These recommendations are split into three categories:
- The ‘must-see’: These are the shows I would highly recommend.
- The shows with promise: Either through word of mouth or catching snippets throughout the year, these are shows that promise good things.
- Give it a go: These are the shows where if you are not sure what kind of comedy you are in the mood for, they are worth taking a punt on.
Gillian Cosgriff – ‘So Far So Good’
Gillian Cosgriff blew us away in her spot at Ali McGregor’s 2017 MICF show. She has genuine musical talent with witty lyrics and a killer voice. If you are a fan of musical comedy, Gillian’s show ‘So Far So Good’ is a must-see.
Nick Cody – ‘Loose Unit’
Nick Cody is one of the best straightforward stand-up comedians in Australia. He has mass appeal with relatable writing and an affable disposition. Nick has a no-nonsense approach and provides an evening of guaranteed laughs. At a time when I thought Nick couldn’t be any more likeable, he went and welcomed an adorable new member to his family, called ‘Yumi’. Not sure what to see? See ‘Loose Unit’.
Doug Anthony Allstars
The Doug Anthony Allstars are legends and their show received great reviews in Edinburgh. With a limited run from 3 to 8 April, it would be a shame to miss the Doug Anthony Allstars ‘swansong’.
Matt Hofmann – ‘The Face of Comedy Project’
Matt Hofmann has created an original exhibition to be held at ACMI featuring the portraits of well-known and up-and-coming comedians. The images are brilliant and at times, surprisingly deep. I can’t wait to catch the exhibition in full.
Zoë Coombs Marr – ‘Bossy Bottom’
After catching Zoë Coombs Marr’s excellent reprisal of her award winning show ‘Trigger Warning’ in 2017, I am now fully aware that she has the ability to put on a show that is hilarious, unpredictable and poignant. Where ‘Bossy Bottom’ will go, I don’t know, but I am eagerly waiting to see it.
The shows with promise.
Alex Ward – ‘Good, Great’
Alex Ward has consistently performed entertaining comedy that highlights her intelligent writing. Her show ‘Good, Great’ promises to fill audiences with a touch of anxiety but also warmth and self-belief, which accurately reflects Alex’s comedic perspective and the insight her writing brings.
Alice Tovey – ‘Existential Crisis’
‘Existential Crisis’ is a cabaret by duo Alice Tovey and Ned Dixon that also features a live four-piece band. Alice has great notoriety for her skill as a performer and this show will hopefully highlight her full range of talent. For those looking for something with a ‘rock opera’ vibe, check out ‘Existential Crisis’.
James Veitch – ‘Game Face’
For anyone unfamiliar with James Veitch’s work, he is one of the best multi-media comedians going round. While I typically am not a proponent of prop-based comedy, James uses his with precision. ‘Game Face’ promises to be a night of ‘unashamedly nerdy comedy’ and will most certainly feature James’ well-paced storytelling and wit. Check out his YouTube channel for a glimpse of what he offers.
Peter Jones – ‘Up Here’
Peter Jones has performed consistently funny material throughout the year. ‘Up Here’ promises to be a polished show featuring classic observational comedy from an up-and-coming local comedian.
Sam Taunton – ‘It’s Nice, It’s Modern’
Sam Taunton is hitting his stride after being nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2017 MICF. He has an easy-going vibe but executes quality comedy with enthusiasm. Sam’s performance experiences across a variety of formats sets him up well to nail his 2018 MICF show ‘It’s Nice, It’s Modern’.
Give it a go.
Adam Knox – ‘This Show is Good and Funny, Attendance Appreciated’
The title and promotional image for this show accurately reflects the type of comedy that Adam Knox will likely deliver in his 2018 MICF show. Quite observant, witty and occasionally self-deprecating, Adam approaches his comedy in a likeable fashion. While occasionally a little cheeky, he is enjoyable to watch on stage and you will likely have fun with ‘This Show is Good and Funny, Attendance Appreciated’.
Alice Fraser – ‘ETHOS’
If you have never seen Alice Fraser perform live, it is worth seeing. Alice appears to develop a show with great care and a high level of craft. 'ETHOS' will likely again demonstrate her insight and skill at making an audience laugh and feel.
Blake Everett – ‘Unknown Comedian’
Blake Everett is a talented comedian and his 2017 MICF show demonstrated what he has to offer. Blakes’ 2018 show will feature his stand-up, sketch and musical comedy skills. If you’re looking for someone new, take a punt on the ‘Unknown Comedian’.
The Breast of The Fest
The Breast of The Fest features the talents of Katherine Allan, Rose Bishop, Claire Hagan, Monica Martinez, and Aurelia St Clair as well as a mystery guest each night. Each of the performers offers something different and this show is a great opportunity to support Melbourne’s female up-and-coming stand-up scene.
Demi Lardner – ‘I Love Skeleton’
Demi Lardner provides something unique to the comedy world. With a variety of accolades behind her, Demi is performing comedy that stands out from your standard mic-in-hand observational comedy. Want something memorable that you probably haven’t seen before? Check out ‘I Love Skeleton’.
There are many more quality shows to see than those listed above. If none of these appeal, get in touch on Facebook and Twitter – Hugging Comedians is always happy to help find the right show for you. For a full list of the 2018 MICF shows, check them out here or get your print guide, which is available now.
Happy 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival!
If you have a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show you want reviewed or you want to sit down for a chat/interview about your show, contact Hugging Comedians on Facebook, Twitter or through the website.