MICF Menu – Tuesday April 12

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MICF Menu – Tuesday April 12




It’s officially award season at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Following careful consideration, the nominations for the 19th annual Barry Award have been revealed, along with nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Independent Production.

The Barry ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious comedy awards, recognising the Most Outstanding Comedy Festival show of the season. The nominees for the 2016 Barry Award are Anne Edmonds, Damien Power, David O’Doherty, Luisa Omielan, Rhys Nicholson, Tom Ballard and Zoe Coombs Marr. Meanwhile, Demi Lardner, Guy Montgomery, Rose Matafeo and Tom Walker are all up for the festival’s Best Newcomer Award. Finally, the winner of the Golden Gibbo Award for Best Independent Production will be chosen from Asher Treleaven & Gypsy Wood, Lessons with Luis, Tommy Dassalo and Zoe Coombs Marr. The 19th Annual Comedy Awards will be take place on Saturday April 16 at Max Watt’s from 11pm.



With just under a week to go until the end of the festival, you might be at risk of missing out on seeing your favourite acts. To make matters worse, according to the Melbourne Town Hall’s chalkboards, quite a few artists are consistently selling out their shows. Here’s a selection of who is popular at the moment – because, as the old saying goes, the numbers don’t lie.

Alex Edelman – Everything Handed To You

Angelo Tsarouchas – The Funny Greek

Best of the Edinburgh Fest

Comedy Zone Asia

Damien Power – Sell Mum Into Slavery

Felicity Ward – What If There Is No Toilet?

Guy Montgomery – Guy Montcomedy

Liam Ryan – Oh God It’s Behind You

Luke Heggie – Anythink is Possible

Matt Okine

Nazeem Hussain – Hussain in the Membrane

Neal Portenza

Nick Cody – Come Get Some

Nish Kumar

Sara Pascoe – Animal

MICF ENTREES (Early Shows, until 7pm)

Improvised Improv

What’s there to stay about Improvised Improv? The clue’s in the title. If you’re after a little more information, though, here goes: Improvised Improv is a a masterclass in improvisational comedy courtesy of Changing Jennifers, a troupe adept at turning audience suggestions into gold. In fact, they’re so good at it, they back themselves to serve up an hour-long story each night. Pretty impressive, right? As you might expect, no two shows are ever the same. If you’re a fan of Whose Line Is It Anyway, Thank God You’re Here and The Mighty Boosh, you’ll want to get down to Highlander, Tues-Sat 6pm.

Cath Styles – Shift

With roughly 25 years experiences as a psychiatric nurse, Cath Styles has had to maintain a sense of humor. In this show, she explores the peaks and troughs of what must surely be one of the toughest jobs imaginable. Expect a dash of dark humor as Styles unpacks the craziness of her workplace, shedding light on a  world completely hidden to the common person. In Shift, Cath Styles finds funny threads in the most unlikely places, to produce a show that’s enlightening and uplifting. You can check her show out Tue-Sun 6.30pm at the Downstairs Lounge at the Grand Mercure Hotel.

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



Beyoncé said it best: girls run the world. Tonight, the Melbourne Town Hall will host a huge line-up of comedy’s leading ladies as part of Upfront’s 21st birthday bash spectacular. As comedy galas go, it doesn’t get much better than this, the event featuring Hannah Gadsby, Geraldine Hickey, Sofie Hagen (DNK), Mae Martin (CAN), Anne Edmonds, Mel Buttle, Felicity Ward, Luisa Omielan (UK), Urzila Carlson (RSA/NZ), Celia Pacquola, Becky Lucas, Em Rusciano, Sara Pascoe (UK), Daredevil Chicken Club (USA), Demi Lardner plus more! There’s a bonus, too: it’s hosted by Geraldine Quinn’s Spandex Ballet. It all kicks off 7:30pm at the Melbourne Town Hall. It’s a once-off, so get your tickets ASAP.

Laura Davis – Marco. Polo.

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Laura Davis enjoyed a huge 2015, winning the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Golden Gibbo Award, as well as Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe. Davis looks set to build on her momentum this year with Marco. Polo., her brand new show that has the backing of the Moosehead Awards. For those not up to speed, the Mooseheads are about funding shows and artists that are exciting and different. That’s effectively a huge compliment as far as Davis’ work is concerned and, based on her numbers, people are responding in kind. She’s one of a few comics having a massive, almost-every-night-sold-out season. A cult favourite no longer, Davis has one of the must-see shows this festival. You can catch her Tue-Sat 9.30pm and Sun 8.30pm. Extra shows have just been added for April 14, 15, and 16. (10:45pm)

Penny Greenhalgh – Piranha Banana: Llamarama 

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What do you get when you combine ballet and a heart-on-sleeve high school diary with ping pong balls and Allen’s Mintys? What indeed. In Piranha Banana: Lllamarama, Penny Greenhalgh revisits the finer (and weirder) points of her childhood, with creative tangents in healthy supply. Greenhalgh delights with a cocktail of physical comedy and absurdist humor. If you’re looking for something a little left-of-centre this festival, she will not disappoint. Catch Piranha Banana: Llamarama Tue-Sat 9.45pm and Sun 8.45pm at the Pizza Room, Forum Theatre.

Mae Martin – Us

Mae Martin’s Australian solo debut had the best possible start, the charismatic Canadian comic smashing the Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow. Based on that early form alone, Martin is one of the must-see international acts of the festival. Join her as she tackles themes of identity, sexuality and loneliness… you know, in a funny way. It just so happens that Martin has an abundance of wit and charm to make it work. Catch Mae Martin whlie you can at the Melbourne Town Hall, Tue-Sat 8.30pm and Sun 7.30pm.

MICF DESSERTS (Late Shows, 10pm onwards)


Jacques Barrett in Boomerangs and Beavertales

Jacques Barrett has made a habit of doing things a bit differently over the past few years, teaming up with maverick Bryan O’Gorman to effectively revolutionise split-bill comedy. When the news came through that O’Gorman would be unavailable for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, though Barrett was forced to think out the box. Flying solo, he’s decided to duke it out (verbally) with every Canadian comic at hand. This new show will boast multiple international headliners and perfectly crafted stand-up. Treat yourself Tue-Sun 10pm at the Downstairs Lounge at the Grand Mercure Hotel.

Pajama Men – Pterodactyl Nights

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Albuquerque’s own dynamic sketch-comedy duo return to Melbourne for what promises to be yet another hit season. They’ll combine classic bits with fresh material material and absurd, improvised tangents. If you’re not familiar with their schtick, all you need to know is that it works. In fact, the Pajama Men scooped the 2009 Barry Award and won the Best of the Fest Award in the 2010 Sydney Comedy Festival. See for yourself why they’ve been hailed as world-renowned sketch superstars when they hit The Famous Spiegeltent, Tue-Sat 10pm and Sun 9pm.

MICF SPECIALS (One-Offs and Discounts)

Rob Hunter – Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter

Rob Hunter’s cringe-inducing, cult favourite talk show returns for one night only. His guests will include comedian Celia Pacquola and actor Samuel Johnson (The Secret Life Of Us, Molly), with Greg Larsen, Jason English and lots of other big names on board. Expect a mish-mash of bizarre sketches, celebrity interviews and completely chaotic fun. It all adds up to one hilariously uncomfortable, one-of-a-kind experience. Be sure to head over to The Festival Club (Max Watt’s) at 11.30pm.