2019 Melbourne International Comedy Award Winners

 

2019 AWARD WINNERS

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for the best show: James Acaster (UK) Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999

Nominees:
Anne Edmonds- What’s Wrong With You? 
Cassie Workman – Giantess
Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
Nath Valvo – I’m Happy For You
Tom Allen (UK) – Absolutely 

Blake Freeman

The Best Newcomer: Blake Freeman – There’s Something There 

Nominees:
Dan Rath – Bubble Bath
Nina Oyama – Needs a Lift
Oliver Coleman – Poolside

Joshua Ladgrove

The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): Neal Portenza & Joshua Ladgrove –Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove

Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Game Boys – Game Boys Cinematic Universe
Lauren Bok – Rock Out With Your Bok Out 
Margot Tanjutco – Vanity Fair Enough

Urzila Carlson

Oliver Coleman – Poolside
Patrick Collins – Mime Consultant / Patrick Collins And the Magic Shoe

People’s Choice Award: Urzila Carlson Loser 

This award signifies that Urzila Carlson sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.

Aaron Chen

The Directors’ Choice Award: Aaron Chen – Piss Off (Just Kidding) 

Presented by Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan

The Pinder Prize: Sam Taunton – Straight From The Shoulder & Steph Tisdell – The Pyramid

This Award funds their trips to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival. It was presented by Demi Lardner

Geraldine Hickey

Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians):  Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well

Presented by Greg Fleet who created the Award and Heath Franklin last year’s winner.

Funny Tonne Winner: John Souness

Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Fabian Woods

Fady Kassab

RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Fady Kassab (NSW)  
Fady has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?.
RAW Runners-Up: Suraj Kolarkar (QLD) and Laura Hutchinson (WA)

Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Patti Fawcett (Bendigo South East College, VIC)
Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Whose My Parents? (Ben Depoma, Cyrus James-Hankin, Soren Pryor) from St Theresa’s Catholic College Abergowrie, QLD, and Nic Doring (Alexandria Park Community High School NSW)

5 Good Reasons To See: Lauren Bok – The World’s Worst Babysitter

1. It’s a fun, new kids’ comedy show, starring a terrible babysitter!

2. It’s at the beautiful Melba Spegieltent in the heart of Collingwood!

3. It’s about celebrating the alternative role models in kid’s lives – Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents, Babysitters, Neighbours, chosen family – everyone!

4. It’s about making mistakes and how we learn from them!

5. There’s a bit where we play Ninja Fart Warrior that is very, very funny!

The World’s Worst Babysitter is on at The Melba Spiegeltent from September 22 to 30

https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/the-worlds-worst-babysitter/

Lauren Bok – Between a Bok and a Hard Place

By Lena Moon 

Between a Bok and a Hard Place, could easily fall into the trap of becoming a textbook, meta how-to guide for creating a Comedy Festival show. What Lauren Bok delivers, however, is an hour of energetic comedy that mocks the ever exhausting business of creating art for commerce.

Shows that poke fun at the mechanics of creativity or err on the line of the self referential show about making a show risks isolating an audience, but Bok’s child like nature and charm, and some initially awkward, but ultimately satisfying crowd work keeps us included. Bok’s boldness to fold crowd work in throughout the show keeps us warmed to her for the duration – even if it takes a few members of the audience a long pause and a bit of dead air to get on board with admitting they want her to sleep with them.

Bok’s irreverence for press kits, creating the perfect comedy poster, or the business mechanics of show business as a whole keeps us engaged while her overt physicality reminds us of a child being told to eat her vegetables – that is, she doesn’t want to do it, so she might as well find a way to make it palatable. The joy in this show is found in Bok’s success hacks, such as her trick for blurb writing, and her well handled verbal setups that are more often than not paid off with hilarious physical comedy.

The Bellville’s function room is an awkward shaped, but ultimately cozy setting, reminiscent of an 80’s mansions owned by a now incarcerated drug lord – peeling paint, a curved staircase and mirror lined doors that almost seem to encourage and enhance Bok’s ABBA inspired opener.

