MICF: The Best Of Edinburgh Fest
The Best Of The Edinburgh Fest is an absolute hit at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival every year. These comedians are hand picked as some of the best to see, unlike your big headliners – these acts are up-and-coming; ones to watch. Vulture headed on over to the Forum Theatre to check out this years cream of the crop, Chris Martin (UK), John Hastings (Canada) and Jimmy McGhie (UK)
Chris Martin opened the show with stories of his new fiancé and his antics around their shared house. His comedy was relatable and hilarious. Stories of going too far when trying to scare his other half got the crowd in tears of laughter, as well as the usual irks men find when living in a de-facto setting; they are tried and tested but still hilarious. Martin’s mentionable trait was he would find himself going on a tangent of something else just as funny, but always managed to find his way back to the story at hand – while he would just jump straight back to it and it may not have been a seamless circle of story-telling, Martin had a quality that felt like you were just in a really funny conversation with a pal. Because of this demeanour, his off-topic story time was forgivable, and even welcomed.
John Hastings was the second act, who stepped out in noticeably tight jeans; which was funny considering he heckled a crowd member for his ‘spray on pants’ later in the show. Hailing from Canada but a resident of the UK, Hastings was well spoken, funny and did not like being interrupted – but boy he dealt with it well. Hastings was a fun middle part to the evening because he used his surroundings and conditions to change up his schtick – from rustling popcorn packets, to punters needing to leave for the bathroom – giving names like Lou McGillucutty to audience members that really wanted to escape without disturbance. Hastings was a great story teller as well, telling tales of how his three month premature birth has affected his life. Hastings had a sharp wit and a silver tongue, he is definitely one to watch, and an act we hope to see at future comedy festivals.
Jimmy McGhie was the final performance of the Edinburgh trifecta. Taking jibes at Melbourne’s ‘cool’ hipster culture. Pointing out our ridiculous love of brunch, and the fact that ‘smashed’ avocado is an absurd notion, yet we all pay out the nose for it. McGhie’s topics for his set were completely on point. Talking of getting into the trend of being fit and active; the idea that having all the right clothing gets you out of the act of actually being fit. Funny stories of stepping into the huge Nike store in London and being served by a typical Aussie Demi-God named ‘Clint’ had the crowd in stitches, another moment of everyday life comedy the audience could relate to.
All in all these were three comedians with very different humour outlets. Martin was very physical in his storytelling, making use of the stage and hand gestures to better his anecdotes. Hastings was very well spoken, his sentences flowed in a regal sort of fashion, he sauntered around the stage, never using segues – acting as though an audience member had asked him a completely different question in order to move onto his next joke. It was an easy way out, but it works when done well. Hats off to Hastings. McGhie’s stint was quite consistent in his story telling and laughter received. It was very much an observed look at Melbourne’s culture – which is great because it felt new, fresh and not a tired stale act he’s brought with him that ‘works evey time’. Much appreciated, even if it was at the expense of our beloved avocado.
The Best Of The Edinburgh is playing at The Forum Theatre upstairs until April 19, and is great value for money for three comedians and countless laughs. Check out dates and ticket prices on the MICF Website