The time of year has come to brace ourselves, fellow Australians. Our stomach muscles have a rather large work out ahead of them, as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow buckles up to hit the road. Set to deliver the most refreshing and belly-achingly funny acts from Australia’s largest comedy festival, the show will feature everything from stand-up, to slapstick, sketch and even song.
With a cast of Australian stars, as well as talented newcomers and international performers, each show is sure to have something to tickle everyone’s fancy – covering all comedy bases. And best of all? The MICF Roadshow allows for many laughs to be had in the convenience and comfort of your home (or nearest by) town, with a large string of regional shows. Some places of note that the MICF Roadshow will be paying visit to are Ballarat, Bendigo and Stawall – but the list definitely does go on.
Aussie comedian Tom Ballard, who has toured with the MICF Roadshow in past years, has shed light on what he feels the main difference is between regional shows and big city crowds.
“The major difference is their (the crowd’s) level of excitement about the gig, to be honest. For a lot of these crowds, the Roadshow is the only live comedy they’re seeing all year, so they’re PUMPED. If they get on board with your dickheadedry, it’s exhilarating”, he said.
So, which charismatic larrikins can you catch on the MICF Roadshow this year, you ask? Well, let me drop you some names.
Adam Hess (UK), DeAnne Smith (CAN/USA), Nath Valvo, Sharul Channa (SING) and Sam Taunton (MC) can be caught performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat on May 24, Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo on May 25, and Stawell Performing Arts Centre on May 27.
Sharul Channa (SING)
A stand-up comedian from Singapore, Sharul will be the first Singaporean woman to have ever performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. From humble beginnings doing local mic-performances, Sharul is now performing internationally – having travelled to an impressive list of countries for comedy shows.
Adam Hess (UK)
A stand-up comedian and described as a ‘general cheeky-guy’ from London, Adam is also an actor and TV writer. Adam was a Foster Best Newcomer nominee in 2015 and although he didn’t win, it is said that it was quite a big deal for him – but he also got a trophy regardless and was sure to make the most of the free food at the ceremony.
DeAnne Smith (CAN/USA)
An award-winning Canadian-American comedian, DeAnne has performed all over the world, as well as having made TV appearances in several countries. DeAnne is also a writer and self-identifies as a trouble-maker. She is also said to really, REALLY like toast…
Aussie comedian Nath Valvo is quickly becoming a favourite for many comedy lovers and enthusiasts, on a global level. You may have seen Nath on popular television programs The Project, ABC’s Breaky Show and ABC’s Comedy Up Late. Nath is described as an absolute ‘crack-up’ – in true Aussie lingo style.
Sam Taunton (MC)
A stand-up comedian and described as ‘one of the most exciting new voices in Australian comedy’, Sam has also been a Christmas tree farmer, digital media specialist and an attempted acoustic wedding singer. He is said to be attempting to pay back the $728 he currently owes his mother in E-Toll fees.
If your stomach muscles are braced and your cheeks ready for what will no doubt be an endless fit of laughter and cheeky grins, grab your tickets soon.
Written by Helena Metzke
When & Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat – May 24, Ullumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – May 25 & Stawell Entertainment Centre – May 27
For ticket info and a full list of tour dates visit www.comedyfestival.com.au/roadshow