Having myself began stand up seven months ago, I've spent countless nights not only on stage honing my act, but also sitting quietly among audiences taking in all I could from some of Melbourne's finest underground comics. It seems every year at the festival there's abundant promotion and publicity for the bigger, more mainstream comics, yet a great deal of comedy gold in bars, pubs and theatres around the city is left untapped. So, here are some unbiased tips for a few of the more talented and exciting acts at the festival, in no particular order:
-100% Nuts- A Mixed Assortment A collection of talented comics, this value for money show boasts up to four hours of entertainment a night, with as many as eighteen different acts performing their best ten minutes.
Four extremely talented comics including two State finalists at this years RAW Comedy competition, with the other two being preliminary finalists. All four have dazzled me on many a night.
-59 Free Comedy Station 59, a friendly and laid back establishment in Richmond, is a favourite haunt of mine. Comedy nights at 59 always go off, with a long line up every night filled with Melbourne's best up and coming stand ups, combined with some extremely impressive headline acts. There will be something fantastic happening every night at Station 59 during the festival, and all for free.
-Andrew Roberts & James Moffett – The San Fran Melbourne Comedy Show
James Moffett was the runner up in the Green faces competition last year-an extremely prestigious award previously won by some of the biggest Australian comics. I've seen James excite audiences with his energetic performances a number of times, and this show shouldn't be missed.
-Commedia Dell'Parte Among Melbourne's comics, this room is a favourite to play at- the venue is cosy, and crowds extremely comedy smart and friendly. I'm told all the regulars from the past year at this wonderful venue are returning during the festival, as well as some National and International headliners.
-Almost Almost Almost Famous A collection of four young and very funny comedians, this show won't disappoint.
-Ronny Chieng – The Ron Way I saw Ronny a week before my first gig, and I was captivated and petrified at the same time; petrified for my own chances because of the fact that after only two years since starting, Ronny was that good. Ronny's stage presence, punchlines, intelligence and sheer originality are extraordinary- one of the more talented acts I've seen.
-Sean Ryan & Craig McLeod – 2 Dudes 1 Show
Sean Ryan and Craig McLeod are both extremely funny and experienced performers. I've seen Craig live numerous times and always love his 'dry, UK humour', and was blown away by Sean's storytelling ability a few weeks ago. Two very interesting comedians in one show.
-St Kilda Comedy at Felix Bar Another of my favourite venues for watching comedy, Felix Bar always seems to host a fantastic blend of huge headliner comics (such as Adam Hills, Tom Gleeson, Mick Molloy, Greg Fleet) and talented young up and comers. This will be continuing during the festival, and you won't ever be disappointed by the line up.