Review: Rising Stars of Comedy – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Written and performed by Chelsea Evans, Eli Landes, Sam Gebreselassie

Review by Justin Clarke

Tucked away in the intimate Heroes Bar in Melbourne, the Rising Stars of Comedy was an hour of laughter that ranged from the devastatingly relatable, to the edgiest of humour.

Starting the show, Chelsea Evans led us on a journey of childhood discovery. Offering up the notion that perhaps demonic blow jobs may be underestimated, Evans led us through the challenges of having Born Again Christian parents. Also telling a relatable tale of online gaming with friends, that somehow led to the friends’ bums touching, it was clear that Evans dug deep into her past for comedic gold.

Leaning entirely into the heterosexual white guy routine, Eli Landes had the crowd in stitches. With some astute political observations about the dangers of being a white hetero male, Landes offered some big belly laughs and always stayed right on the edge of going too far. His shy irony and self-awareness were a great combination that made for a solid set.

Sam Gebreselassie shared the unfortunate situation of having an Ethiopian/Eritrean heritage and being given the name Samuel. Gebreselassie’s laid back and relaxed approach was endearing and hilarious at the same time. Sharing his story of the games he likes to play with people – the Where Are You From? game – Gebreselassie made us think twice about our own prejudices. With some fun facts about Ethiopia that led to a Red Cross conspiracy, he was a perfect end to the night.

Get down to the Heroes so you can say you saw these comics before they were big at the Rising Stars of Comedy. Even if you just need time to kill before your next show, this is a an absolute hit for all kinds of audiences.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rising Stars of Comedy played at the Heroes Bar until 14 April. Their performance of 16 April has been cancelled.

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