Still buzzing from a trip to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April and a stint as the joint-youngest panelist at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards to date, The Wee Review’s Joe Gardner takes us through five of his top picks of Aussie comics to see at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
With two Best Newcomer awards from both the Sydney Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival respectively, it’s not difficult to see why Aaron Chen’s Edinburgh debut could prove to be a very successful one. After reaching the final of Australia’s RAW Comedy competition at the age of 17, Chen has bided his time well. His fresh style and original voice onstage puts him in a very good position to find a whole new audience this August.
Making their second visit to Edinburgh, the Australian sketch duo comprised of Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew return with Adventure Show, brilliantly described as “part safari party, part murder mystery”. In a time where a lot of performers are using their Fringe runs as a platform to raise awareness of an issue or cause, it’s sometimes nice to have a bit of escapism. Double Denim is a catapult into a world of utter joy, and occasionally, complete madness. Judging by previous work, one minute can be a musical theatre outburst and the next can be a pastiche of Masterchef Australia. It’s nearly impossible not to be thoroughly entertained in the company of Double Denim.
Taunton makes his Edinburgh debut very much on the front foot. A former Best Newcomer nominee at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2017 and joint-winner of the prestigious Pinder Prize at the same festival this year, he’s hotly tipped as one of Australia’s most exciting new comedians. The title of his first Fringe hour comes from a self-description of his own style of comedy. One could argue, what’s wrong with nice and modern?
Anger and passion is nothing new when it comes to a driving force behind an Edinburgh show. However, Ballard’s acerbic wit turns moans and gripes into pacey, thought-provoking and sharp comedy. The 29 year-old brings us an hour that follows the cancellation of his own late-night satirical TV show on Australian television last year. Expect full-force and no holds barred from this Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee who has literally had, enough.
Zoe Coombs Marr
Coombs Marr last performed in Edinburgh as Dave. Dave was a chauvinistic, terrible male comedian, who in Marr’s 2016 show Trigger Warning, was training at the Gaulier clown school whilst trying to shed his misogynistic, blokey reputation. It was a hugely clever and highly creative hour that pushed and challenge the so-called “boundaries” of comedy. How do you follow that up? Fresh from two successful seasons in Melbourne, Zoe is back performing as herself. With huge critical and audience praise alike, it’s not hard to see why her return to Edinburgh is met with some excitement.