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Edinburgh Festabesta

Three acts, one night and a lot of laughs

Words by: Matthew Stephenson
Photography sourced from Google

With so many shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, picking something to see can be downright overwhelming. While you could always pay the big bucks and check out one of the more famous comedians, perhaps a better option is to head along to one of the shows at a venue like the Comedy Club – where you get to see multiple comedians in one sitting.

This week I popped in to check out the Edinburgh Festabesta, and while it was certainly a little hit and miss, the varied styles of the three comedians and the short set times made for a fast moving and very entertaining evening.

First up was Jacques Barrett, an Aussie stand up who’s bogan exterior hides some enjoyably smart and self-deprecating humour. Barrett was the MC for the night and was a master at engaging with the crowd. Riffing off audience members comments, asking the right questions and starting conversations with the crowd, he was great at poking fun but never being cruel or harsh. His impersonations and observations, too, were both accurate and hilarious and his relaxed manner made him a great opening act and MC for the evening.

Next up was Tom Siegert, another Aussie comedian. However unlike Barrett, Siegert’s bogan exterior was, unfortunately, an accurate representation of his painfully un-funny, lowbrow set. Consisting almost entirely of moronic dick jokes and crass, borderline racist and impersonations – he struggled to engage the crowd from the beginning. The one highlight of his set was a brief, genuinely funny interaction with a member of the audience, but even that became strained as he unsuccessfully attempted to string the gag out for far too long.

Thankfully the night closed with British comedian Tom Binns, who’s act, based around two distinct characters, was both witty and hilarious. Beginning with his character the Psychic Ian D Montfort, Binns deftly skewered the phenomenon of the television psychic medium. Interacting with audience members and delivering rapid-fire gags at a clearly fraudulent John Edward, Binns got the crowd back in the mood for laughing. Following this, Binns took on the guise of Hospital Radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury who, after a hilarious technical hiccup, bumbled his way through a cleverly chosen playlist of completely inappropriate song choices. Both characters were smart, funny and engaged the crowd wonderfully ending the night on a high note.

So, despite an uneven lineup, the Edinburgh Festabesta is a hard offer to pass up. Especially considering ticket prices start at only $15. If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful night at the festival this would be a good place to start.

Edinburgh Festabesta is held at The Comedy Club in Melbourne CBD. More information about this event can be found here.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival will be running from the 26 March to 20 April . More general information and tickets of this festival can be found here.

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