Arts, Culture & Festivals

10 Sydney Comedy Festival Acts You Need to See


The Sydney Comedy Festival wagon rolled into town over the past week. But with a gluttony of acts performing across the state, Dunstan has picked out ten acts you need to go and see.

1. Alex Wasiel – Status Update

Why she is one to see:  Alex is full of charm and wackiness. She is your typical class clown just 20 years older. Her presence is immediately felt when she graces the stage, she invites you in to her world which just seems full of joy. There is no better word to describe Alex then ‘FUN’.

Why you haven’t heard of her: Alex has been gigging for years but this is her first solo show. She deserves a large audience for this larger than life character. A 2013 Triple J RAW Comedy State Finalist and rising star in the comedy firmament,  Alex hopes to make you weird-explosion-laugh with her unique blend of effervescence, incisive wit and “yo mama” jokes.

“Bubbly and charming … Alex is pretty much the definition of fun

The Enmore Theatre

Thu 15th May 2014 – 7:30 pm
Fri 16th May 2014 – 7:30 pm
Sat 17th May 2014 – 8:00 pm

Buy your Alex Wasiel tickets here.

2. Ben Ellwood – All My Zingers

Why he is one to watch: Ben is that voice in the back of your head that says what the fuck is wrong with my life. His irreverent style to problems facing him and the world is an absolute joy to watch. His style of Stand up in All my Zinger’s is mostly improv, which will be a real treat, not knowing what is going to come out of his mouth next is the best way to see Ben Ellwood.

Why you haven’t heard of him: Simply because he hasn’t wanted you to. Ben has been around the comedy scene for many years, opening for acts like Doug Stanhope and Marc Maron, he is well experienced, he’s just burnt a few bridges along the way, but he’s mending them. Ben takes to the stage with his board of Zingers; a roulette wheel with 40 segments, each representing a piece of material, a story or a hot topic. Over the course of the hour the wheel is spun several times by audience members to determine the course of the show. The result is an organic and authentic conversation through a unique blend of rehearsed stand up and in the moment improv.

The Factory Theatre

Wed 7th May 2014 – 8:15 pm
Fri 9th May 2014 – 8:15 pm

Get your Ben Ellwood tickets here.

3. Cameron James and Jared Jekyll in Paradise

Why they are one to watch: Paradise is an hour of hilarity and obscurity that has allowed these to clowns to receive rave reviews from the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. Their mix of storytelling, improv and childlike wonder will leave laughing after the show has finished. These are two of the funniest solo comedians around, put them together and you get a paradise that is truly wonderful.

Why you haven’t heard of them: I don’t know you should’ve they are great. Also this is only a few months old but you will know these two very soon.

The Factory Theatre

Tue 6th May 2014 – 8:15 pm
Thu 8th May 2014 – 8:15 pm
Sat 10th May 2014 – 8:15 pm

Get your Cameron James and Jared Jekyll tickets here.

4. Chris Leben – Accidental Pornographer

Why he is one to watch: Chris’ life is one tragedy and success, his many failures as child, teenager and adult have led to this amazing hour of comedy. Go on a journey with Chris who will take through how he was raised as a naive Christian country boy and wound up a pornographer in the big city. I got the chance to see this show at last year’s Sydney fringe festival and it blew me away., he is most definitely a future comedic star.

Why you haven’t heard of him: Chris has been working on TV for 5 years, for shows like Hungry Beast and The Feed on SBS 2, but is relatively new to the comedy scene only having been a Stand Up of a couple of years, which it just makes this show more impressive.

The Factory Theatre

Wed 30th Apr 2014 – 7:00 pm
Fri 2nd May 2014 – 7:00 pm
Sun 4th May 2014 – 6:00 pm

Get your Chris Leben tickets here.

5. Damien Power – Keit

Why he is one to watch: Damien has a fantastic ability to find the joke in any situation; his raw energy and incredible timing make one of the best comedians in Australia at the moment. This Queenslander, he just been rising and rising in the comedic world, even getting the chance to open for Tenacious D and smashing the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Why you haven’t heard of him: The only reason Damien’s name isn’t more well-known is because comedy and comedians aren’t a big deal in Australia.

an engaging speaker, his fearless confidence winning over the room” –Chortle (UK)

The Factory Theatre

Tue 6th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Wed 7th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Thu 8th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Fri 9th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Sat 10th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Sun 11th May 2014 – 8:30 pm

Get your Damien Power tickets here.

