MICF 2020 Recommendations

EDIT: Due to the need for community safety and social distancing, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been cancelled for 2020. I believe this is the right move - but it’s also heartbreaking, and I’m quite sure a lot of the performers, tech, front-of-house staff, producers and more are all feeling rather devastated right now.

It’s also going to be a substantial financial hit for them - here’s hoping our Government extends their stimulus package to support freelancers and casual workers (which will be the status of most of our artists). If you’re reading this and know of any crowdfunding efforts to support artists, do let me know. This is especially needed after so many of them donated their time and services to support our emergency services and others affected by the bushfires.

I’ll leave the rest of the post here as if the festival was happening - if just that might be useful context for future years’ performances.

It’s still a month away, but I’m already making plans for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival! And there’s a stack of shows to look forward to - so, as per my usual habit, here are my recommendations based on previous years.

I’ll begin with my top picks - especially the first, because I’ve seen it before (and gave it 5 stars)! Booking these ones well ahead of the festival kicking off is wise, because the bigger names are already starting to sell out.

  • Wil Anderson is returning with his superb show from 2018, Wilegal - one of my absolute favourite performances with such a perfectly crafted story (and so goddamn hilarious). Seriously, go see this show.
  • Laura Davis is regularly smart and odd and funny, and some of her shows from the past handful of years have been amongst my festival highlights. I’m very much looking forward to this new one.
  • Wil Greenway is a storyteller rather than a comedian, and I’ve been seeing his shows for the past few years now - each time, he is delightful and heartwarming (and yes, there are often a few laughs in there too!).
  • Mark Watson is someone I’ve seen perform many times over the past decade and beyond, and he remains clever, funny, and even a touch soul-stirring. I don’t think I’ve ever left a show of his unsatisfied.
  • Daniel Kitson is frequently wonderful and hilarious, and he’s belatedly added a show to the festival line-up. It’s another work-in-progress performance that sounds like it’s more storytelling than stand-up.

Beyond those particular four, I’m also looking forward to hopefully seeing Andrew McClelland, Zoë Coombs Marr, Adam Hills, Josie Long, Randy, Sami Shah, and Completely Improvised Potter.

If you come across any great shows, do let me know!