Reviews //

Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase: the perfect sampler

The showcase was perfect to help decide who to see during a festival packed with Australian and international comedians.

The secret line-up left much to our anticipation. It was a diverse crowd, as the audience participation would reveal; young and old, physios, parents, bisexuals, rangas, and esteemed guest, Cody and his girlfriend! 

We were promised the best up-and-comers from Australia and around the world. Hailing from Northern Ireland, MC Micky Bartlett broke the ice with his boisterous manner. Like the rest of the acts, he had some astute observations about Sydney characters, particularly businessmen on scooters and King St crackheads. Micky Bartlett’s genuine storytelling made it seem like he would be entirely as funny if you were just having a chat. 

Jess Fuchs kicked us off, and she gave us a lot to think about. I too reckon we should bring back fingering as a formal treatment for hysteria. I’d seen her earlier this year, with a more timid crowd, where she was unbothered and did not dial down her chaos at all. It is a testament to her ‘Chill Girl Era’, as her show is titled. 

Helen Bauer kept the cringe humor going. Her crowd work was riotous, and no men were safe from her confident charm. 

Despite the US accent, Moses Storm gave us an honest and endearing look into his childhood. You might recognise him from a couple episodes of Arrested Development. Fresh face Olga Koch joined us after the break. Her quick wit was almost Aubrey Plaza-esque, and she had a big presence. She effortlessly carved out her niche between her self-deprecating humour and  “cool girl” vibe. Koch gave us a raw, earnest look into her dating life, and assured us that if we like bisexuals, we’ll like her show ‘Just Friends’. 

Arguably the star of the night, Alfie Brown, was a natural dry comic. His UK accent compounds his dark humour and his delivery just flows. The highlight was his entry to the stage, where he spotted someone eating a crisp in the front row. He then proceeded to narrate that excruciating awkwardness of eating a crunchy food in a quiet space; extracting it out of the foil packet, moistening it on the roof of your tongue, and subsequently regretting the whole experience. His festival show, ‘Red Flags Galore’, seeks to reveal the ethical clusterfucks we encounter in the digital age. If you like satire, unfiltered self-reflection and connecting the dots, Alfie Brown’s will be the show for you – Sunday 3rd of May at Manning Bar.

If you’re a comedy newbie, or indecisive about who you want to see, the festival’s showcases are the perfect way to sample a variety of little tasters! Catch one at the Bondi Pavillion, the Comedy Store or Randwick Ritz, and save yourself from Manning Bar’s uncomfy seats.