Nicolette Minster’s Net Worth

By Lisa Clark

Most people have been curious enough to Google themselves at some point. You may find out something interesting, a giggle or a story to tell at parties. But when you are a creative person, in lock down with post partem depression, you may take things just a little too far, like Nicolette Minster did. And again, when you are a creative person, you may write a festival show about it.

Nicolette has a fairly interesting story to tell and begins by explaining that she was a child actor who worked with Meryl Streep. Frankly, I wanted to hear more about that, and how she ended up marrying another former child actor and then decided at some point to do standup. But that fascinating titbit was merely to lay the foundation of why she was intrigued to discover another person online who shares her name and seems to be more successful and interesting.

The main tale is about her obsession with wealthier Nicolette, who may or may not be a real person living in America and the lengths she will go to, to find out about her, which mostly involves a bit of poking about online until she crosses the line somewhat. Nicolette admits, with a grin, to enjoying having a secret little world to disappear into away from her mundane suburban life, that her husband doesn’t know about.

I enjoyed spending an hour with Nicolette, she is bright, cheerful and personable, but Net Worth feels a little more like a lecture with laughs, rather than standup comedy. We learn a bit about her IVF experiences, a tiny bit about maths and possibly a bit too much about prolapses, but Nicolette doesn’t go into depths about a person’s worth, or explore the humour in the appropriateness of thinking of people in terms of monetary worth etc.

Nicolette is certainly an engaging story teller and these would be great stories after a few wines at a dinner party but she doesn’t exact any belly laughs from me. I did laugh sporadically and there were quite a few women in their 30s and 40s having a great time giggling loudly throughout this show.  There is a show for everyone at MICF and if you are a Gen Y, middle class, suburban straight woman looking for something cheeky and non confrontational at the Festival, grab your friends and head on over.

Nicolette Minster’s Net Worth is on at the Town Hall Portico Room.

Laura Davis – Well Don’t Just Stand There Dancing

By Bren Carruthers

We’ve all been thrown about during this pandemic era, and perhaps few more than Laura Davis. The Perth export has been bobbing around the globe like a cork in the ocean these past few years, with the usual festival schedule graciously bringing her back to our shores for Well Don’t Just Stand There Dancing.

Much like in Davis’ hit show from last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the pandemic influence is apparent, shaping some of the undercurrent of themes. But Davis’ signature strength is her ability to draw from seemingly innocuous topics – in this case, anything from Jurassic Park to revolution – and constellate a story far greater than the sum of its parts.

Davis mentions in an aside during the show that she never wanted to be a comedian; she wanted to be a poet. Her ability to weave dexterously from theme to theme, deftly using her sharp mind and anarchic energy to pull the threads of her work into position is a kind of poetry in itself, with its own meter and rhythm, something incomparably uniquely and distinctly Davis.

As a fiercely independent artist, Laura Davis is one of Australia’s most underappreciated (by those unfamiliar with her work) and fascinating comedians, and Dancing sees her at the top of her game. Word is already getting around and her shows will start to sell out. Book now, before the AFP shuts her down.

Laura Davis – Well Don’t Just Stand There Dancing is on at Campari House until April 23


By Jess Welch

If you’ve ever had a lively, but light-hearted debate with a friend over drinks, then I think Guy Williams’s show Comedy Plus Time Equals Tragedy might be for you. He is passionately indignant at the state of the world and he’s not afraid to tell you about it. From racism, politics, comedy controversy and cancellation, Williams touches on everything that could be considered contentious. If you get easily offended, this show isn’t for you. There are jokes in this show that will offend. And they should. But that is exactly Williams’s intention. He has points to make and he makes them incredibly well.

Making his MICF debut, he is one of New Zealand’s latest cohorts of comedy exports. Williams is a prime example of how talented the kiwi contingent can be. Already well established across the Tasman Sea – coincidentally ensuring his crowd was at least 80% expats – he has appeared on a slew of major NZ television (Jono and Ben, The X Factor, Taskmaster NZ). In addition to all that, he hosts the satirical news show, New Zealand Today. It comes as no surprise then that his live show is full to the brim with all the latest catastrophes and controversies. But Williams does his best to laugh at the absurdity, rather than wallow in it. This show won’t distract the audience from the horrors of the world, but it is cathartic. Bring along your own indignation and laugh along as he unpacks and unpicks the most pressing issues of today. He’ll scream at the world for you.

Unfortunately, the show I attended had a rather unfortunate heckler, who despite wearing a New Zealand Today t-shirt and clearly being a fan, seemed determined to interrupt at least every ten minutes. The first few times it led to some good humoured banter. However, the last interruption entirely ruined the last punchline, which had been set up over half an hour beforehand. Though clearly not Williams’s fault, it soured the overall experience of the show. Regardless, the show was well written and had the last joke not been wrecked, it would’ve been a delightful payoff.

If you want to spend an hour laughing out your worries and frustrations, I can’t think of a much better way to do it.

GUY WILLIAMS – Comedy Plus Time Equals Tragedy is on at THE WESTIN TWO.

Chris Parker – Lots of Love

By Jess Welch

If you’ve never heard of Chris Parker, I implore you to fix this oversight as soon as you can. A multi-award winning comedy star in New Zealand/Aotearoa, he is a non-stop whirlwind with tales of both the bizarre and the relatable. ‘High energy’ doesn’t do him justice. It’s exhausting, but so much fun to watch. From the moment he leaps onto the stage, the audience is in for a wild ride and it is worth every single second
Equal parts ‘every-millennial-at-a-crossroads’ and ‘this-could-only-happen-to-him’, the laughs come thick and fast and without feeling shoehorned into a theme. His hopes and worries are painfully familiar for the largely millennial audience, but are universal enough that every single person in the room is swept along, laughing to the point of smothering snorts and clutching their stomachs. With only the barest hint of existential dread to keep everything in perspective, it’s ultimately a feel-good hour of fun that will leave you giggling and maybe with a renewed sense of hope for the future.

