Melbourne International Comedy Festival

If you’re one of those people who likes to see how much you can weather the grey skies and impending winter before succumbing to some sort of cure for seasonal depression, take note: MICF is now upon us! Yes, with over 400 shows to choose from over three and a half weeks, it’s probably tempting to take the city zoo excuse (it’s just there, I can visit it anytime I want,) but why one would choose not engage with raucous laughter, I simply do not understand.  I’m not asking you to sit in a theatre and apply critical analysis to a piece of drama or potentially have to ask your friend to pinch your arm every few minutes at a ballet when you are struggling to keep your eyelids lifted because you see no reason why so many divertissements have to be carried forth while the period costume clad townspeople mill around to celebrate some sort of post-wedding ceremony.

No, this is knee-jerk reaction laughter.  No preparation necessary.  You will most certainly be guaranteed of a good night, and your brain cells need not even perform any unnecessary synapses as they steep in a bubbly spa of beer.

I went to see the ever-reliable Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night show, which offers ever-changing ‘best-of-festival’ shows every Friday and Saturday night at the Spiegeltent to get a taste of what’s out there. I’ve attended before, and have come back for more.  This diva (award winning principal Soprano at Opera Australia) offers a couple of delectable songs under the watchful eyes of her crouching butler Saxon MacAlistair (two time Barry Award nominee for alter-ego Asher Treleaven) and, splayed upon her chaise-longue, watches the invited guests perform. I assure you, it was a very good night out.

Ali McGregor at her Late Nite Variety Nite Night (with touchable shoes)

I bumped into my friend, special mistress of cabaret, Jess Daly, designer and dancer for Peaches, amongst a melange of other delicious acts.

Jess Daly, Costume Designer Extraordinaird

Also present was Herald Sun Eye social media editor Isabelle Oderberg, who caught my eye with a draping of pearls and a dress acquired from Africa (Ooh, I don’t remember which country.  The ‘Kenya’ tag on that hessian seat beyond threw me off.)

Isabelle Oderberg

Featured that night was Idiots of Ants, (Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominees 2009,) that I proceeded to see, who, with their sometimes awkward but always punchy and bray-inducing sketches, secured, for me, a night of hilarity trough a hefty variety of topics. Go and see this one too!


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