Women-Led Acts to Catch at the Melbourne Comedy Festival This Year

  From top left (clockwise): Jennifer Wong; Alice Tovey; Celia Pacquola; Demi Lardner; Rosie Waterland.

From top left (clockwise): Jennifer Wong; Alice Tovey; Celia Pacquola; Demi Lardner; Rosie Waterland.

It's that time of year again. The endless array of comedic talent at Melbourne's International Comedy Festival is always a little overwhelming, so here's our round-up of the most justifiably hyped (and a few of the most underrated) female acts to catch in 2018.

Celia Pacquola: All Talk. Even if you haven’t seen Pacquola’s stand-up yet, you might recognise her from Aussie TV gems such as Offspring and Utopia. The much-loved comedian, writer and actor from Victoria's Yarra Glen is back. From 28 March.
Rosie Waterland: My Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie. Writer and sayer of hilarious and honest things, bestselling author (The Anti-Cool Girl, Every Lie I’ve Ever Told) and formerBachelor recap sensation Rosie Waterland brings her number-one podcast to the stage. (Also: I used to work with Rosie and she is SO TALENTED.) From 21 April.

Jennifer Wong: How to Swim With Dolphins. The Sydney-based star of ABC’s Bookish, writer and occasional producer brings her chirpy, smart style to her new show. From 29 March.

Jude Perl: Let’s Hang Out. Perl sings songs that are a) a pelasure to listen to and b) genuinely hilarious satire. This show is an hour of social commentary, catchy tunes and lamenting of weird things people do. Also, Perl’s songs featured in Body Image Movement film Embrace, so extra grl pwr points for that. From 10 April.
Demi Lardner: I Love Skeleton. Multi award-winning comic Lardner (her gongs include Directors Choice award at the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival ) is dry and funny as hell. From 29 March.
Elizabeth Davie: Super Woman Money Program. The winner of the best Comedy Award at this year’s Perth Fringe festival must be onto something, right? We’ll let the promo materials speak for themselves on this one: “Did you know women often retire with a lot less super than men? Elizabeth didn’t. She gets her financial advice from Shirley Bassey and spent all her money going to clown school. But now they tell her she has to raise an extra $350,000 for her retirement, just because she has a vagina. So she’s doing a comedy show.” From 9 April.

Judith Lucy and Denise Scott: Disappointments. These two mainstays of the Aussie comedy circuit are consistently fab. From 7 April.

Geraldine Hickey: Plucky. Co-host on 3RRRFM Hickey, who’s also appeared on ABC TV's Comedy Next Gen, is a joy to see live and has been described as “criminally underrated”. From 28 March.

Fiona O’Loughlin: Gap Year. One of the most in-demand comedians in the country, Melbourne-based O’Loughlin often speaks frankly about alcohol abuse and mental health struggles, and she addresses her near-death experience in this darkly funny show. From 29 March.

Alice Tovey: Existential Crisis: A Rock Opera. Classically trained musicians play steel instruments in this rock-inspired cabaret comedy extravaganza, which is part narrative and part ballad. Feminist comedian, actor and musician Tovey pairs up with Ned Dixon for this act. From 28 March.

Claire Hooper: All The Rage. West Australian-born comedian and regular TV talent Hooper addresses the funny side of anger in her new show, which is inspired by her own anger in an Adelaide hotel room after she and her family missed pricey flights to a friend's wedding. From 29 March.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 28 March- 22 April.