by Lisa Clark
Welcome to Comedy in 2022. Lots of venues are open and buzzing as comedians all over Australia are getting their shows together, and begin to perform them in Festivals such as Adelaide and Canberra. Here in Melbourne it all still feels a bit weird and little scary, but those getting out there are so happy to feel some sort of shared normalcy. It’s a later than usual Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, which fits in with the later Easter and, well, you know, hopes that infections will go down.
We won’t be able to do as many reviews as we usually do, we will do some reviewing and also promoting shows with our “5 Good Reasons to See….” and so forth. We will also be keeping on top of what’s happening via social media.
As always, there’s something for everyone; from straight standup to sketch, impro, magic, mime, circus, quizzes, cabaret and the totally bonkers weird shit. There’s people off the telly and people off the radio and people who are so hilarious you wonder why they are not.
Ronny Chieng who left us to work on The Daily Show and Hollywood blockbusters is back on his The Hope You Get Rich Tour but get in quick before his short run sells out. Sammy J, now busy breakfast Radio DJ and ABC political satirist, is managing three shows of Symphony in J Minor that will also go quickly. It’s exciting to see Carl Barron make a rare appearance as part of the festival as well as Laura Davis returning from London to perform If This Is It and Judith Lucy and Denise Scott are Still Here.
I recently saw Oliver Hunter working on his show On a Roll, he is a fantastic up and comer who like most up and comers has actually been doing comedy for 6 years. Kit Richards, an amazingly talented up and comer, will be burning some bridges, no doubt, in the sarcastically titled The Nicest Guy in Comedyand. Ben Russell & Maggie Looke will be doing comedy walking tours (Ultimate Hollywood Tours – It’s a Moosehead show!). Rob Hunter is doing a Late O’Çlock 10 year anniversary show that should be as wild and silly as we have come to expect. Some comedians are doing second shows; Guy Montgomery is doing Friday night Spelling Bees, Anna Piper-Scott will be creating an improvised show on the spot for three nights in Is This Anything? and Josh Earl is doing his final live Don’t You know Who I Am? Podcast recordings, which will go out with a bang, including the 300th special edition show.
It wouldn’t be a MICF without Faulty Towers The Dining Experience. We’ve reviewed it many times – hard to resist the lure of a free meal for a poor hungry reviewer – but actually everyone I know who’s seen it had a fabulous time!
After last year, proving we don’t actually need them, it’s quite lovely to see our dear overseas family return (well some of them have married Australians) Ross Noble, David O’Doherty, Carl Donnelly, Arj Barker and Stephen K Amos. We can only Hope that Fern Brady and Flo and Joan become firm regulars too.
Do our New Zealand regulars even count as overseas, how are Guy Montgomery and Urzila Carlson not living here?
Most performers have somehow worked up Fresh shows for 2022 and a few are offering shows again, with a refresh and a chance for you to catch up if you missed it the first time.
Here are some shows we reviewed earlier:
Big Big Big: Catching Jack
By Lisa Clark
Breast of the Fest x2
By Jess Welch
By Hooi Khaw
Diana Nguyen : Chasing Keanu Reeves (an Encore)
By Nick Bugeja
Emo Majok: Black Santa (Returns)
By Nick Bugeja
Faulty Towers The Dining Experience
By Ron Bingham