These recommendations are split into three categories:
- The ‘must-see’. As the name suggests, these are shows that I would highly recommend. The use of the term ‘must-see’ applies here as these are shows I can’t wait to see and will be pre-booking tickets for.
- The acts with promise. These are the shows that promise good things. Throughout the last year I have seen or heard exciting things about these acts. Will they live up to expectations? I certainly hope so.
- Give it a go. These are the shows that I would recommend if you are not sure what kind of comedy you are in the mood for and need ideas.
Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night.
Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night has been one of my favourite MICF shows for a few years. Ali McGregor with gravitas and comedic skill, puts together a memorable evening of entertainment. The show has a cabaret feel with music, comedy and other acts combining to make an excellent night out.
Dave Thornton – Onwards & Upwards.
Dave Thornton is a talented observational comedian. He blends passion, sincerity and rage into clever and hilarious stand-up. Dave is an experienced and consistent performer who delivered cracking material at comedy nights throughout the last year so ‘Onwards & Upwards’ should be a corker!
DeAnne Smith – Post-Joke Era
My first international act for the list is the witty DeAnne Smith. I have only seen her perform live once (over five years ago) but her immediate charm and talent makes me eager to see her perform again.
Nick Cody – On Fire
Top bloke Nick Cody is in career best form. His 2016 MICF show ‘Come Get Some’ was a delight and his 2017 show ‘On Fire’ has the potential to be one of the funniest shows of the festival. In addition to the comedy, 'On Fire' also promises a great music playlist that will get the show going.
The acts with promise.
Aunty Donna – Big Boys
I continue to hear great things about Aunty Donna. I’ve only seen them perform once previously in a short set in which they drew solid laughs from relatable sketches. While this may be a bit of a ‘band-wagon’ inclusion, the hype behind these guys means I will have to check them out in the 2017 MICF.
Ben Knight – The Parent/Teacher Interview
Ben Knight is a charismatic guitar-playing redhead with loads of talent. His songs are as entertaining as they are amusing. Ben delivers his sets with a smiley demeanour that makes him even more likeable.
Danny McGinlay – Bulldogs Bannerman Live!
Largely known for his role as the Western Bulldogs Bannerman, Danny McGinlay is a talented comedian who is riding the wave of his team’s success. Danny’s relaxed onstage persona is particularly relatable and his audience interactions are cutting but kind. Worth checking out, particularly for AFL fans.
Laura Dunemann – Flannelette
While Laura Dunemann’s show carries the caveat “Warning: There will be quite a bit of talk about Frasier”, there is far more to Laura than one TV show…she will likely talk about other TV shows with unparalleled passion as well! Laura’s stand-up is engaging, possibly due to the softness of her style, which compliments the sharpness of her wit.
Give it a go.
Cindy Salmon’s Empowerment Hour
I saw Hayley Tantau perform ‘Cindy Salmon’s Empowerment Hour’ at the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival and really enjoyed it. While I typically stick to classic stand-up, if you’re a fan of character-driven comedy or just looking for something different then I’d recommend you check this out.
Mike Goldstein – Sassy
See Mike Goldstein’s ‘Sassy’ if you like no fuss hilarious stand-up. Mike has been consistently entertaining at comedy nights throughout the last year. He has enjoyed pushing some limits but has always brought it back around for a laugh. Worth taking the punt.
Tommy Little & Gossling – Heartbreak & Hilarity
‘Heartbreak & Hilarity’ appears to offer something different, with the observational comedy of Tommy Little paired with the ethereal musical stylings of Gossling. This has the potential to a beautiful show and one that I am eager to check out.
3 Course Comedy
If the poster for this show is anything to go by, ‘3 Course Comedy’ will feature some of the best up-and-coming Australian comedians including but not limited to Peter Jones, Kirsty Webeck, Jess Perkins and Sam Taunton (amongst many others).
This list is hardly exhaustive as there are many more shows to see. Nevertheless, hopefully it provides a bit of direction to those scratching their heads. If none of these acts appeal, check out the list of acts on the MICF 2017 website here – there’s plenty to see! Happy MICF’ing!
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.