Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards

This year instead of being presented in the middle of the night at the Festival Club as is traditional, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were instead presented at 1pm in the afternoon at Belleville. It was more relaxed and civilised with drinks and nibblies (and better lighting for photos) and it was great knowing that everyone in the room was involved and invested in the results, but sort of sad that it was restricted to invite only. I was very lucky to be invited, but other fans on the rim of the festival, but just as invested would have been sad (as I was when this happened once in the past) to not be a part of that middle of the night wild excitement and joy when a favourite, or someone you’ve discovered wins an award.

I can’t deny that there was some surprise as well as delight for Sam Campbell’s win. Although he has been performing in Sydney for a while and getting some TV work (you may have seen him on The Checkout), he’s still pretty much under the radar of the general public. We fell in love with his work when we saw Zanzoop! early in it’s run in 2016 and spent the rest of the Festival telling anyone who would listen that they should go and see the strange talk show hosted by a wise cracking alien in a back alley nightclub. This year we loved both shows he was involved with; his own, The Trough and Anne Edmond’s Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinnaker Lounge where he played Helen’s long suffering, very awkward son Connor.

2018 AWARD WINNERS

Hannah Gadsby Presenting The Barry Award from New York

Barry Award, for the best show: Sam Campbell The Trough  

Nominees for The Barry Award:
Alex Edelman (USA)- Just for Us 
Anne Edmonds – as Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinaker Lounge
Tim Key (UK) – Megadate
Lano & Woodley (Colin Lane and Frank Woodley) – Fly!
Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Horndog!
Celia Pacquola – All Talk
Natalie Palamides (USA) – Laid

 

The Best Newcomer: Danielle Walker Bush Rat 

Danielle Walker

This award was presented by Sarah Dodds of Soho Theatre who will be bringing Danielle to London to make her Debut at The Soho Theatre.

Nominees for The Best Newcomer Award:
Paul Williams(NZ) – Summertime Love
Stephanie Tisdell – Identity Steft
Garry Starr – Performs Everything
Lewis Garnham – The Smartest Idiot You’ll Ever Meet
Nadia Collins – Virgin Bloody Mary

 

The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): 

Cam Venn


Cam Venn for 
Charles Horse Lays An Egg
The prize is a Bottle of Red Wine and was presented by Lynda Gibson’s Niece Emma Maye Gibson, also known as Betty Grumble

Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott  – Almost Lesbians
Garry Starr  – Performs Everything 
Julia Rorke & Elysia Hall – Not Another F***** B**** In India
Michelle Brasier & Laura Frew
(Double Denim) – Double Denim Adventure Show]

Lano & Woodley

People’s Choice Award:
Lano & Woodley – Fly!

This award signifies that Fly! sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.

 

The Directors’ Choice Award:
Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew for Double Denim Adventure Show

 

 

The Pinder Prize: Demi Lardner – I Love Skeleton 
This Award funds her trip to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival.

 

 

Heath Franklin

Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians):
Heath Franklin – Bogan Jesus 

 

Funny Tonne Winner: Alasdair Bryant (76 Shows)

Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Leon Filewood (QLD)

RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Bec Melrose (NSW)  
Bec has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?.
RAW Runners-Up: Gavin Sempel (VIC), Emma Holland (ACT)

Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Liam Adam, Carlin Carruth & Kyle Bennett (QLD) as ‘Awkward’!
Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Dusty Diddle (VIC),
Nina Cowley-Mousinho (QLD)
Shiloh Rea (QLD)
Nicholas Doring (NSW)

Michelle Brasier’s Space Tortoise

By Phoebe O’BrienSpace Tortoise

Michelle Brasier from comedy troupe Backwards Anorak (Winter is Coming) is adorably awkward in her Melbourne International Comedy Festival solo debut show Space Tortoise. Brasier has teamed up with Shannon Whitelock (Oprahfication, Never Date A Songwriter) who offers up some sweet keyboard magic.

Space Tortoise has the perfect blend of music and comedic moments. The narrative centres around Brasier’s character Eric, a tortoise who although works in retail, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Armed with a wind machine, pink sparkly shorts and one heck of a voice, Brasier brings a strong wit and raw emotion to her performance. Some banter with ‘tech guy’ Dan and an introduction from an audience member brings the first few giggles of the show.

Often telling herself to ‘sing about it’, Brasier has packed the show with powerful performances including hits from Céline Dion, Prince and Adele. The musical moments build upon the narrative creating an enjoyable ride throughout. Not one to leave out the audience, Brasier finds interesting ways to connect with them. A game of ‘beer pong’ and a sing-a-long of the theme song from Dawson’s Creek, lends a hand in shaping a togetherness within the crowd.

Brasier’s quirky style brings a warm energy that could lift even the dullest of days. If you’re a musical comedy fan or a sequins enthusiast, this show is one for you.

Catch Michelle Brasier’s Space Tortoise on at the Melbourne Town Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2016/season/shows/space-tortoise-michelle-brasier

5 Good Reasons to see Michelle Brasier Space Tortoise

1. The band Foreigner
2. Disco
3. To touch the hair
4. For the beer pong 3 quarters of the way through
5. For the cuddles.
Michelle Brasier is performing Space Tortoise at The Melbourne Town Hall

Here’s Lucy! Camp as Hell by Backwards Anorak

By Colin Flaherty

Lucifer (Lucy to his “friends” and played by Vince Milesi) is relaunching Hell much like you would with a nightclub. His new intern (Michelle Brasier) is smitten with Lucy but he has his eyes on Jesus (played by real life brother Leo Milesi in a creepy twist). This love triangle in the eternal inferno was played out wonderfully through numerous songs and lots of cheeky innuendo.

Vince Milesi played the title role beautifully with the all charm of a Vegas performer and threw in an appropriate cruel streak with some blatent intimidation and humiliation. As Lucy tried to get us excited about the forthcoming evil decadence, this clearly bipolar character would suddenly be in a violent rage at the slightest error or mishap. Brasier’s portrayal of Intern the Intern was spot on. This timid naïve creature tiptoed around her boss but found a strong voice through song.

There were plenty of laughs to be had with all the off-colour lines and wicked innuendo. Some gentle witty jabs were thrown the way of Christianity but nothing too offensive. The fun plot weaved through some ridiculous and slightly disturbing scenarios and the characters would regularly bump and grind with anything that wasn’t nailed down for a bit giggling at audience discomfort. Be prepared for plenty of comical simulated sex acts.

The musical component was wonderful and propelled the story along with plenty of colour and movement in the form of some dance moves. With either keyboard accompaniment or a backing track, the cast belted out a number of current popular songs and a few that appeared to be originals. They all were great singers and there was a nice touch with the Mike Whitney character given a deliberately shonky singing voice (he may have sold his soul to become a star, but Satan wasn’t a miracle worker).

The ending of the show was quite abrupt with the audience expecting some sort of clear resolution to the story but it was not to be. The houselights went up and we were a little confused about how things would pan out between the main characters. Either I missed something important in the lyrics of the final song or we were taught the lesson that you rarely get exactly what you want in Hell. Despite the vague conclusion this was a fun piece of raunchy musical comedy that will delight.

Here’s Lucy! Camp as Hell is on at Upstairs at Errol’s at 9:15pm until October 4
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/here-s-lucy-camp-as-hell/