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Raise the Bra - Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024 (VIC)

Hosted by Amna Bee. Performances by Catherine McClintock, Lisa Sharpe, Krutika Harale and Sarah Maree Cameron

Reviewed by Matthaios Hortomaris

Queen Victoria’s Women Centre

Dates and times: Apr 4, 5, 6 at 9.00pm

Tickets: $22

A must see for anyone interested in dipping their toes into the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this female led show will make people from all walks of life chuckle.

A debut show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Raise the Bra features an all female comic line up that, while being a debut show, most definitely has a well rehearsed sparkle to it. 

Raise the Bra is a special MICF version of the regular ‘Raise the Bar Comedy’ hosted every month in Melbourne’s StoryVille with each night promising a unique theme that anyone can relate to, and you certainly don’t need to be a woman to thoroughly enjoy yourself. This particular night featured Amna Bee, the host for the evening and a lineup of four other women on the topic of ‘Mum’s the Word’. Future shows will surround the concept of Black Widows (4th of April), Career Days (5th of April), and Dysfunctional Families (6th of April), all with different comedians.

Each comedian gets between 10-15 minutes to make an impression. This can be a delicate amount of time to make an impression, but is extremely rewarding for those that come out of the gate swinging. This forces our comedian to have a great hook, like Catherine McClintock’s interpretive dance of a christian rock song that is “so much better than regular music”. 

One of the best things about a line up like this is that it doesn’t just cater to one style. Lisa Sharpe completely plunged herself into the night's theme with a discussion around her relationship with her kids - proving that sometimes there is such a thing as being too close with your children. Sharpe’s dry wit was also used to full effect with anecdotes surrounding her own overly proud mother. This was perfectly balanced with a set provided by Kutika Harale’s own interpretation on ‘Mum’s the Word’, not only joking around with her own relationship with her mother, but also discussing taboo topics. Harale truly earned her laughs with a set that was both shocking and intelligent.

Our headliner Sarah Maree Cameron hit home proving that having a body is hard work, and trying for kids is even harder. Cameron’s experience with IVF may not sound like it's for everyone, but sharing her partners’ experience “depositing samples” can relate to any male in the audience. Cameron also showed her comedic chops by seamlessly ditching her set to relate the aforementioned samples to a 15 year boy in the crowd, which was so masterfully done it almost seemed scripted.

The night was later neatly tied together by the ever energetic Bee, who can not only incorporate each comic’s material into transitional commentary, but also involved the audience into the night.

For anyone even slightly interested in watching a show during this year's MICF, I would strongly urge you to see this variant on the ‘Raise the Bar’ variety show. This is where new talent is discovered, and supplies a taste tester of other shows to watch this MICF season. This will whet your appetite and get you to fall into the spectacular month that is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Raise the Bra MICF 2024


Thu 28 Mar - Sat 30 Mar: 9pm;

Thu 4 Apr - Sat 6 Apr: 9pm

Queen Victoria Women's Centre - Millarri Murnmut, 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

This show contains: Drug references, Occasional coarse language, Political, religious or racial themes, References to sexual assault or abuse, References to substance abuse, Strong sexual references



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