Parker’s seemingly natural ability to tell stories is, at times, literally breathtaking. He effortlessly paints vivid images that can’t help but leave you gasping. His skydiving story is absurdly brilliant and the perfect way to end the show on a high note. It’s a story you wish you could tell your co-workers the next day, but could never do justice. I recommend bringing all your co-workers and friends along. Trust me, it’ll save time.

The night I went, the vast majority of the crowd were from New Zealand, where Parker has graced the screen on their versions of Taskmaster and Have You Been Paying Attention? amongst many other things. While it’s understandable, hopefully his reach grows far beyond his homeland as the festival continues. From the wild clapping and cheering at the end of the show, I’m surprised it didn’t shake the whole Westin hotel and cause noise complaints from the occupants.

There’s no doubt Parker has what it takes to be the next big name here in Australia too. And judging by the packed room on night two, if looks like if you don’t book soon, you might miss your chance.


Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam)

By Colin Flaherty

It has been a rough couple of years for everyone, we all deserve a break and Elyce Phillips is here to help. Sit back and relax as we all experience the  delights of the “luxury resort” Poseidon Sands from the comfort of a Butterfly Club seat. On this surprisingly wild adventure we learn more than we bargained for on topics such as marine life, the shonky and just plain creepy people in this world, and Elyce herself.

This is a brilliantly chaotic experience with silly props, unexpected characters, silly (Covid safe) audience interactions and wild plot twists. There was a sense of comedic desperation to the performance that belied the fact that Elyce was in complete control, creating superb characters and owning the room.

Most characters we encounter are variations of needy individuals on the brink of a breakdown but Elyce gives them plenty of warmth and depth. Through clowning, dodgy puppetry, animated characters and silly costuming she plays each role loud and large, addressing the audience in a hilariously forced self-effacing manner. We see that she certainly is a performer unafraid to look the fool while getting good and messy.

The small sized onstage screen is regularly very text heavy with blurbs selling the resort to potential guests but thankfully a voiceover introducing each segment helps if you are up the back. The slides benefit speed readers so if you can read quickly enough you will catch some truly bizarre & hilarious descriptions to tickle your funny bone.

There is an amusing companion website ( ) for this “resort” where you can not only buy tickets (to the show), but can leave reviews of your “visit” (guest roleplay is most welcome alongside any genuine feedback).

The show title betrays what comedic treasures lie beneath the surface. What starts as a silly bit of theatre has plenty of clever, shrewd and biting societal satire waiting to pounce. So pull up a virtual deckchair and laugh yourself stupid in this whacky “paradise”.

Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam) is on at The Butterfly Club until April 7

Gabbi Bolt – Odd Sock

By Lisa Clark

Last year as we came bleary eyed back to MICF from covid lockdowns there was one new name rising above the others, everyone was talking about Gabbi Bolt. It was her debut and she was wowing the building crowds. Odd Sock is Gabbi’s 2nd album of sorts and if you couldn’t get in to see her last year Gabbi’s back to show us what all the fuss was about.

The exuberant opening song “I got Nothin’” is very funny and fills the room with energy and expectation. Her lyrics are dense and packed with jokes so quick you might miss them if you’re not paying attention. She warns us that, like Seinfeld this is a show about nothing, and in some ways it is; it has no grand overriding theme or sprawling story to tell but through her songs we learn a lot about Gabbi, where her mind is at, how she sees the world and her politics.

Gabbi writes silly songs, and autobiographical songs, but her best stuff pokes hard at power. Gabbi is very politically astute, which is not surprising, as she originally came to the attention of the public through her political songs on Tic Toc during lockdown, when she went a bit viral. She has been embraced by the Australian comedy scene but in particular by the political comedy scene as a regular contributor to A Rational Fear live recordings in Sydney, she’ll of course be appearing on their MICF one off special too.

For added interest, there is an audio-visual element to the show, pictures and videos pop up on a screen, and it has its good points and bad. The screen is a bit small for people up the back, and can sometimes distract from the song, (who’s listening to her dense lyrics when there is a cute doggie on the screen looking at us?) and do I want to look at feet? No. But you might come specifically for the feet pics and if so, good luck to you. The positive side is that it breaks things up, creates a running gag for Gabbi and helps to prompt the audience in what she is joking about, though one portrait did not help me identify an obscure politician she references, maybe it was a NSW thing, there were a couple of laughs from more politically savvy audience members for that.

The opening song has a real Tim Minchin vibe and her closer “Love Song fo an Incel (I’d get on with Your Mum)” is reminiscent of Geraldine Quinn at her best, they were the night’s highlights, along with her stinging eye opener about Police Training. The song about her movie star crushes teach us that Andrew Garfield has made a LOT of shitful films, and Spiderman.

She’s certainly the best new musical comedian I’ve discovered since Jude Perl. Like her peers Gabbi is blessed with all the requirements of a top musical comedian, she can sing, she can play, she can write great toe-tapping tunes and most of all, she’s funny. In such a short time she’s come a long way, there’s still some way to go yet and I look forward to watching her grow and reach the heights she deserves. Look out world.

Gabbi Bolt performs Odd Sock at The Butterfly Club at 7pm every night!