MICF – Hannah Camilleri Lolly Bag

by | Mar 22, 2024

Adelaide, Melbourne, Edinburgh, London, Adelaide – this bag has travelled. Now Hannah comes full circle with an invigorated showcase of award-winning characters and sketches in her latest creation, Lolly Bag. 

2023 was a big year for Hannah. Lolly Bag was nominated for Most Outstanding Show at last year’s festival and won the prestigious Pinder Prize, however, the show’s journey started out inauspiciously. Venturing to Adelaide in February 2023, Hannah felt that an unknown performer amongst a vast sea of Fringe performers, far away from home, was likely to flail. “I performed to about twenty percent of the house across the season and one night I performed to six people – two of which were festival delegates,” Hannah shares, “It was terrifying to be vulnerable to so few people.” 

For Adelaide, Hannah originally set out to remount her 2022 Melbourne Fringe show, of the same name, nominated for Best in Comedy and awarded the inaugural Comedy New Work Award, however, when she began working in January with director Dylan Murphy (made possible through the 2023 Standup! Grant), the pair made an entirely new show. An additional challenge for Hannah was to account for dead space by remaining onstage for costume changes while chatting to the audience as herself. “I was heckled by punters in Adelaide who were keen to inject life into my somewhat dismal attempt at crowd work between sketches. I found myself laughing onstage at how ambitious I was”, Hannah recounts.

A trial show followed in the lead up to 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. “I don’t know how it was possible but the show was worse than in Adelaide. We were both a bit shocked and called an emergency rehearsal.” It was with great surprise, then, that the show went on to be nominated for  best show of the festival and awarded the Pinder Prize.

This recognition led to a spot in the festival’s Comedy Up Late (YouTube) and Roadshow (touring across Victoria and Western Australia), as well as an encore for Replay Festival (Comedy Republic). Courtesy of the Pinder Prize, a sold-out debut run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe proceeded, topped off with a lively, sold-out stint in London. “Soho audiences are ready to play. They relish the odd,” Hannah beams.

Since returning to Adelaide this year, the show has done a 180 being awarded a weekly award for Best Comedy and with a recent nomination for Best Performer in Independent Theatre from the 41st Green Room Awards, Hannah’s excited to remount for MICF. She seamlessly balances confidence with an interactive, loose style, ensuring the audience’s inclusion and a continually fresh experience. Don’t miss this refined, sweet assortment as she plays in Bagging Room, a venue inside The Malthouse entering its first year.

Hannah Camilleri – Lolly Bag | Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024

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