5 Reasons to see Clare Cavanagh Literally

1.     Literally features and celebrates a whole bunch of characters who care too much about stuff that doesn’t matter and who aren’t very cool, so if you care too much about stuff that doesn’t matter and aren’t very cool then you’ll feel seen.

2.     While the show does include a 90 year-old-spy who has killed many people and a school captain inciting a bloody revolution, on the whole it is an overly optimistic and energetically fun-filled affair.

3.     You’ll meet a character who will teach you the secret to becoming a billionaire (NOT A JOKE)

4.     Weekend Notes reckons the show is “bloody brilliant and just really funny”, which is all you really want out of a Comedy Festival show

5.     Three words: Black Eyed Peas.

Clare Cavanagh performs Literally at TIC Swanston – on the corner of Flinders Lane


Tanya Losanno : The Good, The Bad and the Elderly

By Colin Flaherty

It’s been quite a while since I’ve last seen Tanya Losanno on a Melbourne stage. Since then, family has been consuming her life and this wonderfully sweet set of stories documents the trials and tribulations of caring for elderly parents in her hometown of Canberra.

The spaghetti western theme loomed large in this show (you will be humming Morrocone’s theme for days afterwards), drawing connections between the characters in those films with her and her parents, and portraying the many misadventures as showdowns. She regularly poked fun at Mum and Dad’s peculiar habits and all the crazy situations they caused. A lot of Tanya’s jokes revolved around their Italian heritage but it was a gentle, loving ribbing of their eccentricities and the exasperating gap between the generations, rather than scoffing at the behaviours from the old country.

The show gradually built a vivid picture of her parents with amusing memories from Tanya’s childhood revealing more about how her view of them had changed over time. She loved a callback and frequently returned to several Italian motifs during the hour.

Tanya was the same convivial performer that I remember and she had the audience glued to every word. It was quite an animated performance when some of the tales were broken up with mimes to illustrate the scene she was describing. Some were merely a gun-slinger grimace while others were full on slapstick affairs and her facial expressions were a joy to behold.

The Good, The Bad and The Elderly was a charmingly amusing show with broad appeal and some damn fine comedic storytelling. It’s certainly one to take your mum to (if she can manage the stairs up to the venue).

The Good, The Bad and the Elderly is on at The Coopers Malthouse until April 21

5 Good Reasons To See Stark and Dormy

1. We’re quite sure this is the first time an Alien invasion puppet show will be part of the rather stoic and serious proceedings at The Coopers Malthouse.

2. Because Bunk Puppets invented 3D Shadow Puppetry… and we’re quite sure this is the first time a 3D Alien Shadow Puppet show with be part of the rather stoic and serious proceedings at The Coopers Malthouse.

3. To watch two grown men play with delicious puppets and act like hilarious fools.

4. To meet your yearly quota of watching riveting Russian accents on stage.

5. Have you ever wondered what Zebra tastes like? Or albino Orangutan? Come find out.

Stark and Dormy is on at The Coopers Malthouse until April 21

5 Good Reasons To See Martin Dunlop in Small Tales Of Little Mercy

1. It’s a Southern Gothic parody show and I explain what Southern Gothic literary fiction is, so you’ll be able to tell that to your friends and make it sound like you done got book learning.

2. It’s a one-man play where I do all the characters so you don’t have to keep track of which actor does what, because I’m doing all of them. Isn’t that simpler?

3. You kept watching True Blood for the dialogue and the setting, not just all the hot butts.

4. You were led to the show by crows.

5. I promise to show you what they found in the river.

Small Tales Of Little Mercy is on at The Butterfly Club from April 12 to April 21

5 Good Reasons To See Hannah Camilleri in Big Snot

1. See a revolving door of wild yet nuanced characters performed by one person.

2. “Be prepared to embrace the utter ridiculousness that culminates when Hannah weaves her tapestry…” Onya Magazine 2018

3. It’s like screen to stage in Big Snot where Camilleri draws inspiration from VHS classics and 90s TV and performs on a stage. Screen to stage.

4. Camilleri was actually a humble Comedy Festival usher for years and now you can witness all that pent up frustration explode on the other side of the camera, or whatever, in her second Comedy Festival

5. It’s on at 9.45pm so Big Snot could be your final show of the night. We’ve planned your evening: see show at 7.15pm, see the other show at 8.30pm and then head to Big Snot at Globe Alley (formerly Belleville) for 9.45pm

Big Snot is on at Globe Alley from April 15 to April 21

5 Good Reasons To See Late Night Party Boyz – Rebel Without Applause

1) If you consider yourself a rebel and are too without applause.

2) To witness the future cult classic that is “Mr. Ice Cream”.

3) Most of the time when people ask Damien and Ross of the Late Night Party Boyz how they come up with their ideas, the assumption is that it involved drugs. For two sketches in this show, it’s actually true – try and guess which ones.

4) One of the last sketches broke a woman into laughter so much during the Adelaide run, it distracted one of the performers to the point they couldn’t put their costume for the finale on properly. The performer was Ross.

5) To witness some of the most silly, ridiculous live and video sketches this Comedy Festival and how two people can blow a wig and shoe budget.

Rebel Without Applause is on at The Tickle Pit at The Croft from April 9 to 20