Bringing the glitz and glam to this year’s Melbourne International Comedy festival is the Yarraville Club. The long-time comedic heart of Melbourne’s west isn’t interested in the conventional, or the ordinary, playing host to stand-up acts with sass and showmanship. Adam Zwar and the gang of Agony Aunts and Uncles will be in attendance for Agony Live, so too Michael Griffiths with his ode to Madonna, In Vogue: Songs By Madonna alongside the crew from Police Cops. Last but not least, Rose ‘Bachi Recaps’ Waterland – Australia’s answer to Lena Dunham – is set to make her Comedy Festival debut with My Life On The Couch (with Vodka).
The intimate, immediate and beguiling nature of live comedy is alive and well thanks to The Butterfly Club. The hidden gem is renowned for its cabaret, comedy, and cocktails, tucked away off Little Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD. Here you can catch the criminally funny James Bond-spinoff You Only Laugh Twice, Claire Healy spilling all the beans in A Little Too Much Information, and find the funny side of doom and gloom in Alice Tovey’s Malice alongside cult favourite Jude Perl and a whole heap more.
Roxanne is synonymous with Melbourne’s nightlife. Located in the elusive laneway of Coverlid Place, it sits directly on the city’s beating cultural pulse. This year, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is taking over the dance floor and populating it with a mouth-watering list of comedic talent. Adam Hess will be dolling out wit and wordplay in spades, Yeti’s Demon Dive Bar will step into the absurd and Peter & Bambi Heaven bring to life the world of cornball magic in The Magic Inside. Do yourself a favour by spending a night or two in the comedy jungle that is Roxanne.
For another year ACMI’s festival roster boasts an abundance of comedy veterans alongside festival standouts. Join Felicity Ward as she tackles mental illness and anxiety with her familiar, albeit, animated approach in What if There is No Toilet?, and Nick Cody as he returns from a gargantuan world tour with stories of travel and adventure in Come Get Some. Alternatively there’s Dogmatic, whichplaces Hannah Gadsby in her element as she attempts to explain woeful life decisions, all the while remaining utterly baffled. Good times are to be had in the city’s iconic centre junction.
As the bright, gleaming epicentre for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Town Hall hosts some of the festival’s biggest names. Frank Woodley will be taking you on a journey of normalcy in the endlessly odd Extra Ordinary, and Matt Okine will be working the crowd when the sun’s down as opposed to his customary early starts on triple j’s Breakfast with Matt and Alex. And don’t forget Mae Martin in US,finding the funny in human interaction. The Melbourne Town Hall opens up a world of possibilities and experiences during the comedy festival.
The Famous Spielgeltent injects into this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival a sea of glamour full of magic tricks and vivacious expeditions into cabaret. With acts such as Tripod and their 101 Hits, and the bizarre sketch comedy performance of Pajama Men in Pterodactyl Nights, the fantastical Spielgeltent offers a foray into the fabulous realm of comedy.
Located in the heart of Southbank’s arts precinct, The Coopers Malthouse Theatre couples the inner city’s rich creative history with a contemporary approach to comedy and performance. As the Melbourne International Comedy festival’s newest hub, the prospect of witnessing the best and brightest comedy has to offer while downing a quality brew is one that can’t be missed. Lawrence Leung will be there playing mind games and curiously narrating impossible coincidences in Very Strange Things. Velvet, on the other hand, will be getting their boogie on with their critically acclaimed musical. Comedy never tasted so good.
Trades Hall has become a Melbourne institution. And rightly so, after acting as a festival hub for 18 years. Expect to see the likes of Brendon Green, Simon Taylor, Tom Ballard and more take to the stage
Woopa! The Greek Centre returns for another year, bursting to the hilt with top notch comics and shows. Make sure to catch the brilliant Jake Johannsen when he brings his Talking Show to the hallowed stage.
FREE FESTIVAL BUS
To squeeze as many shows as you can into a night, make sure you take advantage of the free festival bus, shuttling between Melbourne Town Hall and Trades Hall via the Greek Centre and Roxanne for free, every night.