Bok herself, resplendent in her bare feet and oversized KISS T-shirt gives the vibe of an eight year old who has sat her closest family down in the lounge room armed with a box of her toys and her portable boom-box in order to put on a show she’d made up in her back yard an hour before. Her delivery is that of someone who clearly loves to be on stage: gleefully commanding, bold, and fun. It’s a relief to attend a meta show where the comic displays a refreshing enthusiasm that could easily have been lost after a facing the unenviable struggles of stand up comedy.

The moments where Bok spoke about day to day life were also well handled: from getting lost on the way to her venue, relatable hair fiasco’s to the faux humility of the fashion industry, Bok’s joyful use of character to pay these insights off is cheeky and silly. With a precise shift of pace and mood toward the end, Bok lets us in on why she bothers to put herself through the rigmarole of creating a show in the first place – which is not to say she doesn’t still handle this with some careful and subtle comedy.

A well crafted show by an affable, smart and silly comic – If you’re a comedy nerd looking to gaze behind the curtain and throw some props around, this one’s for you.

Bok and a Hard Place is on at The Bellville at 7:15pm from 27th of March – 8th of April. Tickets at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/lauren-bok-between-a-bok-and-a-hard-place

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018 – Previously reviewed shows

The 32nd Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been officially

Lano & Woodley

Launched for 2018. Hosted by comedy legends Lano & Woodley, their reunion this year, after 12 years apart, in their new show Fly is one of the big thrills causing quite a buzz in a gigantic, exciting programme. There are more than 620 shows in this years festival. Some of the shows are encore performances and others that we Squirrels managed to catch and review at other festivals.

Feel free to click on the links below and read what we thought of these earlier iterations, keeping in mind that festival shows are ever evolving beasts that change and develop over time, so the new version may be quite different to one we saw.

See a favourite off the telly, See someone you’ve never heard of. Most of all have a wonderful time and keep an eye on Squirrel Comedy as the new reviews roll in and we keep you up to date on what’s happening via our Social Media.

Previously Reviewed Shows:

The Bear Pack
Phoebe O’Brien’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2017 : http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11820
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-bear-pack

Ben Volchok Presents…
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12001
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/ben-volchok-presents

Chris Lassig Dr Chris’s Theory of Everything
Conor Merrigan-Turner’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11940
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/dr-chris-s-theory-of-everything

Elizabeth Davie – Super Woman Money Program
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11987
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/super-woman-money-program

Geraldine Hickey – It’s My Show
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12005
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/it-s-my-show

Hit By A Blimp – I’m Here
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11906
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/i-m-here

Impromptunes
Elyce Phillips’review from Melbourne Fringe 2013: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5083
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-completely-improvised-musical

Laura Davis – Ghost Machine
Elyce Phillips’review from MICF 2013: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8543
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/ghost-machine

Lauren Bok – Between a Bok and a Hard Place (Originally performed as A Bok In Progress)
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11903
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/lauren-bok-between-a-bok-and-a-hard-place

Luke McGregor – Almost Fixed it
Lisa Clark’s review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11056
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/almost-fixed-it

Matt Harvey – War of the words
Conor Merrigan-Turner’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12035
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/war-of-the-words

Phil Wang – Kinabalu
Colin Flaherty’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11627
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/phil-wang

Political Asylum Comedy – Late Night Riot!
Angela East’s review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11271
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/political-asylum-late-night-riot

Rob Hunter – Late O’Clock
Andrew Holmes’review from MICF 2012: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1380
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/late-o-clock

Sean Bedlam – Death to America
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12011
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/death-to-america

Soothplayers -Completely Improvised Shakespeare
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2015: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9433
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/completely-improvised-shakespeare

Snort With Friends
Elyce Phillips’review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11053
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/snort-with-friends

Wanda and Mel
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12008
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/wanda-and-mel

Lauren Bok – A Bok In Progress

By Colin Flaherty
Lauren Bok

A Bok in Progress is not your usual work in progress show. While Lauren Bok is genuinely trying out new ideas, this is a work in progress about being a work in progress. Students of the comedic arts will find plenty of giggles, nay guffaws, as she pokes fun at the creative process and the obstacles put before performers. It’s not all inside jokes as the normals will delight in Bok’s relatable material.

