Sydney Comedy Festival Gala Review

Updated: May 6, 2019


Sydney Comedy Festival Comedy Gala

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall

Reviewed on April 25

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP


The Sydney Comedy Festival Gala is the introduction to the Sydney Comedy Festival and the event highlights some of the comedians who will be doing full shows at other venues such as the Factory, Enmore Theatre, Concourse, Bondi Pavilion, State Theatre, Giant Dwarf and The Comedy Store.


On Gala night, MC’d by Joe Lycett, there were fifteen comedians.


My pick was Canadian Mark Forward whose comedic timing, material and pauses were brilliant. He reminded me a bit of Zach Galifianakis from the Hangover movies. Other excellent performers on the night were Ivan Aristeguieta from Venezuela and Scotland's Larry Dean.



So that I don’t give away any of the material, my companion on the night suggested that I give ratings out of ten so that you might have some guidance as to which ones to see.


Joe Lycett (UK) ​​6

Ivan Aristeguieta (VEN)​ 9

Fern Brady (UK)​​ 7

Phil Wang (UK)​​ 2

Mark Forward (CANADA)​ 10

Georgie Carroll (UK/AUS)​ 2

Jamali Maddix (UK) ​​3

Tom Allen (UK) ​​2

Tom Ballard (AUS)​​ 2

Sean McLoughlin (UK)​ 4

Lauren Pattison (UK)​​ 6

The Chaser (AUS)​​ 2

Tahir (AUS)​​​ 1

Larry Dean (SCO)​​ 8

Phill Jupitus (UK)​​ 2



Of course, these are my preferences and you might rate the pun comedians more highly than I did.


Other excellent comedians I’d recommend and who weren’t on the Gala are Luke Heggie, Danny Bhoy, Stephen Hughes, Arj Barker, Tim Ferguson, Akmal, Aaron Chan, Felicity Ward and Des Bishop.


If you have a short attention span or don’t want to risk spending an hour sitting in front of an act that you might not like, The Best of the Fest and the Showcases will give you several comedians on the same show.


In any case, The Sydney Comedy Festival this year should be an absolute cracker.

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