To help readers gauge what each review means (particularly the ★ to ★★★★★‘rating’), below are the key criteria that Hugging Comedians looks for:
- Humour – consistency and intensity of laughs;
- Technique – show structure, microphone technique and stage presence/awareness;
- Content/innovation – new or innovative material, dealt with in a considered manner; and,
- Does the show do what it says on the tin? – how accurately the promotional material reflects the show experience.
In addition to the above, additional elements will also be taken into consideration. These include those that are ‘nice to have’ and others that are ‘red flags’. These are tailored to my preference but are included for transparency.
Nice to have:
- The show’s theme is consistent;
- The show has a worthwhile message (regardless of comedy/humour content); and,
- Diction: clean, clear and confident delivery.
- Blaming an audience for a lack of laughs or the perceived failures of a show;
- Poorly planned/executed audience participation;
- Over-reliance on toilet humour or stories of inebriation (drugs/alcohol); and,
- Over-reliance on yelling or shock-based humour.
Stand-up comedy is subjective and a star rating shouldn’t stop you from seeing a show. That said, the above should provide additional context as to how Hugging Comedians will ‘rate’ each performance. The most important thing you can do is read the content of each review, this will tell you much more than what the stars will.
Hope you all have a great 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival!