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MICF Menu: Thursday April 6

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is back and Beat Magazine is proud to present MICF Menu - your inside track to all the delectable treats of this year’s festival season. Hope you’ve left some room since last festival, because this year’s program serves up a veritable smorgasbord of shows. I’m Nick Mason and I’ll be previewing each day of the festival before it happens, from recommendations to one-off events and even special offers.

So, the bad news is that it’s not yet Friday. But as I recall, didn’t we all collectively decide some years ago that Thursday’s the new Friday? Let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of that now - the clock’s ticking and you’ve got to plan yourself an evening of comedy. First up, let’s consider the early shows on offer.

MICF ENTREES (Early Shows, until 7pm)

3 Little Gigs
 
Forget straw, sticks and bricks - 3 Little Gigs is a show made from jokes and good ones at that. It’s perfect for people who want to get the jump on the hottest new stand-up talents in Australia. You get three in the show - right now, you can catch the line-up of Nick O'Connell, Rhi Down and Bec Charlwood. From April 11, Lewis Garnham steps in to join O’Connell and Down. Whichever line-up you go in for, you get yourself three comedians for the price of one. Just a heads up, though: the early shows at The Imperial Hotel are always extremely popular, so if you want to check out 3 Little Gigs, you’d better be quick. It’s on tonight at 6:15pm.

Max Attwood - Unhappy Camper
 
I feel like most people would be happy to leave their school days in the rear view mirror. I know I am. Unfortunately for Max Attwood, when he’s not slaying on stage, he’s revisiting the highs and lows of yesteryear through his post as a primary school teacher. Join Max for an exploration of teenage angst and adult embarrassment as he wrestles with both the dreaded memories of school camp and the strange situation of having to attend it again some fifteen years later. The premise for this show has a ton of promise - it has a promising premise, if you will -  so why not check it out? You can catch Max performing Unhappy Camper at The Tuxedo Cat, 6pm (5pm Sundays).

MICF MAIN MEALS (Prime Time, 7pm-10pm)

Rose Matafeo - Sassy Best Friend
 
I took a chance on Sassy Best Friend last week, not knowing too much about Rose Matafeo, and it paid off in a major way. It’s a super-fun show, blending sketch and stand-up, with an excess of pop culture references to boot. I mean, as an example, I can safely say without spoiling the show that you’ll never hear Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me the same way ever again. As for Matafeo herself, I feel like Sassy Best Friend is such a fitting title. As a performer, she exudes great warmth and is one of those comics that is instantly endearing. It’s worth noting, too, that she scored a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. If not for an especially strong field, she just might have won it. See for yourself what I’m raving about - catch Sassy Best Friend at the Melbourne Town Hall, 8:30pm (7:30pm Sunday).

David O’Doherty - Big Time
 
I’ve been a big fan of David O’Doherty for a long time. It was wonderful to see not only his dedication to the festival, but his sheer talent finally recognised with a Barry Award nomination last year. Pleasingly, having seen Big Time, I can confirm he’s as hilarious as ever. His newly-sharpened stand-up shines this time around, but fear not: if you’re a fan of his retro Casio keyboard stylings, there’s still a little bit of that peppered throughout. You can’t really go wrong with a veteran of the festival, so be sure to catch O’Doherty at The Forum Theatre, 7:30pm (6:30pm Sunday).

MICF DESSERTS (Late Shows, 10pm onwards)

Snort - With Friends
 
Ah, the beauty of improv: it takes Snort a single word to whip up an entire world on the spot. They’re a big hit back in New Zealand and it’s easy to see why, with such an amazing rotating line-up. For starters, you might recognise Guy Montgomery and Eli Matthewson from the festival program this year and you’ll probably remember Rose Matafeo from a couple of paragraphs ago. The point is, Snort has formed its troupe from New Zealand TV, theatre and stand-up and looks like it could be an absolute blast. They’re strutting their stuff tonight, 6pm at Victoria Hotel, with times and locations varying as their season rolls on.

Fringe Wives Club Glittery Clittery: A ConSENSUAL Party
 
Tessa Waters, Rowena Hutson and Victoria Falconer-Pritchard present a show for those who aren’t ready to go home and want something unapologetically in-your-face and risqué. Essentially, feminism and comedy converge in a late-night, physical-comedy-cabaret party extravaganza. You can bet it’s going to be a wild ride. Get yourself to the Greek Centre, 10pm tonight to lay into the patriarchy.

 
MICF SPECIALS (One-Offs and Discounts)
 
Tonight at The Festival Club, the ABC are back to record yet another special to be broadcast later this year. You’re in for an awesome time, courtesy of MC Sam Taunton, Angus Gordon, Liza Treyger (USA), Jinx Yeo (SG), Greg Fleet, Loyiso Gola (STH AFRICA), Dilruk Jayasinha, Emma Sidi (UK), Jak Knight (USA) and Cam Knight. Doors at 11:15pm.