Comedians take over Perth

Quadriple J: Comedy Festival director Jo Marsh with comedians Jeff Hewitt, John Robertson and Josh Makinda.     (names OK)
Quadriple J: Comedy Festival director Jo Marsh with comedians Jeff Hewitt, John Robertson and Josh Makinda. (names OK)

The Perth International Comedy Festival launched last year and proved a resounding success, putting pressure on coordinator Jo Marsh to follow-up with a bigger and better program for 2013.

‘There is always pressure when you put on any event to make it a success but after last year’s success, it was much easier to program the festival with a trusted brand,’ Marsh said.

She has expanded the festival with special events at the Regal Theatre and Riverside Theatre featuring national and international acts ” including the Wayans Brothers ” and introducing the late-night John Conway Variety Talk Show at The Flying Scotsman’s Velvet Lounge and John Robertson’s The Dark Room at the Astor Lounge.

Comedy lovers have bade farewell to San Francisco’s controversial Korean-American Margaret Cho, who included Perth on her Australian tour for the first time, thanks to the pulling power of the festival.

However, the local acts are proving to be the big beneficiaries of the festival’s inaugural success.

‘There are 15 events that feature the locals, including 13 solo shows, the Comedy Allsorts WA showcase and the Next Gen Comedy Competition,’ she said.

‘All up, this includes more than 73 local artists throughout the three-week period.

‘We have also started an initiative for local comedians called Comedy Allsorts, a mini-gala of local acts that have workshopped their material. There are 12 different local comedians included in this event, so the line-up will be different each night.’

As for who was on the cusp of reaching national recognition, Marsh said it was hard to single out up-and-coming talent, but advised to keep eyes and ears on Willetton resident Josh Makinda, Sami Shah and Tien Tran.