Recommended and Previously Reviewed shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Here Comes Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019! There are more shows than EVER before and we Squirrels are here to help.

We have a list of all the shows we’ve previously reviewed and also a few that we’re excited about or keen to recommend.

The Aspie Hour had a short run at 2018 The Melbourne Writers Festival. It was a fabulous musical comedy in two parts by two brilliantly talented performers who apparently are both on a spectrum. It’s top notch comedy cabaret for those who love Broadway with laughs.

The Fringe Wives Club has welcomed new members and has grown from 3 to 5 performers. Last year we all rushed out to see Glittery Clittery and adored the crowdpleasing feminist cabaret, but we didn’t manage a review, sorry but the simple review is: We all LOVED it. This year we’ll be rushing to see their new show Glittergrass and make sure we review it.

Tom Ballard is being very busy after having his ABC show Tonightly cancelled. He’s jumped into the festival with gusto. As well as his own show, Enough, which is having a full season run, Tom will be hosting one of the political Tuesday nights at the Festival Club and most intriguingly he’s written a satirical political play called KWANDA. It’s about a Monday night political panel show but it’s not about QandA at all. No. Of course not.

Demi Lardner and Tom Walker both have solo shows again this year, but they have also teamed up to perform We Mustn’t and it’s bound to be weird, wonderful and hilarious.

Don’t forget to check out the alternate guide to the Festival:
The Safety House Guide.
Says creator and stand up comedian Lisa-Skye:
The Safety House Guide is a free magazine featuring nearly 100 of the best acts of the fest. Safe, but never tame, it’s not about censorship, it’s about empowering audiences to make the right decisions about the shows for them. It gives more info about stuff like content, access and the level of audience participation. It also has fun stuff like letters from comedians to their potential audience, info on workshops and quizzes. Grab your free copy around town, or at the launch!

Sam Simmons is a late entry to MICF with his new show 26 Things You’ve Been Doing Wrong with Sam Simmons suddenly be added to the Festival program.

On the down side some performers have already cancelled….But NOT……Tom Cashman XYZ, we read that he had but he has NOT cancelled. Go see him!

Shows that have been Cancelled:

Ronny Chieng has had to bow out due to being cast in a sitcom in pilot season in the US. We wish him all the success, but worry he may be too successful to perform here again… He has rescheduled his Australian shows for July.

Benny Darsow Ad Lib

Charlie Pickering Us & Them

The Elvis Dead by Rob Kemp,

Let’s Get Wild

One Man Breaking Bad by Miles Allen

Thomas McMahon and Nick Quon Total Business Solution

Blanc (That weird fashion circussy thing at Chadstone)

And NOW, Finally…..

Previously Reviewed shows – and links to our reviews:

Annie Louey – Before I Forget

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Barnie Juancan – Tap Head

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Bunk Puppets – Stark and Dormy

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Clare Cavanagh – Literally

Melbourne Fringe:

Chloe Black – Transistor Sister

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Felicity Ward – Busting a Nut

Edinburgh Fringe 2018:

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Edinburgh Fringe 2008:

The Breast of The Fest

MICF 2018:

The Dizzy Biz – The 2007 Wonthaggi Blue Light Disco

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Wool! A History of Australia’s Wool Industry: The Musical by Kit Richards

Melbourne Fringe 2018:

Annie Louey: Before I Forget

By Lisa Clark

Annie Louey is annoyed at her forgetful nature, not worried enough to seek medical help but intrigued enough to create a festival show exploring memory and forgetfulness.

There’s not a lot of scientific research behind Before I Forget. Louey’s research tends to be of the Family Feud kind – asking friends and audiences about their experiences and that means; yes, us. About 10 minutes into the show Annie drags some audience members on stage and gets them to draw things from memory. I thought, gosh this is a bit early, we haven’t even really gotten to know Annie very well enough to know whether she’s trustworthy! It’s a bit of a risk on both sides, but it turns out that the vast majority of the show revolves around some genial audience participation and luckily Annie is friendly and kind to participants. She is not highly skilled at the witty banter, and doesn’t have a lot of prepared jokes, so it’s just friendly chit chat. I always think in audience participation heavy festival shows: ‘what will the performer do on the quiet night when there are only 4 people in the audience? They will have a lot of work to do!’ Hopefully Annie won’t have to find this out.

The games include; an Australian icon Pictionary (that includes drawing Annie, which doesn’t require memory because she’s right there on stage), Lost at Bingo (that strays from the memory loss theme somewhat and doesn’t seem to have a reason other than listing silly places you can lose your virginity) and, inevitably, a sort of mini Family Feud that goes on a bit too long. In between she has some amusing stories to tell about herself and people she knows. Annie is an engaging, relaxed and pleasant host with a talent for putting audience members at ease.

Towards the end Annie brings out some delightful photos from her dad’s early life and here I think should have been the heart of the show. If she works more around these and puts more into her show about the worth and beauty of memories and how we keep and store our memories and how this has changed recently, it may become a stronger show. She touches on these ideas, but I think there is a lot more humour and depth to be mined here.

It is a small space, so chances are you will be part of the show. If that’s not your bag, sit in an inaccessible spot up the back and near the wall. Before I Forget is not slick, deep or side splitting, but it’s a pleasant way to spend an hour with some nice laughs along the way.

Before I Forget is on at Lithuanian Club – Son of Loft & Arts House – Warehouse until September 29