Melburnians, you’re going to like this – your comedy festival wins. It walks all over Sydney’s younger sister comedy event. But while the Sydney Comedy Festival, which is currently celebrating its 10th year with shows around the city, may be around half the size of Melbourne’s world renowned comedy event, it’s come of age with a program of quality events, writes Larissa Shearman.
Melbourne may be the undisputed comedy capital of Australia, hosting the third largest comedy festival in the world with televised events and almost-30 year history of attracting the world’s best comics, but in its 10th year, the Sydney’s Comedy Festival has well and truly come of age. Live comedy is good comedy wherever you go, and the 170-odd shows on Sydney’s 2014 calendar look set to deliver. Go prepared for shows to start late and aspiring comedians to thrust their pamphlets in your face, but most of all go prepared to split your sides in laughter.
Get in quick to see one of the remaining shows before the event winds up on May 17. Below is a guide to the shows in the second week of the festival at my favourite venues.
The Enmore Theatre, with its comfy floor and balcony set up with the raised stage, is a top-shelf venue for gigs, and doesn’t disappoint for a comedy show either. David O’Doherty commented on how ridiculously huge the venue was for him, child’s keyboard and all. Highlights for the remainder of the program include Stephen K Amos (6th & 8th May), Rhys Nicholson (6th-17th May) and Felicity Ward (8th-11th May), as well as the 10th Birthday Gala (12th May) hosted by the fantastic Julia Morris. Remember: CASH as both the bar and merchandise lack eftpos facilities.
- Alex Williamson – Fri 2 May 7:15pm
- Breakfast Club – Sat 3 May 10:30am
- Cam Knight – Thu 1 – Sat 3 May 9:30pm
- Carlo Ritchie – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 9:30pm (Sun 8:30pm)
- CRACKER NIGHT – Sat 3 May 10:30am
- Daniel Sloss (SCO) – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 8:15pm (Sun 7:15pm)
- Jacques Barrett – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 8:15pm (Sun 7:15pm)
- Jim Jefferies (UK) – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 9:30pm (Sun 7:15pm)
- John Conway – Thu 1 – Sat 3 May 10:00pm
- Mugg & Kettle – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 7:00pm (Sun 6:00pm)
- Jacques Barrett – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 7:00pm (Sun 6:00pm)
The best thing about The Comedy Store is the atmosphere. It has an intimacy which is absolutely ideal for stand up. Candles, plush seats and a proper red curtain behind the stage really add to the warmth. The posters downstairs and lining the walls remind you that you’re at a venue regularly graced by comedy royalty, like Adam Hills, Louis C K and Danny Bhoy. The venue has both an external bar where you can have a drink before the show and a menu in the room with a silent call button and floating wait staff. Remember: a flat $6 entry into the carpark after 6pm makes this venue the absolute bomb diggity.
- Dom Irrera (USA) – Sat 3 May 8:30pm
- Jackie Loeb & Gretel Killeen – Thu 1 & Fri 2 May 7:00pm
- Sydney Comedy Festival SHOWCASE – Thu 1 – Sat 3 May 8:30pm
From what the names suggests, this venue is basically a hollowed out factory. But it’s a COOL hollowed out factory. The room is intimate with a small stage and lights which made it really easy for Tom Ballard to realise that about half the audience were his mates, as I found out last week. Some great established comedians like Frank Woodley (29th April-4th May), Eddie Ifft (30th April-4th May) and Dave Hughes (30th April-17th May) are playing the Factory, as well as some newcomers like Veronica Milsom (6th – 10th May) and Ronny Chieng (6th May-17th May). Remember: a prepaid bus ticket and/or google maps to locate a train station.
- Anne Edmonds – Wed 30 Apr, Fri 2 & Sun 4 May 7:00pm (Sun 6:00pm)
- Chris Leben – Wed 30 Apr, Fri 2 & Sun 4 May 7:00pm (Sun 6:00pm)
- Dave Hughes – Wed 30 Apr – Sun 4 May 9:00pm (Sun 8:00pm)
- David Quirk – Tue 29 Apr – Sun 4 May 9:30pm (Sun 8:30pm)
- Eddie Ifft (USA) – Wed 30 Apr – Sun 4 May 8:30pm (Sun 7:30pm)
- Frank Woodley – Tue 29 Apr – Sun 4 May 7:15pm (Sun 4 May)
- Franky Walnut – Fri 2 May 7:00pm
- Gordon Southern (UK) – Tue 29 Apr, Thu 1 & Sat 3 May 8:15pm
- Improv Soap Opera – Sat 3 May 5:30pm
- Jon Bennett – Tue 29 Apr, Thu 1 & Sat 3 May 8:15pm
- Just A Bit… Funny - Sun 4 May 6:00pm
- Lawrence Mooney – Thu 1 – Sun 4 May 7:30pm (Sun 8:00pm)
- Lewis Hobba – Tue 29 Apr, Thu 1 & Sat 3 May 7:00pm
- Matt Okine – Wed 30 Apr – Sat 3 May 7:00pm
- Michael Workman – Tue 29 Apr – Sun 4 May 8:15pm (Sun 7:15pm)
- Simon Dodd – Plaything – Tue 29 & Wed 30 Apr 7:30pm
- Rusty Berther – Fri 2 & Sat 3 May 9:45pm
- Sam Kissajukian – Tue 29 Apr, Thu 1 & Sat 3 May 9:30pm
- Seaton Kay-Smith – Wed 30 Apr & Fri 2 May 9:30pm
- Tom Ballard – Tue 29 Apr – Sat 3 May 8:45pm
- Umit Bali – Wed 30 Apr & Fri 2 May 8:15pm
Shows at other venues that are worth seeing also:
- Christ Taylor & Andrew Hansen – Fri 2 May 7:30pm
- Sammy J & Randy – Fri 2 May 9:00pm
- Chris Radburn – Thu 1 – Sat 3 May 9:00pm
- Suns of Fred – Wed 30 Apr – Sat 3 May 7:50pm
- The Axis of Awesome – Sat 3 May 9:00pm
- Chris Taylor & Andrew Hansen – Thu 1 May 7:15pm
- A Date With Effie – Sat 3 May 7:15pm
- Sammy J & Randy – Thu 1 May 9:00pm
In conclusion! Even though we may never beat Melbourne in the comedy game, we play it well with some of the best venues in the country. Go get yourself some comedy!