6. Daniel Townes – The Other Side

Why he is one to watch: Maybe the most chilled and easy going person on stage, Daniel Townes guides you through his world of jokes and life failings and a fantastic hour. He is a seasoned comedian with a wealth of material and has the ability to throw in a joke or story which you would never expect to come out of his mouth. He is a comedian who every person should see at least once.

Why you haven’t heard of him: It remains a mystery why Daniel Townes isn’t bigger; I truly believe he suffers the same fate as Damien Power, though he is well on his way to being known.

The Enmore Theatre

Tue 6th May 2014 – 7:45 pm
Thu 8th May 2014 – 7:45 pm
Sat 10th May 2014 – 7:45 pm

Get your Daniel Townes tickets here.

7. The Yo Mama Battles Semi and Grand Final

Why they are one to watch: Everyone has heard a yo mama joke, now listen to comedians tell them. Even better the audience decides the topics. This is a raucous hour of insults, pure improv genius and hilarity that cannot be missed.  The top yo mama joksters slugged it out to make it to the finals, you will only be witnessing to cream of the crop.

Why you haven’t heard of it: This is simply do with you never really hear about events at the festival. You get to hear about the odd act or two but events like this one not so much. But you have heard of it so go see it.

The Factory Theatre

Fri 9th May 2014 – 10:00 pm
Fri 16th May 2014 – 10:00 pm

Get your Yo Mama Battles Semi and Grand Final tickets here.

8. Nick Sun – Just Have Fun or I Will Kill You

Why he is one to watch: Nick finds punchlines in places where most comedians fear to tread, come see why Nick is the number one choice for people tired of the usual boring TV-friendly fake shit. Refreshingly honest, Nick takes his audience on a no-holds barred journey through the world as he sees it, equal parts dark and equal parts light.

Why you haven’t heard of him: Nick is cut from the same cloth as Ben Ellwood, both are huge names in the comedy scene not known in the outside world. Nick is a Raw Comedy Winner, not only that but So You Think You’re Funny winner which is the Edinburgh festival equivalent of Raw Comedy, which is a huge fucking achievement. But I guess just look at his pic.

The Factory Theatre

Tue 13th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Thu 15th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Sat 17th May 2014 – 9:30 pm

Get your Nick Sun tickets here.

9. Ray Badran – This Is My Third Show

Why he is one to watch: Ray is a clever comedian; there is no better way to put it. His show is about the stupidest things he’s ever done. This is an amazing hour of storytelling and jokes, he is just at ease on stage and it shows. He takes into his world and you are much happier for going there, with this charming prince.

Why haven’t you heard of him: Soon you will, Ray is slowly building a fan base, he is a hard working comedian who was this year apart of the breakout comedy tour. It is only a matter of time before he is household name.

The Factory Theatre

Tue 13th May 2014 – 7:00 pm
Thu 15th May 2014 – 7:00 pm
Sat 17th May 2014 – 7:00 pm

Get your Ray Badran tickets here.

10. Three Blokes Telling Jokes

Why they are one to watch: This trio of comedians are some of the hardest working acts on the scene. Andrew Barnett, Scott Dettrick and Matty B are three funny blokes. Their show is one truly not to be missed all three have some of the best jokes you will ever hear, covering a wide range of topics from boat people to Banana’s in Pyjamas.

Why haven’t you heard of them: That again is down to Australia not being hungry for more comedy. If we ever get hungrier believe me these three will be gobbled up quickly.

The Factory Theatre

Wed 14th May 2014 – 9:30 pm
Fri 16th May 2014 – 9:30 pm

Get your Three Blokes Telling Jokes tickets here.

Highly Recommended:

Reece Piper and Andrew Hasting – Mortal Kombat
Susie Youssef – Sketchual Chocolate
Tien Tran – If You Don’t Know, Now You Know
The Little Dum Dum Club – Live Podcast
Umit Bali – Flight Plan

Images: Sydney Comedy Festival 2014

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