• Mandy Plumb


With just two days before the ninth annual Brisbane Comedy Festival begins, Brisbane Stage offers its recommendations of must-see shows.

Over 70 comedians will make audiences laugh, cry, and (possibly) cringe over the four-week festival, which is being held at three different venues this year. Leading the pack of international laughter masters are Jim Gaffigan, Irishmen Jimeoin and Des Bishop, Canadian DeAnne Smith, and Englishmen Stephen K Amos and Jeff Green, who will be celebrating 30 years on the comedy circuit with a special show. Also on the bill is beloved Kiwi Urzila Carlson, Scottish star Daniel Sloss and American Rich Hall, making his long-awaited return.

It’s a comedy festival bursting at the seams with hilarious acts, and no one would blame you for being indecisive about who to see. That’s why we thought we’d make it easier for you to choose. Here are our top eight shows to see at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival:

Stephen K Amos​

A known name on the international circuit, Stephen K Amos returns to Australia with his show Bread and Circuses. No matter what your preferred comedy style, you are guaranteed to love him.

Damien Power

An Australian award-winning favourite, you may have seen Damien Power on such TV shows as The Project, Fancy Boy, and The Edge of The Bush. His humble persona and clever jokes will have you laughing until your sides hurt.

Mel Buttle

Awarded the Directors Choice Award at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, you may have heard Mel Buttle’s voice on radio (Triple J and Nova Brisbane) or seen her as the host of The Great Australian Bake Off. She’s a favourite on the festival circuit and certainly a favourite of Brisbane Stage!

Cool Story Bro by Big Fork Theatre

Watch out stand-up comedians, improv is becoming a huge trend for those who are looking for an alternative to stand-up comedy. Big Fork Theatre will not disappoint with their signature improv-comedy show, which features Brisbane’s best comedians and improvisers.

The Stevenson Experience

It’s a double barrel of laughs with these musical comedy twins.

Cameron James

Many of the Brisbane Comedy Festival comedians have ear-marked Cameron James as the ‘one to see’ at this year's festival. For this reason alone, we think he is worthy of making this list.

Daniel Sloss

Internationally acclaimed Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss has performed 10 sell-out Edinburgh Festival shows, two solo off-Broadway seasons and featured on Conan seven times. Need any more reason to see him?

After Hours

You could be forgiven for mistaking comedians for vampires, as they do seem to become more alive in the wee hours of the night. After you’ve seen some of the other shows, why not pop in to see this comedy variety show format later in the evening, featuring a mix of different festival acts every night.

The Brisbane Comedy Festival 2018 runs from 23 February - 25 March.

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