Australia’s longest running comedy club is delivering its biggest FRINGE WORLD season yet, with a selection of >70 Australian & international festival comedians, 19 January – 18 February.
You’d be right in sensing déjà vu; The Laugh Resort (industry-voted WA Comedy’s Fave Venue 2020 & 2022) said the same in 2023 – only this year’s season boasts an even greater 80+ comics, including – in number and diversity – even more homegrown comedic talent and more international acts being welcomed back
Manager Di Star said when the unique 3 decades old not-for-profit (existing to develop & elevate WA comedy) ramps up from its year-round monthly residency at The Shoe in Yagan Square to host 82 performances of 24 events over 23 days of the festival (5 nights a week, Wednesday-Sunday), it’s the absolute best time of year.
“Not only is this a creatively fruitful time for performers, who get to ply their craft more often (and hopefully more lucratively) in front of more people over a condensed period, but Fringe go-ers – particularly comedylovers – can indulge in a much broader array of talent than is otherwise on offer here year-round,” said Star.
And that doesn’t just mean visiting acts, but seeing local stars audiences love in their own full-length shows – rather than for 10ish minutes you might see them in a comedy night otherwise. Though, for the indecisive, the Club’s weekly festival show 9 AT 9 (featuring nine Fringe comedians each Wednesday at 9pm) is a must!
Giving you a taste of this format and range of The Laugh Resort’s other shows in store this festival (a 50/50 mix of homegrown and guest artists), the Club’s regular monthly show January 17 will be its popular Fringe Preview, featuring some extra special guests who’ve arrived in Perth early.
The Laugh Resort’s FRINGE WORLD season kicks off on the fest’s opening weekend, departing from standup with two sketch-based solos: an encore of rising star WAAPA grad Mariah O’Dea’s satire on influencer culture #thenewme; and the latest from WA’s “greatest thing to comedy in years” (tweeted Rove): cult fave Sonny Yang’s Tales from My Immigrant Father: A Serious & Poignant Show About Culture for a Pretentious Audience.
Stand-up lovers needn’t wait long though. Opening weekend up late, 2 Aussies 2 Brits sees internationally renowned London compere Martin Davis and Manchester’s WA-based Jon Pinder (heard on Perth breakky radio) with local headliners Andrew Wolfe and Xavier Susai in an hour of solid comedy gold; while Bad Dads (continuing ‘til 28 January, with 2 shows on Australia Day) features a rotating lineup of Perth’s funny fathers.
UK standup continues with multi award-winning world-touring festival fave (and former writer for TV’s Q.I.) Gordon Southern bringing a PG reboot of his acclaimed A Brief History of History; while our nation’s top tier is represented in a one-night-only performance by homegrown star Claire Hooper (Good News Week, Great Australian Bake-Off); and a premiere from the global circuit’s ★★★★★ Aussie prophet Daniel Muggleton.
For lovers of ‘high art’, fellow 5-star NSW-based comic Sam Kissajukian returns with a matinee encore (two only) of the 2023 sellout 300 Paintings – the show awarded at Perth, Melbourne and two Sydney Fringes (Director’s Choice and 2x Best Comedy) chronicling his journey through Bipolar into art (via standup).
Personal journeys are also comic fodder for FRINGE WORLD first-timer & South Aussie Yozi with their absurd sketch-based comedic tale of attending the world’s premier clown school, No Babies in the Sauna; while Fringe veteran and cult fave Tomás Ford follows up his 2022 musical comedy madness with Camp Tomás Ford – the story of this international alt-cabaret star’s leap from daggy dad to Australia’s newest gay icon.
From starting life as a refugee, to being a Golden Buzzer finalist on Australia’s Got Talent, Emo Majok’s unlikely tale of becoming a comedian, African Aussie, is arguably the most uplifting and inspiring, returning for a strictly limited season; while aspiring 14-18 year olds are encouraged to start their comedy journey competing in Class Clowns – Melbourne Intl. Comedy Fest’s search for Australia’s funniest teen, 4 February.
If interactive is your flavour, the FRINGE WORLD 3-night debut of rising Aussie stand-up star Lucy Henderson, Comedy Cluedo, invites us to help solve her murder in a live comedy take on the classic board-game, with a funny story to uncover in every ‘room’. Meanwhile, UK-based US comedian (and scientist) Robyn Perkins and guests get us laughing and learning in her family-friendly panel show Comedy for the Curious (2 shows only).
More international acts descend in Fringe’s final fortnight, including this festival’s debut of awarded South African former teacher turned comic and sports broadcaster Dalin Oliver with 90 Day Comedian; and after an eight year absence, American comic and author Kirk Smith brings A Comedian’s Guide to Autism, a solid hour of New York standup, interwoven with his experiences raising a child on the spectrum into adulthood.
Fast becoming a Perth fave, the Canadian academy award-nominated actor and Toronto Fringe ‘23 Patron’s Pick premieres a new hour of laughs on her self-reflective journey: Aliya Kanani is a Work in Progress, taking wellness culture to task; while WA’s face of the Oz ‘Lotterée’ (as seen on Australia’s Got Talent & in hit comedy ensemble The Motherhood) Emma Krause makes her solo debut smashing stereotypes in 40+ Fabulous.
These two comics (and a handful more) also feature in the Club’s annual showcase of the festival’s funniest comedians of the female persuasion – the 6th Galentine’s Day Gala – celebrating friendship, as per the tradition originated by TV’s Parks and Recreation, and hosted by special guest Robyn Perkins (USA), Sunday 11 February
More one-night-only events are the popular WA-made live gameshow that sets audiences up with real love matches, (Not) The Bachelor Live on Valentine’s Day with Luke Bolland; while Queenslander Shayne Hunter’s Swipe Left for Drama: How Childhood Upsets Cause Romantic Regrets sees the unique comic storyteller employ his oft-doubted psychology degree to warn us of some modern romance mishaps. The final one-off sees sfx creative Doug Bayne venture from behind the scenes work with
The Umbilical Bros., Tom Walker and Sam Campbell to premiere his solo off-the-wall comedy; while rounding out Fringe’s final week is the return of 2023 smash hit improv championship The Australian O-Pun hosted by the nation’s renowned (only) grammar comedian, WA expat Louisa Fitzhardinge, with festival guests making sh!t up, up late.
Overwhelmed? The Club’s curated selection of top local & guest comics each Wednesday of the fest 9 AT 9 is supreme bang for buck, with previous acts including Rove, Tom Ballard, Georgie Carroll and Dilruk Jayasinha.
With something for every taste in humour (for ages 12+), comfy seats, cool air-con, clean surrounds and discounted dining for show-goers, it’s easy to make this accessible beacon of comedy your go-to all Fringe.
Tickets for The Laugh Resort’s Fringe Preview, 7.30pm Wednesday 17 January, are via Eventbrite.