Post 2020, we could all do with many laugh out loud moments. Welcome theMelbourne International Comedy Festivalto the rescue! From 24 March to 18 April 2021, Melbourne becomes comedy capital of the Universe. It takes over the city with an enormous program of standup comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance and more.
The Comedy Festival is Australia's largest ticketed cultural event and one of the top three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Montreal's Just for Laughs and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Head to the website to browse all shows and venues and learn how the event is keeping it COVID safe this Festival. Subscribe and stay updated.
The Gala kicks off the festival on Wed 17 March, however, it's a HOT ticket item with a star-studded night of performers and has already exhausted capacity. Fear not, for there's still nearly four weeks of events to look forward to. Just keep in mind it pays to get in quick to secure a seat to your favourite show.
Catering to current times, aside from the festival's favourite annual events, for those who want in on the joke from the comfort of their homes, an exciting digital program will accompany the live 'in person' events, with content available each day of the Festival. The laughs are also being spread wide with a series of festival-to-the-burbs showcases that will bring the stars to your neighbourhood with Comedy Commutes.
Amongst the Special Events you have The Opening Night Comedy All Stars Supershow; another example of - when there's a star-studded lineup, you really need to be the early bird that catches the worm. This one has sold out as well. There's still a light at the end of the tunnel with The 31st Annual Great Debate. Better grab your tickets quick smart to sit back and enjoy six professionals fight it out in the smarty-pants arm wrestle. Expect the astute and the absurd, the ingenious and the idiotic, the resourceful and the downright ridiculous. It's where critical thinking and comic timing collide.
You're in luck with special event Upfront as well, with tickets still available, though no doubt, not for long - so hurry! The stage is set for the crowned queens of comedy to deliver whip-smart laughs and charm in classic Upfront style! Watch the scene's most irreverent comics shatter stereotypes, expand minds and raise the roof. An epic night of comedy that has its finger firmly on the pulse. The event will be hosted by Geraldine Quinn's Spandex Ballet and features Nikki Britton, Alex Ward, Mel Buttle, Lizzy Hoo, Mandy Nolan, Jude Perl, Michelle Brasier, Kirsty Webeck, Geraldine Hickey, Emma Holland, Zoë Coombs Marr, Jordan Barr, Bev Killick, Urvi Majumdar, Kit Richards, Diana Nguyen and more!
The kids haven't been forgotten. Comedy Club for Kids is a good way to introduce the kids to the comedy festival. It's available both IRL and Online and you can get your tickets here. Suitable for kids aged 6 to 12, each show features a variety showcase of everything from stand-up and sketch to musical comedy and circus. Hosted by cheeky Grandma, King of the kids Josh Earl and Die Roten Punkte Berlin's self-proclaimed best band ever, it features Hayley Hoopla, Clara Cupcakes, Xavier Michelides, Patrick Collins, Ben Russell, Lauren Bok, Garry Starr, Don't Mess With The Dummies, Josh Glanc and more!
Some of the Aussie stars to look forward to include the loveable Australia's BAFTA-nominated Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills in Shoes Half Full. Then theres Akmal in Open for Renovations. Love him or hate him, he will be asking the audience if they know how he can achieve the near on impossible feats of getting a perfect body with rock hard abs and buns of steel without ever getting out of bed for one, and many other questions, so get some answers ready. Another loveable, Alan Brough in Charlie and the War Against the Grannies. Combining shadow puppetry , live music and three really stinky farts, 12 year old Charlie Duncan uncovers a league of evil grannies. This is just the tip of the iceberg in homegrown comedians.
Amongst the Internationals are the regulars we know and love in the form of Ross Noble in 2021 Comeback. He has been entertaining us with his shenanigans on tv in lockdown on The Project and now it's time for an IRL event. He's chomping at the bit and raring to go! Are you ready? Another familiar international is coming back with Arj Barker Comes Clean. It's going to be an hour of BS as he will not swear to tell the whole truth, but will swear while telling the partial truth. Looks like a good roundup of comedy all round.
The festival is a great time to see your familiar favourites, but it's also a time to discover a few more. If you can't decide which comedians to see at the festival, then you need to see All Around The World: The International Comedy Showcase. Back for a 6th year, the show contains a selection of the festival's favourite international visitors, who've all stayed in Australia thanks to COVID. There's also a selection of guest Aussies this year, who are all usually travelling around the world; and It's all crammed into one show. Four of the finest festival comedians for the price of one. There's no better way to see a sample of this year's festival visitors.
Snap up a deal by catching a preview show or go on Tightarse Tuesday. Many shows have discount prices available for group bookings, but check individual show pages for details as minimum group sizes can vary. Show a valid concession and get concession prices or buy a laugh pack and save. As aforementioned, browse the website for all shows and start getting your itinerary together for big laughs and to show your support for the artists who have been doing it tough during the pandemic.