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Luke Buckmaster

Writer, Critic and The Daily Review Journalist

Review: Greg Fleet in The Boy That Cried Sober | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Greg “Fleety” Fleet has remained an unlikely fixture of the Australian stand-up comedy scene for decades, a meandering raconteur whose anecdotes flow thick and fast and often involve unintended mayhem. Fleet’s experience working crowds and getting audiences on side despite risqué material – most notably a surfeit of jokes about being a former heroin junkie […]

Review: Dan Ilic and Emily Rose Brennan in Sidekicks | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

With little cover for sluggish scripts and less for patchy performances, a two person play can go off the rails very quickly. Director Louise Alston’s Sidekicks, starring Dan Ilic and Emily Rose Brennan, has no costumes (with the exception of a tie and a wig) and sets — at least decorated ones — that exist […]

Review: Jimeoin in WHAT?! | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Luke Buckmaster writes… Having swanned between comedy stages for over two decades, pulling faces and rattling off puns with that distinctive Irish twang, Jimeoin is the sort of comedian relegated to a distant memory: an old TV show, a radio spot, a movie, a poster with his beaming face on it.

Review: Ross Noble in Nonsensory Overload | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Filling a 50 minute stand-up show is no easy task. Filling two hours — even with a 20 minute break in the middle — requires absolutely confidence. First-class British import Ross Noble is choc full of that. At St Kilda’s gorgeous Palais Theatre Noble schooled his audience with a veritable masterclass of comedy, his trademark […]

Review: Meg Pee in Close to You | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

One of the great things about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is its capacity to act as a circuit breaker for new and undiscovered talent. Anybody can brace the stage and attempt to win over audiences: cough up some dosh, fill out a registration form, book a room and you’re on the program. There are, […]

Review: Wing Attack! in PANTS (Pants) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s true that every festival show is different, every performer unique. But after notching up double digits on the comedy festival tally sheet it’s almost impossible not to feel a sense of déjà vu. You hear a lot of jokes about belonging to a particular race, a lot of jokes about jaded ex-lovers, a lot of […]

Review: Tegan Higginbotham in Million Dollar Tegan | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Loosely tied to a sprawling story line about venturing into the world of professional boxing, 24-year-old up-and-comer Tegan Higginbotham gives a literal twist to “punch lines” in Million Dollar Tegan, a comedy show companion piece to Clint Eastwood’s 2004 boxing drama – and thankfully a great deal more amusing. Whether Higginbotham jumped in the ring purely for […]

Review: Moataz Hamde & Amos Gill in Background Check | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Nobody needs to point out that cracking into the comedy scene is a tough grind. Stand-up comedians generally start by refining their acts in dingy low-lit rooms, adding and cutting material until a they have a reliable stable of gags, but there’s a world of difference between filling a ten minute spot with eight other […]

Review: Felicity Ward in The Hedgehog Dilemma | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

With the motor mouth and unfettered energy of a true extrovert, Felicity Ward is a loud and boisterous comedian with a habit of following incongruous jokes by looking at the audience with an expression of “did I just say that?” stamped across her beaming countenance. If she wasn’t wary of audience interactions before this year’s […]

Interview with East End Cabaret | Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Salacious London-based duo East End Cabaret, starring Bernadette Byrne (played by Jennifer Byrne) and Victor Victoria (played Victoria Falconer-Pritchard), is up there with the crème-de-la-crème of musical acts at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Featuring a cavalcade of raunchy songs with names like It Was Still Hard and Danger Wank, it’s clear early in […]