Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase
The Comedy Store
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
It’s over for another year.
The Sydney Comedy Festival has become one of the world’s premiere events and attracts the best Australian and international acts.
The two I saw in the last week were the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase and Teaching a Robot to Love performed by Yianni Agisilaou.
The showcase is of particular appeal because there’s a mix of established and up-and-coming comedians. The other factor is that if you don’t find a certain comic funny, it’s only a short wait until the next one. Having been away from the circuit for a while, I didn’t recognise most of the names. On the night that I attended, Nikki Britton MC’ed six acts.
The showcase opened strongly with Adelaide comedian Amos Gill whose observations charmed the audience. Then came Texan Joe Shaffer who played on the Texan stereotype brilliantly.
Aucklander Guy Montgomery surprisingly didn’t refer to his New Zealand heritage, as compared with headliner Harley Breen who was extremely proud of his hometown in Queensland.
The perennial Rhys Nicholson, who makes Joel Creasey seem butch, keeps coming up with new material, and his rapid fire delivery ensures that everyone listens.
The comic that I liked most on the night was John Cruckshank. It’s difficult to describe the acts without giving the material away, but his observations on the Sydney public transport system and cone-shaped foods were highlights.
Teaching a Robot to Love were Yianni Agisilaou’s comedic observations of Artificial Intelligence and algorithms - comedy AND education, although when Yianni was introduced, I thought they said "Laurel". He apparently decided on a career move from lawyer to comedian because, according to research, lawyers are likely to become obsolete due to the internet, whereas creative occupations can’t be replaced by algorithms.