If you're looking to support emerging comedy this Melbourne International Comedy Festival, The Comedy Zone is a great place to start. This showcase of up-and-comers features some of the best young and emerging comics from across the country.
This isn't the most polished show in the festival but it doesn’t need to be. As the flyers proclaim this is "untamed" new talent. The fact that these acts are rough around the edges is a lot of their charm. Each of the comics (Suren Jayemanne, Becky Lucas, Aaron Chen and Demi Lardner) performs a ten minute set with MC Geoffrey Windle holding it all together.
Geoffrey Windle does a fantastic job of keeping the audience riled up between sets. He covers everything from caramel popcorn, Four Ingredients and NASA drones with confidence and pizazz.
Suren Jayemanne’s set is a mix of material about racial identity and terrible (read: excellent) puns. He’s charming and engaging, carefully blending the topical with the ridiculous.
Bouncing around the stage, Becky Lucas leaps from jokes about her half-Russian father to material about volunteering at a soup kitchen. She’s full of energy and drags the audience along with her.
Aaron Chen’s plays on his own awkwardness to marvellous effect. The highpoint is a musical number “My Social Anxiety Prevents Me Displaying My True Talents”.
Demi Lardner is a highlight. The reigning champion of Raw Comedy is a joy to watch onstage and it’s easy to see why her surreal brand of humour has already scored her a fistful of awards.
I'd be very surprised if we didn't see these comics premiering successful solo shows in the coming years. These comics are definitely on the rise.