Melbourne International Comedy Festival: “The best of the best at their best”

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is getting ready to return to the stages throughout the CBD, and in particular three artists are ready to shock and surprise audiences with their choice of content.

While light-hearted topics are generally the sphere many comedians deal with, three comedians appearing in the CBD – Ben Lomas, Annie Louey and Urvi Majumdar – find their niche in sharing the heavier experiences they have been through.

From Urvis ‘experience of moving to Australia from India as a child and dealing with the complexity of balancing her parents’ expectations with her cool girl status to Ben’s traumatic hospital experience, nothing is illegal.

And as someone who “has always been drawn to things [she] should not do ”, Annie also breaks the illusion of taboo subjects that must be silent with her ability to find humor in trying situations.

“The show is like a memoir about my life, but through the lens of experiences I have had with death, something in Chinese culture that one does not talk about as it is an accident,” Annie said.

“I built the show around that I wanted to open up and tell about experiences I have had from a fatal accident when I was 16, where I became a burn survivor, my father died and eventually worked for the funeral home for the same people who did so. his funeral. “

To really explore the theme of dark humor in its entirety, Annie is teaming up with award-winning director Jason Marion for her show Flirting with Death.

Although she is eager to “dance with death” in a very surprising way, she also demonstrates her ability to transform horrific experiences into those who do not control her.

This is something she does with her latest web series From the Mouth of the hearse, which serves as a smart and insightful promotion of her show, while at the same time demigmatizing the subject of death.

Annie exploits her love of presenting documentary-style interviews and takes “well-known or really funny people who have a good story to do with death” on a ride in a hearse.

An experience that saw her witness how people can “spin the theme in ways [she] did not expect. “

Along with one of the rides, comedian Ben Lomas dived into the subject of his upcoming Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Any Questions ?, when he shared that he had to sign an approval form for his leg to be removed if it came to that point in his operation.

Despite enjoying the experience of creating her intimate web series, it’s the “electric feel” of performing live that Annie is most looking forward to at this year’s festival – something Ben very much agrees with.

“I can not believe I’m working again! Nothing beats a live audience in the heart of the city drinking and laughing at them. It’s good to be back, ”he said.

As one not in the spotlight, but rather the producer behind Annie, Ben and Urvis’ shows, Heidi Pietzner knows all too well why these three shows are necessary in society.

“I know it’s really cliché, but laughter is really the best medicine, and last year the shutdowns really hit the industry hard, and it hit the comedians a lot harder along with other affected industries,” Heidi said.

I was at my lowest, but pulled myself out to see comedian Ellen Briggs, and it was at that point that I realized the power of comedy because she pulled me out of the biggest downturn.

From Ben’s “big and infectious energy” to Annie’s ability to “create something light from something very dark” and Urvis’ potential to “make girls feel normal about something that would normally make them feel anxious” , Heidi is sure there is something for everyone.

“The thing about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is that it’s just one of the best times of the year in Melbourne, it’s a very busy atmosphere and a very exciting time to go out,” she said.

“I have great respect for Annie, Ben and Urvi for getting up and doing what they do night after night and the months and years they have put into their shows. This is a top event of the year so you will see it. best of the best when it’s best. ”

This year’s festival, which runs from March 30 to April 24, features more than 400 shows around the city and beyond, where tickets are already on sale.

Throughout the festival, Annie Louey’s Flirting with Death will be shown at Melbourne City Hall, and Urvi Majumdar’s Urvi Went To An All Girls School will be on the Mantra of Russell.

Ben Lomas’ any questions? will be at the Coopers Inn from March 31 to April 10 •

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