Not content with past success, throughout March a number of players on the Ho Chi Minh City comedy scene are working together to up the ante with the first installment of the Magners International Comedy Festival.
The Big V
Kicking off on Friday, Mar. 4 at deciBel, will be the Big V Comedy Competition for amateur stand-ups living in Vietnam. Hosted by local comic Tat Lay, each aspiring comedian will get three minutes on stage to strut their gag-filled stuff. A panel of judges will pick out the top three, of whom the winner will be flown to Singapore to compete in the regional finals on Friday, Mar. 11.
All three finalists will then return on Tuesday Mar. 15 to perform at Saigon Ranger for the Vietnam finals. Hosted by Northern Irish stand-up Martin Mor, the biggest beard in comedy, an all-star, game show-style panel will be put together headed up by Canadian comic, Lars Callieou. With VND10 million worth of prize money at stake, expect this to be a heated and very amusing affair. Naturally, with three professional comics in town, we’re going to need a headliner, and rounding off the night will be Colombian Irish UK comic, Matthew Giffen. Brought up in London on a diet of cocaine and potatoes (sic!), expect his act to be explosive.
The Grand Finale
The day after the festival moves to Phatty’s for the final show, with the stage being handed over to the pros. On the podium will be Canadian, Lars Callieou, who besides touring with Joan Rivers, Jeff Foxworthy, Bob Saget and Martin Short, has got a TV and radio resumé longer than his rather sunstantial arm. Also back for the final night will be former circus performer, Martin Mor. With 25 years behind him on the stage, Martin has performed at the Hammersmith Apollo, in an Italian prison, for members of the British Royal family, and in places as far flung as Hong Kong, the US, South Africa, UAE and Singapore. He has also supported superstars with names such as Frankie Boyle, Jack Dee, Lee Evans, Johnny Vegas, Steve Coogan and even Tina Turner.
And naturally, the award-winning Matthew Giffen will return for his final, FARC-inspired hurrah. The star of BBC 3’s hit show, The Fear in the UK, and winner of the Critics Choice Award at the Perth Fringe in 2015, Matthew will be fast, frenetic and definitely furious.