Shows previously seen at MICF 2020

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival begins on March 25 so it’s time to start planning!

Here is a list of shows in this year’s festival that we have already seen along with links to our thoughts about them. As usual we give the disclaimer that festival shows are ever evolving entities so they will certainly have changed since we sat in the audience.

Anna Nicholson : Get Happy

Here is Ron’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=13977

Get Happy is on at The Butterfly Club from March 25 to 29
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/anna-nicholson-get-happy

This Is Our Pilot by Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon

Here is Lisa’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14374

This Is Our Pilot is on at Trades Hall from March 26 to April 5
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/this-is-our-pilot

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Here is Ron’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2008: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1633

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is on at Stamford Plaza from March 31 to April 5
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/faulty-towers-the-dining-experience

Game Boys Cinematic Universe

Here is Lisa’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14338

Cinematic Universe is on at Trades Hall from March 28 to April 4
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/game-boys-cinematic-universe

Gillian English: You’re a Good Man, Dr Pirate

Here is Peter’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14346

You’re a Good Man, Dr Pirate is on at Coopers Inn from March 25 to April 19
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/you-re-a-good-man-dr-pirate

Melissa McGlensey : The Briefing

Here is Lisa’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14331

The Briefing is on at The Butterfly Club from April 7 to 19Sooth
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/the-briefing-with-melissa-mcglensey

Nick O’Connell, Billie Duncan & Josh Webb: T’Each Their Own

Here is Peter’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14379

T’Each Their Own is on at Crowded In The Vaults from March 25 to April 5
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/t-each-their-own-1

Scout Boxall : Good Egg

Here is Colin’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14366

Good Egg is on at The Malthouse from April 10 to 19
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/scout-boxall-good-egg

Southplayers: Completely Improvised Shakespeare

Here is Lisa’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2015: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9433

Completely Improvised Shakespeare is on at Trades Hall from April 6 to 19
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/completely-improvised-shakespeare

Stephen K Amos Talk Show

Here is Ron’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=14027

Stephen K Amos Talk Show is on at The Melbourne Town Hall on April 4
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2020/shows/stephen-k-amos-talk-show

The Briefing by Melissa McGlensey

By Lisa Clark 

Most American comedy TV shows are (unsurprisingly) doing satire about the Trump regime, some good, some painful. It is a surprise to find something that feels somewhat fresh, smart with a local angle to it, covering this territory in a more sophisticated way at Melbourne Fringe. Melissa McGlensey plays President Trump’s former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pretty straight. Not quite as bored and terse as the real thing but much more entertaining.

Melissa doesn’t just ape the Press Secretary and repeat variations of her actual words, she has made up some extreme versions of what might be happening in the White House, added Australian angles and thrown in a bit of impro and audience participation to boot. We the audience are playing the part of the “Ladies and Gentlemen of the press” and with my reviewer’s notepad and pen in hand, it wasn’t too hard to play my part. The impro doesn’t feel shoehorned in. It adds to the show and shows off Melissa’s skills. Though, in hindsight it can be a little hard to tell what is real and what is pre-planned and that is part of the magic of showbiz.

The Briefing isn’t simply about making fun of Sarah or Trump, it also pokes fun at dark parts of Australia’s own politics, garnering some gasps and shocked laughs from the audience. Most impressively the show refers to recent political events, for example the burning of the rainforests and even something that had happened the day before. It’s the sort of show that can change and adapt as the news of the world happens. Not every joke is going to land on opening night, but not only do the majority land, there are a lot of big fat guffaws to be enjoyed.

Props must go to Melissa’s director, the tech who made everything go pretty smoothly for a first show and particularly to her side kick an actor who plays her body guard Gumbo quietly and brilliantly. There were a lot of fantastic small details and surprises. It was all a lot of fun.

This is a brilliant example of political comedy. Much better than anything produced by SNL for example. It was particularly impressive considering it was a preview and the 1st time she’s performed it anywhere. There was a bit of a slip of the tongue in this show that proved to be priceless and had everyone falling about. I hope she keeps it in. Melissa also made a quip referring to the noisy hoons of Lygon St that were drowning her out at one part of the show, showing that she’s pretty tough and ready for whatever Fringe throws at her. I hope it throws great audiences and accolades, she deserves it.

Melissa McGlensey performs The Briefing at Universal Restaurant til Sept 24

https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/the-briefing/