Enjoy the Melbourne Comedy Festival vibe in your own neighbourhood with the new Comedy Commutes program. Every weekend of the Festival, a carefully crafted mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent will commute to some favourite local venues around Melbourne including Howler in Brunswick, Broadmeadows Town Hall, Hawthorn Arts Centre, Thornbury Theatre, Kingston Arts Centre in Moorabbin, Footscray Community Arts Centre and The Espy in St Kilda.
With an outrageously talented line-up of fantastically funny comedians including Carl Donnelly (UK), Dane Simpson, Georgie Carroll, Jude Perl, Bob Franklin, Annie Louey and Takashi Wakasugi (Japan), each two-hour show of Comedy Commutes will take big laughs well beyond the CBD.
Comedy Commutes runs 26 and 27 March, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 April.
THE FESTIVAL CLUB
This year the late night, weird and wild Festival Club is taking over downstairs at Forum Melbourne. Exclusively on Friday and Saturday evenings, it will feature a curated program of the best stand-up, cabaret, drag and more.
Friday night mainstay Comedy Bonanza is back with a lineup of the Festival’s biggest names in comedy. After the Bonanza the incomparable Michelle Brasier will host the epic Lip Sync Battle by the best lip-syncing comics in da biz.
On Saturday nights, you can fall down The Kaye Hole, sashay away at So You Think You Can Drag? or rock ze haus with Otto & Astrid at Haus Party! Then on the final Saturday night of the Festival (Sat 17 Apr) – it’s The People of Cabaret’s Variety Spectacular. Get ready for a raucous and risqué line-up of stunning artists from alternative comedy, drag and cabaret scenes, curated by this boundary-breaking initiative who are shaking up the system, amplifying and advocating for the voices of Indigenous, Bla(c)k and people of colour in the arts industry.
ALI MCGREGOR’S LATE-NITE VARIETY-NITE NIGHT
Since 2006 Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night has been enticing audiences at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and beyond. A cult late-night show that draws the biggest comedy acts, the sexiest burlesque, heart-stopping cabaret and the most jaw-dropping circus acts from around the Festival. Hand-picked by Ali, this variety show is a carefully curated night of quality entertainment. After a year off, this exclusive season promises to have more spontaneous headline guests, higher notes and more gin than ever before! As always Ali’s show-stopping vocals will be backed by one of the finest jazz trios in town led by Sam Keevers.
COMEDY UP LATE
Returning for three special shows over two nights and recorded at Max Watt’s, Comedy Up Late is a glance into comedy’s crystal ball. The Festival is joining forces with Audible again for three big, bold shows that will see the best breakthrough performers in the Festival bring their A-game on the Up Late stage. All recorded for your listening pleasure. Past performers have included Aunty Donna, Hannah Gadsby, Ronny Chieng, Becky Lucas, Josh Thomas and Anne Edmonds.
Monday 5 April, 6.30pm and Monday 12 April, 6.30pm and 9pm.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 24 March – 18 April, delivering COVIDSafe laughs and comedy good-times to Melburnians and the world, on stage and online.
To check our current show information and to buy tickets, visit comedyfestival.com.au