There are some clever ideas in this performance. She starts the show with a clean slate and builds upon it with the audience’s help. Those who normally run a mile from audience participation needn’t fear, most of the tasks are administration, holding various props and reacting to ideas. We are taken through the basic building blocks of creating a festival show. We wade our way through a huge list of pun show titles, see a “scientifically generated” blurb and image, see how intro music sets the stage for various types of comedian and hear a personal story about her creative process.

The moments of pure silliness provided the most hilarity as Bok showed off her wonderful physical comedy chops. Her numerous props gave things a touch of whimsy while she pushed some ideas to ridiculous extremes with great results. A serious monologue towards the end was a severe change of pace and mood but fit in perfectly. Thankfully it was broken up with a witty joke about show structure and audience behaviour that was wacky enough for all to enjoy.

While she is given some leeway with this being advertised as a work in progress, not all of the jokes land. Getting the crowd to vocalise a rhythm while drumming the beat was a messy way to start, even with it’s cute pay-off. The blurb generated by algorithm was so long and nonsensical that it evoked bewilderment rather than laughs. These interesting ideas are sure to be licked into shape in the future and Melbourne Fringe is the perfect place to try them out. There are enough laughs here already to satisfy and this has got to be one of the shows that embraces the spirit of the Fringe.

A Bok In Progress is on at Metropolitan Hotel – The Cavern until September 16

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/lauren-bok-a-bok-in-progress/

5 Good Reasons to See The Mighty Little Puppet Show

1. We’re back!

We were actually quiet surprised when our little show had quiet a successful world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We had wonderful reviews, great feedback and really supportive audiences. So it seemed only natural to bring the show back for Melbourne Fringe…and at The Butterfly Club, one of Melbourne’s best fringe theatre and cabaret venues.

2. It has puppets!

If you missed us at MICF The Mighty Little Puppet Show has puppets in it…but these puppets are like nothing you’ve seen before.

What’s unique about our puppets is that they are custom-built, by the extremely talented people at The Puppet Workshop.

Our puppets (called The Ritas) are brightly coloured and blank-faced, we’ve also had large selection of eyes & noses build that can be attached and removed to The Ritas whenever we want.

Meaning we can create new and interesting puppet characters for every performance.

3. It is an improvised show!

Yup…every show will be improvised so no two shows will be the same. The Ritas were specifically created because The Mighty Little Puppet Show is completely improvised.

We wanted our puppets have the potential to be just as spontaneous as the scenes they will be in.

4. We have a NEW stellar line-up of Special Guest Stars!

We were fortunate to have some of Melbourne’s most respected, popular & experienced performers guest star with the Ritas for our Comedy Festival season.
This Fringe is no different, we have assembled a stellar line-up of stars from the Melbourne Comedy scene, who are ready to raise hell with our puppet crew.

Our guests include:

-Lliam Amor, Elly Squire, Ross Daniels, Damian Callinan, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lauren Bok.

5. We have NEW members to our amazing troupe of impro-puppeteers!

We are very excited to welcome three new cast members to this Fringe season.
We have:
-Hallie Goodman (an puppeteer & improviser from New York how has worked with The Improv Conspiracy).
-Amanda Knights (A regular performer with Impro Melbourne & First Draft Theatre).
-Danny Alder (An actor/improviser who was seen in Eastenders & was a regular performer with impro/comedy troupe The Crew).
They will be joining our senior Mighty Little troupe members who will be returning for Fringe duties: Scott McAteer, Caitlin Yolland, Petra Elliott & Rob Lloyd.

The Mighty Little Puppet Show is at The Butterfly Club from Monday Sept 19 to 25 – 10pm. No show Friday.

Tickets can be purchased at: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/the-mighty-littles

For more info: https://melbournefringe.com.au/program?event/the-mighty-little-puppet-show/9f769e57-2b1a-4c3c-963a-f039b1dfeba8