Matt OkineLeft – Matt Okine. Photo Zak Kaczmarek

Perth Comedy Festival Showcase is happening twice this year at the Subiaco Arts Centre. Although it’s not to be confused with The Gala at The Regal, it follows the same format.

All of the comedy artists featured in the Showcase did short sets (about 10 minutes) and they each have their own full length shows at various points over the Perth International Comedy Festival.

The Master of Ceremonies was Triple J’s Matt Okine who was just fantastic! He was endearing and slightly self-deprecating as he warmed the crowd before and between sets.

The first act was Daniel Townes, equipped with a laid back, slow burning sense of humour and ton of puns. His set was intuitive and he fed off the response of the crowd, be it a groan, chuckle or unending giggling.

Gen Fricker had to work a little harder to get the audience on board with her blend of depressive comedy and quirky tunes. I’m not sure she really hit the mark for me on the night.

Paul Foote rounded out the first half and it’s a good thing too because I think we all needed a break after his set. He strutted and fretted about the stage in a frantic manner not entirely unlike a chicken crossed with a horse. As he hen-pecked and foot stamped his way through his hilarious set, we barely noticed the rant he was having about homophobia, masculinity, fireman and Sudoku puzzles!

After Matt Okine got us all back from the bar and ready for the second act, Perth boy Tien Tran came out with his passive aggressive set about racism. He’s Chinese and proceeded to enlighten us about how screwed we are all going to be when they invade. It was current and political and that kind of humour isn’t for everyone, however it was received pretty well.

Ray Badran again started out by drawing attention to his flaws, a common practice by comedians and rappers (since Eminem) so that the hecklers have no ammunition left. He was endearing enough and most of his set revolved around the stuff he watches on TV, which, he told us, was a pretty sad indicator for his life.

The highlight of the night for me was the final act, Craig Hill who burst onto the stage lip syncing to Madonna and dancing with all the same gusto, thrusting his kilt and sporran at various members of the front row. Although he presumably had a set to perform, a good deal of it involved heckling the audience, imbuing them with clichéd characteristics according to their sexuality or nationality. His thick Scottish accent and sweet singing voice added to his charm and ensured that the show ended on a high.

There’s another Showcase on the 11th May. Although I expect it will be completely different to the one I saw, it’s worth getting along to the multi-comic events. In the case that someone doesn’t tickle your fancy, another will be along soon enough.

Perth Comedy Festival presents

Venue: Subiaco Arts Centre
Fri 1st May 2015 - 8:45 pm

Venue: The Octagon Theatre
Mon 11th May 2015 - 7:30 pm


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