Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award Winners for 2016

by Lisa Clark

It has been an amazing year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In a first for the Festival – The Winner of the Barry Award, Zoe Coombs-Marr, is also the Winner of the Golden Gibbo. So it’s a Barry Winner who is brave and independent and we couldn’t be happier for Zoe. Presented via Skype (also a first) by last year’s winner Sam Simmons, the award was for Zoe’s show Trigger Warning starring her gender bending alter ego called Dave. There was Big Buzz around all the Winners this year, with none being a huge surprise and all being lauded and promoted by word of mouth and on social media for weeks. All of the nominees were favourites with everyone and those of us who got out to see them are very happy about them all being held up for celebration. It’s also a rare year where all the winners are Australian, and rightly so. So congratulations to Everyone!!

If Anne Edmonds and Damien Power are a bit sad about missing out on a Barry, they can be cheered by their Directors Awards win as True Australian Patriots and know that their own shows were loved too. True Aussie Patriots – Live was some of the best political and social satire seen on an Australian stage performed by some our best comedians (2 of them having been nominated for Barrys – the other Greg, didn’t do a solo show this year to be nominated, but won the Golden Gibbo as part of Fancy Boys two years ago.) Rhys Nicholson, can take heart in the fact that his new wife Zoe won the Barry and that their big fat gay wedding at the Festival Club last night will go down in Festival history and Legend.

I think I saw co winners of The Directors Award, Zanzoop – Feeble Minds, before a lot of ‘official’ people managed to and have been singing it’s praises to everyone ever since. A truly insane, intelligent, incredible, late night chat show hosted by the wise cracking green alien Zanzoop (Sam Campbell) that surprises you by having sweetness at its heart, performed by some sincerely talented, charismatic people. It also contains Best Newcomer Tom Walker who shines in both Feeble Minds and his own gentle and delightful immersive clowning show Beep Boop.

The Pinder Prize (Named after the late John Pinder who was an original co-founder of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and opened some of the first comedy rooms in Melbourne in the 1970s – The Flying Trapese and The Last Laugh Theatre Restaurant) is a brand new award at the festival which sends recipient – Tom Ballard – to Edinburgh Fringe to perform as part of the Assembly Theatre Program.

Remember that there is still another day of Festival shows tomorrow and some shows cancelled due to illness will hopefully be rescheduled in Melbourne Soon.

Readers from other states:  You can look forward to seeing some of these shows or performers in your town soon.

Here are the Award Winners for 2016Zoe as Dave

BARRY AWARD

Winner: Zoe Coombs-Marr – Trigger Warning

Nominees:
Damien Power – Sell Mum into Slavery
Luisa Omielan (UK) – Am I Right Ladies?!
Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening
Anne Edmonds That’s Eddotainment
David O’Doherty (IRE) – We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty
Rhys Nicholson – Bone FideTom Walker

BEST NEWCOMER

Winner: Tom Walker – Beep Boop

Nominees:
Demi Lardner – Life Mechanic
Guy Montgomery (NZ) – Guy Montcomedy
Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Finally Dead

GOLDEN GIBBO AWARD (Independant & Creative show)

Winner: Zoe Coombs-Marr – Trigger WarningTom Ballard pic

Nominees:
Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood – Peter & Bambi Heaven – The Magic Inside
Luis Brown – Lessons With Luis
Tommy Dassallo – Little Golden Dassallo

THE PINDER PRIZE (including a trip to the Edinburgh Festival):

Winner: Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening

PIECE OF WOOD (Peer Voted – Comedian’s Choice):

Winner: Chris Wainhouse – The AntichrisTrue Australian Patriots

DIRECTOR’S CHOICE :

Winners: (Anne Edmonds, Damian Power and Greg Larsen) True Australian Patriots – Live

and

Winners: (Sam Campbell, Cam Campbell, Tom Walker and Aaron Chen) Zanzoop – Feeble Minds

Peoples choice: Carl Barron Drinking with a Fork

Funny Tonne (Audience Member seeing the most [over 100] shows): Jeremy McPherson

PREVIOUSLY WON MICF AWARDS Zanzoop pic

Deadly Funny National Champion – Jalen Sutcliffe

Class Clowns National Champion – Lauren Duong from the ACT

RAW Comedy Award (Including a trip to the Edinburgh Festival)- Danielle Walker from Victoria

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award Nominees

On Monday morning at the Spiegeltent the Nominees for the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were Announced with the aid of Guest Barry Humphries. You may have heard of him, The Barry Award is named after him.

Congratulations to all the phenomenal Nominees!

The Golden Gibbo 

Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood – Peter & Bambi Heaven – The Magic Inside

Luis Brown – Lessons With Luis

Tommy Dassallo – Little Golden Dassallo

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave Trigger Warning

Best Newcomer Barry Announcing the Barry's

Demi Lardner – Life Mechanic

Guy Montgomery (NZ) – Guy Montcomedy

Tom Walker – Beep Boop

Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Finally Dead

The Barry Award

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave Trigger Warning

Damien Power – Sell Mum into Slavery

Luisa Omielan (UK) – Am I Right Ladies?!

