Published on April 17th, 2023 | by Andrew Bistak
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL NAMES 2023 RAW COMEDY NATIONAL WINNER
Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s RAW Comedy National Grand Final took place on Sunday 16 April and crowned Henry Yan the best new talent in the country. Hosted by Dilruk Jayasinha, and featuring a special guest performance from Chloe Petts (UK) and Rob Auton (UK), 13 finalists from around Australia took part in the competition showcasing the freshest and funniest new talent.
In addition to the much-lauded winning title, Henry Yan from Victoria will laugh all the way to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where they’ll have a chance to compete in So You Think You’re Funny? Jacquelyn Richards (VIC), Meg Jager (QLD) and Rapha Manajem (VIC) were all named runners-up.
For the past 28 years, Melbourne International Comedy Festival has presented RAW Comedy – giving aspiring comedians from across Australia the opportunity to compete with their wit at the country’s largest and most prestigious open mic comedy competition.
Over the course of the last four months, almost one thousand budding comedians from all corners of the nation registered to compete across a total of 60 heats and finals in RAW Comedy, hitting stages with their best 5 min set.
Only 13 finalists made it to the RAW Comedy National Grand Final at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, including: Elysia Hall (NSW), Ginny Hollands (VIC), Hadi Kilman (SA), Henry Yan (VIC), Jack O’Sullivan (TAS), Jacquelyn Richards (ACT), Jarryd Prain (NSW), Meg Jager (QLD), Nicole Shi (WA), Rapha Manajem (VIC), Scott Northover (NT), Trish Hurley (ACT) and William Wang (VIC).
RAW Comedy Judges were Susan Provan AO, Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director; Jet Vevers, Comedy Programmer, Soho Theatre London; Steve Bennett, Editor, Chortle, UK; Writer and Comedian Claire Hooper; and Writer, Comedian and Composer Huge Davies.
All finalists now join the elite ranks of Australia’s comedy scene, with RAW Comedy National Finalist Alumni including: Hannah Gadsby, Ronny Chieng, Matt Okine, Becky Lucas, Aaron Chen, Sarah Kendall, Sam Simmons, Celia Pacquola, Luke McGregor, Rhys Nicholson, Tom Ballard, Anne Edmonds, Sam Campbell, Georgie Carroll, David Woodhead, Cassie Workman and more.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 29 March – 23 April. For more information and to buy tickets, visit comedyfestival.com.au