Given we’ve arrived at the pointy end of the festival season and everybody’s going to be scrambling to see as much as possible, it’s probably best to book tickets ahead of time. The following shows have been selling out, too, so you’ll really need to act fast.
MICF ENTREES (Early Shows, until 7pm)
What do you get when you put songs, costumes, video wizardry, bad stage magic, confessional stand up and outright lies in a blender? Hint: it’s not a smoothie, but it’s equally as delicious. Behold: the Greek Centre is hosting Eddie Sharp’s bold comedy festival show Big Time Magic. You’d probably know Eddie already from the ABC TV series The Mix or Eroric Fan Fiction. (note: he’s actually the host and creator of Erotic Fan Fiction, not the “subject of”) Get yourself to the Greek Centre Thurs-Sat 6:15pm and Sun 5:15pm.
If you have not yet seen the engaging and politically-edgy Shiralee Wood in action, now’s the time on get on board. Developed with Meshel Laurie, Nazeem Hussain, Brad Oakes and Dom Romeo, you can bet Rock The Boat is good for more than a few laughs. Wood’s stand-up career exploded when she won Deadly Funny in 2009 and she hasn’t looked back, becoming Australia’s number one female indigenous comedian. See what everybody is raving about – head over to the Victoria Hotel Thu-Sat 6pm and Sun 5pm.
MICF MAIN MEALS (Prime Time, 7pm-10pm)
Just a quick scan of James Acaster’s comedy résumé is enough to be impressed. The UK comic is a four-time Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, charming the pants off the festival in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Basically, Acaster is at the top of his game and has been for a long time. His comedy festival run only began this week and, sadly, it’s ending very soon. Find out for yourself why Acaster has been embraced with open arms by the Melbourne Public. Head to the Town Hall Thur-Sat 9.45pm and Sun 8.45pm.
Imagine Borat as a Carribean DJ and you’ve gone some way to capturing the essence of Calypso Nights. Got it? Good. Now that you’ve digested arguably the best pitch of any show this festival, consider the fact that Juan Vesuvias – the mastermind behind this part music lesson, part dance party extravaganza – is also an acclaimed performer, having won The Skinny Genius Award at 2014’s Edinburgh Fringe. He also scored a nomination for Best Newcomer at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. That all sounds pretty awesome, right? Catch the antics of this award-winning Venezuelan DJ superstar while you can. The Caribbean madness kicks off at Roxanne, Thur-Sat 9:45pm and Sun 8:45pm.
Best of the Edinburgh Fest invites you to sample three of the hottest emerging talents handpicked form the UK comedy scene. The show is a staple of the festival season and it’s always curated brilliantly. This year is no exception, the line-up featuring a magnificently funny trio in Justin Moorhouse (UK), John Hastings (CAN) and Danny O’Brien (IRL). Say you were there before they were cool and annoyingly mainstream – head over to the Forum Theatre, Tue-Sat 9pm and Sun 8pm.
MICF DESSERTS (Late Shows, 10pm onwards)
We’re at the pointy end of the festival season and if you still have no idea who to see (and you won’t take our recommendations for whatever crazy reason) then the Bull and Bear Comedy Showcase might be your best bet. It’s a late night variety line-up of comedians that changes every night. Basically, the good people running the gig have looked so you don’t have to. This showcase is one of the best ways to sample the sorts of things the festival has to offer. Get down to the The Bull and Bear Tavern for a pick-and-mix of particularly funny performers, Thurs-Sun 10:30pm.
Ever seen the ABC TV series Agony Uncles or Agony Aunts? This show is kind of like that, as Hayley Brennan hosts an all-star cast of guest comedians happy to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Date Night promises to put the crushes, first loves and first kisses of the festival’s finest acts under the microscope for general amusement. Head on over to the Downstairs Lounge at the Grand Mercure Hotel and enjoy some of your favourites completely out of their comfort zone, Thu-Sat 11pm.
MICF SPECIALS (One-Offs and Discounts)
This evening at the Festival Club is perfect for those that like their LOLs affordable, the famous 10 Comedians for 10 Bucks special making its return. Not only is the show great value, there’s a great line-up too, featuring MC Toby Halligan, Dane Simpson, Kirsty Mac, Anthony Jeannot, David Rose, Angus Gordon, Rose Matafeo (NZ), Andrew Chu (Hong Kong), Nick Capper, Pat McCaffrie, Liam Ryan, Nat Harris and Matt Stewart. It all kicks off at Max Watt’s from 11:15pm, with tickets available on the door.