Tom Ballard – The World Keeps Happening

Anne Edmonds That’s Eddotainment

David O’Doherty (IRE) – We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty

Rhys Nicholson – Bone Fide

There are more Awards that will be announced next weekend.

Also RAW Comedy Award for 2016 was won by Danielle Walker from Victoria

 

Previously reviewed Melbourne Fringe shows

Melbourne Fringe Festival is Whizzing towards us at great speed. It starts on Wednesday 16th of September and we are looking forward to seeing lots of interesting and funny things.

We are also really looking forward to bringing lots of reviews for you.

Meanwhile there are some shows at this year’s Fringe that we’ve already reviewed and so to whet your whistle here are some shows we recommend. They were all pretty popular with us and you can read our reviews from the links below . Remember that the performers would (and should) have updated, strengthened and developed their performances since their first outing, which is, of course, what makes live Performance so wonderfulAlice-Fraser

 

Alice Fraser : Savage

“she is a household name in the making”

Squirrel Review:  https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8424

 

Anne Edmonds – You Know What I’m Like Melbourne Fringe Info
Anne Edmonds You Know What I'm Like!

“Honest and Hilarious Anne Edmonds brings big laughs from the moment she steps out on stage”

Squirrel Review: https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8446

Melbourne Fringe Info

 

Barry Morgan’s World of Organs

“This is a wonderful show that is suitable for the entire family”Barry Morgan

I hear Barry is bringing his organ into the 21st C with a laptop this year!

Squirrel Review:  https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1628

Melbourne Fringe Info

 

 

Geraldine Quinn – MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt

“Quinn is both powerful and vulnerable, scathing and sweet”Geraldine Quinn 2014

Squirrel Review:  https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6602

Melbourne Fringe Info

 

 

Jonestown – Guinea Pigs

“the performers are a joy to spend an hour with”

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8493 guinea pigs

Melbourne Fringe Info

 

 

Laura Davis – Ghost Machine

“It’s the funniest existential crisis you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching”

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8543

Melbourne Fringe Info Laura Davis

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards 2015

Well what an amazing Festival it’s been this year. So many shows were on offer (over 500) that it took longer for the Award Committee to get their Nominations ready for announcement. So many we could only touch the surface in our reviews. We try to cover a broad range with a focus on smaller local acts. We’ve all seen a lot of shows and every one of us has put in a lot of voluntary work. We do it for love. Because we are fans of comedy and we want to share our love.

Thanks to the Squirrel Team, to the Melbourne International Festival team for giving Melbourne one of the best Festivals in the world and to the performers who give their hearts and souls to entertain people and bring us joy in many varied and amazing ways.

Awards are difficult. If the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has taught us anything it’s that there are Many different ways to make us laugh; from improvised silent clowning to Musical Comedy supported by a symphony orchestra at Hamer Hall to a solo wordsmith in a spotlight with nothing but their words. How can you say one performer is better than another? Yet it feels good to celebrate excellence and give performers something to aim for.

Honestly any comedian who performed all of their shows and feels good about them and the majority of their audiences is a success. Bravo!

Just a note to let you know that The People’s Choice Award this year was not a vote, as such. It went to the comedian who sold the most tickets.

Our Warmest Congratulations to:

Barry Award (Best Comedy Performer) Winner: Sam Simmons – Spaghetti For BreakfastLaura Davis Ghost

Golden Gibbo Award (Independant & Creative show) Winner: Laura Davis – Ghost machine

Piece of Wood (Peer Voted – Comedian’s Choice): Anne Edmonds You Know What I’m Like!

Director’s Choice Award winner: Matt Okine  – The Other Guy

Peoples choice: Wil Anderson – Free Wil

Funny Tonne (Audience Member seeing the most [over 100] shows): Sarah Trevarthen

And previously announced:

Class Clowns (Teen competition) Winner:  Will Mckenna (14) from Eltham College (VIC)

RAW Comedy (Newcomer competition) Winner: Angus Gordon (QLD), Runner Up: Rohan Ganju (Vic) Special Mentions: Sam Taunton (Vic) & Jess Perkins (Vic)

Deadly Funny National Final Winner: Nina Kirby  (VIC)

The Deadly Mentorship Award Winner: Karen Edwards (QLD)

Melbourne Comedy Festival Launch

By Noel Kelso

I arrived at the Greek Centre ahead of time because I’m a Scientist and if you’re in Science and don’t come somewhere on the OCD spectrum, you’re in the wrong profession.Effie at the Greek

The new venue is spacious and modern and it’ll be interesting to see how shows perform there. The presentation itself was MC’ed by Effie who was interrupted almost immediately  by Puddles the Clown who sang a haunting tune and toyed with assembled throng before scarpering.

We were then entertained by Ongals from South Korea – a clowning troupe with a nice line in juvenile humour. They were followed by the serious people involved with MICF – Susan Provan, Mayor Robert Doyle and Minister for Creative Arts Martin Foley, all of whom thanked the contributors and attendees of the festival and talked-up the expanded nature this year. Martin Foley also managed to demonstrate that Politics is one of the oldest forms of comedy with a few amusing lines of his own.

