ready smarm. For whatever reason, he has lately helped himself to a family-size can of IDGAF and lost his aspiration to Breakfast Television cheer. And thank goodness for that. There are so many passably charming broadcasters and so few blue stand-ups who can make me bust a gut cacking at their comfortable self-loathing.” – HR
Jen Brister – Wishful Thinking – 4 stars
“On the off-chance you are an indolent lesbian approaching midlife whose appetite for excitement is outdone by a love for snacks, then you will certainly find much that is to like about Jen Brister. Then again, if you’re someone who enjoys a quality penis gag, you will be similarly engaged. Which is to say, this little-known UK comic offers something to everyone; allowing, of course, for the likelihood that everyone loves stories about diminishing passion.” – HR
Stephen K Amos – What Does the K Stand For? – 4 stars
“Amos has plenty of material up his sleeve, but it acts mostly as a security blanket or a skeletal framework for him to jump off and then return to. His best moments come when he’s interacting with the audience, and the opening night crowd was a blessing from the comedy gods (a Frankston man with a mullet in the front row, a young woman who claims she’s constantly mistaken for European when she’s in fact Australian with Italian parents).” – BN
Rhys Nicholson – Eurgh – 4 stars
“Nicholson is an expert in line-crossing while keeping an audience onside, and manages to cover broader themes than clichéd Gen-Y idiosyncrasies. This is dirty, dark and confrontingly upfront, but there’s a control to his delivery which wins the audience’s trust.” – BN
Shappi Khorsandi – 4 stars
“Khorsandi is the proud, beautiful and noble daughter of a revolutionary poet forced to flee Iran following the nation’s Islamic Revolution. And so, one might expect an hour of the sort of nobility and restraint that only a life spent in asylum can produce. Forget that. Shappi has returned to talk about tits. But, even this she does with grace.” – HR
David O’Doherty Will Try to Fix Everything – 4 stars
“He is wry, sharp and funny, with observational humour and more than a touch of pathos. He is a more political comedian than some, with ruminations on consumerism and the mass market as we attempt to make ourselves happy by buying more crap. Like many Irish, he is incensed by the irresponsible mortgage lending in the pre-GFC Celtic Tiger, which ended up destroying Ireland’s economy.” – CK

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