The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is full of a variety of different acts, and it’s not all just stand up or traditional feeling comedy shows. For something a little bit different, we spoke to two award-winning performers who are doing things a little bit different at this year’s festival.

Josh Glanc


Winner of Best Comedy at Perth and Adelaide Fringe festivals in 2017, Manfül stars Dicky Rosenthal – the once dweeby, but now hyper-masculine American beefcake – in town to sell a new life-changing supplement. What follows is a 90s dance music themed product launch that descends into a surreal and strange gender quest.

“It’s basically a 90s-dance-music themed product launch that descends into a surreal and strange gender quest. It’s fun, absurd, a bit personal and really high-energy and surprising” Glanc said.

He came up with it from a few ideas, with his first sketch show involving lots of different characters.

“This time I wanted to create something with just one character.  I’ve also really enjoyed watching character comedies that descend into chaos, and I wanted the show to be set in the room in which it was taking place” he said.

“This show has been hard- I really struggled to find the character for so long. I wear a full-body muscle suit in the show, which I purchased before I knew anything about the character or the show. One day I just came out with this nebbish American accent and it just felt right. That was the beginning of what is now Dicky Rosenthal”.

I wouldn’t say my style is stand up at all. I’ve just always loved theatre and musicals and cabaret and physical comedy. There are some brilliant stand-up comics that I absolutely love and could be in a room with for ages – just for me, I want to do other things too – I want to be a character, I want music, dancing, props. I just love all that and I like creating worlds that we get to inhabit” he said.


Manful plays for the entire festival, until 23 April. Tickets at:

 Trygve Wakenshaw


Trygve Wakenshaw (pronounced Trig-vee) specializes in highly physical comedy, and his latest show is high-octane mime. Nautilus is a follow up to his previous two shows KRAKEN and Squidboy, and this show has also won several awards and toured the world.

“ It is scenes of characters and recurring characters in a cartoon like situational sort of world. You will have to come along and work out the theme for yourself” he said.

“I actually make fun of stand up comedy during the show- the superior attitude that stand-up comedy has to other forms of comedy. Well, the form doesn’t think of itself as better, but some of comedians do, and I guess some audiences do too”

“I do mime acting and playing out scenes. It’s heaps better than stand up” he said.

His style of comedy is self-derived, and he made a lot of it up.

“I watched a lot of cartoon and The Muppet Show as a kid growing up and I think that has influenced the style of this show. I get better when I can take a character or a scene that takes a lot of explanation and refine it down to a few clear movements and facial distortions” he said.

All of his shows are slightly different and don’t always involve audience participation, which will be to the relief of some audience members.

“I don’t allow the audience to play along in this show, until the previous show. I came to realise that the audience will not make the show better. They are allowed to sit and watch and laugh, and until they can work together and show empathy and playfulness, until they can work, until we all can work together towards a common cause, they are not invited to play in my show” he said.


Catch Wakenshaw in Nautilus from 11 to 22 April at the Famous Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre. Tickets: