Melbourne International Comedy Festival reviews

The Herald Sun , 2013

Felicity Ward

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I wrote reviews for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the Herald Sun for two years. See below.

RYAN Coffey’s Mono is an intelligent, witty and surprisingly touching look at love, sex, society and facial hair.
A mixture between stand-up comedy and satirical songs, the hour-long show tells the story of some elements of Coffey’s life including a dramatic split with his ex-girlfriend and his first love.
Launching into a number about his enormous beard at the beginning of the act, it becomes clear Coffey is not only funny but also a really talented musician.
He uses a loop pedal to create some seriously catchy tunes and a one-man-band effect that make you wonder why he never made it as a musician.
With his unique voice and endearing personality, Coffey has the audience wrapped around his little finger for the entire show.
Funny from start to end, Mono is worth seeing for the comedy ... the musical talent is an added bonus.
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HAVE you heard of the hedgehog dilemma?
In winter hedgehogs can curl up together for warmth but risk piercing each other with their spines, or brave the cold on their own and avoid hurting each other. This dilemma is Felicity Ward's analogy for human intimacy.
When she steps on stage in a wedding dress and informs you it’s never been down the aisle, you know it’s going to be a personal story.
But the collapse of an eight-year relationship two weeks before her wedding is just the start of this honest and endearing tale.
Ward fights back tears as she talks about her therapy sessions, her alcoholism and her lowest point - moving back in with her parents and being faced with the prospect of starting her life over again.
That a show with content like this is funny enough to bring tears to your eyes and leave you gasping for breath is proof of Ward’s incredible talent.
From the story of her first trip to a beautician to a detailed explanation of how hedgehogs "do it" with all those spines, and even a song and dance number about binge drinking, Ward shows being able to laugh at yourself and with your friends is the key to getting through anything life throws at you.
The Hedgehog Dilemma is a touching and truly funny account of this comedian’s life that leaves you feeling as if you were there with her for the whole journey.
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WATCHING Xavier Michelides perform, it’s easy to forget there’s just one of him on stage.
In this clever show made up of short skits he jumps effortlessly from character to character, changing accents and facial expressions in the blink of an eye.
Narrated by a mysterious character residing inside his brain, the show takes a look at what makes Michelides tick from his underdeveloped emotions to his suppressed racism and even his apparent love of The Circle.
On a deeper level (as deep as Michelides probably goes) we take a trip into the subconscious, discover why we dream, hear God’s opinion of the human race and learn that we have to appreciate the brains we’re given.
More superficially we are instructed on the correct way to receive a lap dance and treated to the most accurate impression of Robert De Niro crossed with Chewbacca you’re ever likely to witness.
See The Brain Whisperer for the jokes if you want a good laugh and a light hearted look at yourself but also see it for Michelides, who is talented not just as a stand-up comedian but as an actor.
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