Best of  BritishA crowd gathered at the Exford Hotel to see who had arrived from across the pond to make us laugh. Best of British showcases the talent of stand-ups in town for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. More than just stiff upper lips and dry sarcasm, this floorshow reveals the hip and clever talent of some funny young poms.

Host Dan Willis warms up the audience with a little international humor, taking the piss out of those of us not from Aus. Then first up is Marcel Lucont, a preening Frenchman who cradles his white wine while sneering at Melbourne metrosexuals. Teaching us how to be a real lover, Lucont’s pretentious persona charms us into giggles. His full-length performance Sexual Metro plays at Tuxedo Cat.

With the energy of a devilish pixie, Julie Clark takes to the stage to relate her experiences as a single Brit adrift in late-night Melbourne. Her well-timed lonely-hearts routine had us groaning with each raunchy punch line. We can enjoy more of her filthy wit in Crossing Over at the Portland Hotel.

Giving us a lesson in body language is Mark Butler, another UK comic now based in Melbourne. Some of his observations seem lost in translation, but his gift for aping those ‘from somewhere’ was well aimed. He’ll share more of his gems in his own show I’ve Been Watching You Australians (But Not in a Creepy Way), playing at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow.

Each comic uses their Best of British stage time to plug their own show, but Ivan Brackenbury was almost late to his, after broadcasting a portion of Hospital Radio Roadshow from the Exford Stage. Based on the campy radio stations manned by enthusiastic volunteers that cater to patients and staff in British hospitals, Brackenbury uses musical gags to pay tribute to those infirmed. I can’t imagine watching a whole hour of his schizophrenic mash ups and goofy medical puns, but Hospital Radio plays at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow.

Guaranteeing at least three top class international acts (who was the forth then?), Best of British will be different every night – an hilarious sample of this year’s MICF British invasion.

The Winter Garden Room at the Exford Hotel presents
Best Of British

Venue: Exford Hotel* | 199 Russell St, Melbourne
Dates: 24 March - 17 April, 2010
Times: Mon-Tue, Thu-Sat & Wed 24 Apr 8.15pm
Duration: 55 minutes
Tickets: Full $20, Conc, Group (10 or more) & Tightarse Tuesday $15
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 | Venue Bookings 03 9663 2697 | at the door

** Licensed venue. No under 18s allowed.

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