To get us all through this there were drinks supplied and nibbles – including dolmades and fetta parcels.

As this will be my fifth and possibly last MICF, I have every intention of seeing as many of the 550 shows as my bank balance and stamina will allow.

Let the laughter begin!
The 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 25th March until 19th April. The full programme can be found at www.comedyfestival.com.au

Squirrel Comedy’s Recommended and Previously Reviewed Shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015

By Lisa Clark

Well the Squirrels are getting ruffled up and ready for autumn nut collecting. And comedy reviewing. There are soooo many shows on offer at the 2015 Melbourne International comedy Festival and it can be very difficult for us to see everything we want to see, let alone review everything we want to review. For those readers who are planning their Festival schedules and are in need of help, we have some good news: Squirrel Comedy has previously reviewed thirty of this year’s shows and we have laid out links to all those reviews below.

 

First Up here are some brilliant shows I previously saw & loved but Squirrel Comedy hasn’t reviewed.

I recommend you see:Claire Hooper School Camp

Claire Hooper’s School Camp

Claire takes us back to school days in a raw & truthful way where nostalgia takes some surprising and dark turns that make this show very special.

 

Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out.

Celia’s show about fortune telling and her international lifestyle was another of Celia’s crowd-pleasing corkers.
Celia Pac Let me Know

Barry Nominated last year as word got around it was selling out like hotcakes, so if you weren’t lucky enough to see this gorgeous show better book now.

 

Denise Scott – Mother Bare

Denise deservedly won the Barry Award last year for her droll and often riotous reflections on motherhood and other aspects of her comedic life.Denise Scott Mother Bare pic

She’s only doing four shows this year at the fan friendly time of 4.30 Sundays, so get your tickets early.

 

 

And now for shows that we have previously reviewed.

Particular highlights this year that I can also recommend include:

Are You Afraid of the Dark by Watson Watson Afraid of the Dark

Watson’s funny and occasionally genuinely scary show is not for those with a nervous disposition or heart condition but my goodness it is a monstrous load of fun. It can only fit smallish audiences into the space at the Old Melbourne Gaol so book early, I hear the first week is booking out fast. Not surprising as this show won Best Comedy at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and considering it is site specific it is one you will have to come to Melbourne to see.

 

Bart Freebairn Ultra Power LordBart Freebairn pic

Bart is a comedian at the top of his game just waiting to be discovered by the mainstream. I get the joyful shivers when I see a stand up comedian reach a point where they can host a room and own it keeping everyone rolling with laughter non stop. Bart is there and I hope everyone loves Ultra Power Lord as much as I did at Fringe last year.

 

Bucket’s List by Sarah Collins starring Justin Kennedybuckets list

Buckets List is a whimsical, beautiful and of course very funny tale with a star turn by the amazing Justin Kennedy (who we just don’t see enough of on the circuit any more – I miss him, but if this is the sort of work he’s producing then I’ll forgive his absence). Justin is blessed with the ability to make an audience laugh without saying a word and when I see independent theatre this good I think our major theatre companies should have a good hard look at themselves.

 

Damian Callinan – The Lost WW1 Diary of Private Paddy CallinanPaddy Callinan

A perfect show for this anniversary of ANZAC it’s another comedy character tour de force by Damian where truth and tall tales blur with loads of laughs and a streak of darkness. The true spirit of the ANZAC is thoroughly celebrated.

 

We can’t wait to discover new exciting comedy at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival  but meanwhile

Here’s the full list with links of those we reviewed earlier:

The 13–Storey Treehouse

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6692

Anthony Jeannot is Unaccept-a-bubble

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7985

Bart Freebairn: Ultra Power Lord

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7643

Clem Bastow – Escape From LA

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7956

Damian Callinan – The Lost WW1 Diary of Private Paddy Callinan

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6010

Dr Brown – Befrdfgth

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1244

Dylan Cole – The Moon in Me

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7760

Fancy Boy Variety Show

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6647

Faulty Towers – The Dining Experience

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1633

Geraldine Hickey – Listen Out For The Castanets

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7669

I Love Green Guide Letters Live

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5892

Justin Kennedy – Bucket’s List

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7723

Late Night Letters and Numbers

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3846

Lee Naimo – Finding Lee

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7970

Lisa-Skye’s Lovely Tea Party

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5880

The Little Dum Dum Club Live

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5938

Luke McGregor – I Worry That I Worry Too Much

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6045

Mark Butler – Grammar don’t matter on a first date

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7885

Political Asylum – Late Night Riot

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3785

Sam Rankin – Wake Up, Sheeple! (2.0)

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7639

The Sexy Detectives – Mono Logs

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7952

The Sound of Nazis

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7712

The Umbilical Brothers – KiDSHoW – Not Suitable for Children

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6870

Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7706

Stew Walker – A Hard Day’s Night of Beatles Parodies

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7920

Gary Portenza: Apologies in Advance

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7915

Set List

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6695

Watson – Who’s Afraid of the Dark

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=7786

World Record Show with Andy Matthews, Adam Knox and Dave Warneke

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5973

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave

https://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=6963