Friday, 19 February 2010

Release the Clowns

After weeks of giddy anticipation the program for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is finally out. Some shows have been advertised on Ticketmaster for a while, but it’s nice to have a gander at the full program. The MICF was one of my favourite parts of my first year in Melbourne and I’ve been looking forward to climbing back onto the live comedy horse. For reasons of fiscal limitation I only went to four or five shows last year, but am hoping to double that this year. The question now though is what do I see?

Some choices are obvious. There’s no way I’m missing out on
Good Evening, a night of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketches performed by Shaun Micallef and Steven Curry. I was equally Quick Draw McGraw for tickets to see Rich Fulcher, one of the finest loons on the planet, best known for Snuffbox, his show with Matt Berry, and for being the oddly shaped body of Bob Fossil in The Mighty Boosh.

I really wanted to see Josie Long last year but ran out of money, so her new show
Be Honourable is high on my list for 2010. I’m also keen to see 50% of 3RRR’s Lime Champions with Josh Earl taking on the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book at the Swiss Club in Flinders Lane, whilst Justin Heazelwood returns as the Bedroom Philosopher after last year’s worst-timing-for-a-broken-arm-since-John-Squire-at-Glastonbury-1995. Justin will be singing his Songs from the 86 Tram at the Victoria Hotel on Little Collins Street.

I find myself in the strange position of actually knowing someone with their own show at the festival, and so even without seeing it I will encourage you to go and see Russell McGilton’s
Accidents are Prohibited on the Road at the Softbelly Bar, Little Bourke Street. Russell once travelled from Bombay to Beijing on a bicycle so his promise of a ‘not-so-Lonely Planet guide of missed adventures, wrong turns, broken thongs and sex in different time zones’ is likely to be (mostly) true.

Beyond these few and totally unrepresentative shows my diary is ready, open and very willing, so if you have any recommendations feel free to comment below. A cursory glance through these Custardy pages should be enough to let you know what floats my comedy catamaran, so let me know if there’s something I need to see. Equally if you’re performing and would like to spread your word to at least two - maybe three - more people then email me at and – like Terry Gilliam’s coconut wielding Patsy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail - I’ll do my best to aid you in your quest.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 24th March to 18th April 2010. Go - it’s ace.

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