Good news, comedy fans! It’s just about Christmas for those who like a chuckle. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is fast approaching, and with it comes today’s revelation of the full program for its 29th incarnation.
The festival, which runs from March 25th through to April 19th, more or less takes over the entire inner city of Melbourne, with regular comedy venues, pubs, bars, hole in the wall shops, and even makeshift tents hosting a whopping 559 shows over the course of the month.
Along with your usual swathe of Festival regulars and Australian heavyweights like Adam Hills, Denise Scott, Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Arj Barker, Stephen K Amos, Jason Byrne and the returning Noel Fielding, is a veritable motherload of talent, both big and small, from home and abroad.
We know wading through the program might seem intimidating – particularly if you’re not an ardent student of the comedy game – so we’ve gone ahead and put together a few picks of the program for you. We’ve looked at the International lineup, the biggest acts from Australia, some that are on the cusp, and some smaller shows that are new, exciting, fresh and are going to be generally bloody hilarious. Take a look!
Alex Edelman – Millenial
A New York-born, once-lived-in-Jerusalem type, Edelman took out the Best Newcomer award at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. Extraordinarily quick witted and self-deprecating.
Daniel Kitson – Polyphony
Stop whatever you’re doing and get tickets to this. Now. Trust me, it will sell out quickly. A master of storytelling and one of the most adept comics in the world.
DeAnne Smith – Get Into It
Sweet and genuinely endearing Canadian who will gently hug you and give you reassurance as we all march into the abyss.
Jen Kirkman – I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)
Regular panelist for Chelsea Handler, New York Times best-seller, frequent slayer on Comedy Central‘s @midnight. Hilariously vulgar.
Josie Long – Cara Josephine
Affably, bumblingly British. Truly relatable. Truly funny. Truly wonderful.
Trygve Wakenshaw – Nautilus
The demented genius behind last year’s smash hit Kraken, Trygve’s physical elasticity alone is worth your time and money.
Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out
A brand new hour from, for my money, the funniest working comic in Australia. As seen on just about every TV show ever nowadays (Offspring, Utopia, HYBPA?)
Dave Thornton – Spit & Polish
Very handsome bloke who can spin a yarn that’ll make yer sides split. That, in and of itself, just ain’t fair.
Doug Anthony All Stars
Comedy legends returning to the Festival stage for the first time in years. Big theatre comedy in this country arguably wouldn’t exist without them.
Joel Creasy – The Hurricane
“Australia’s hottest young comedian” as proclaimed by Channel 10. Get him out of the jungle in time for the festival. Rapid fire and amazing.
Michael Workman – We Have Fun, Don’t We
More a work of art or performance piece than straight-up stand-up. Previous shows have been haunting and beautiful. A must see.
Nazeem Hussain – Legally Brown
Debut solo show from the Fear of a Brown Planet alumnus. Unafraid of making you uncomfortable with the hilarious truth.
Sketch comedy kings. YouTube legends. As seen on ABC’s Fresh Blood initiative. Hilarious. Manic. Completely over the top.
The Comedy Zone
Five of the best up-and-coming comics in the country in one convenient little show. Including SBS Comedy Runway winner Nina Oyama and last year’s RAW Comedy winner Matt Stewart.
Dr. Professor Neal Portenza – Catchy Show Title
Famously batshit insane show from unrivalled character performer Joshua Ladgrove. If you like this one, he’s got two other shows in the festival. Because he’s a nutcase.
Em Rusciano – The Motherload
The woman we love so dearly and fervently we anointed her own Queen of the Tweet. A beautiful tropical fish.
Fancy Boy – Variety Show: No Refunds
Last year’s Golden Gibbo award winners. Not for the feint of heart. An hour of truly fucked up material that will make you sore from laughing.
Jimmy James Eaton – Jimmy vs Jimmy
One of the nation’s supreme improvisers. As quick on his feet as any sprinter. Has the ability to turn nothing into a room slayer.
Becky Lucas – High Tide
Believe me when I say you’ll be seeing her face a lot more over the next twelve months. See her now so you can say you were there.
Gen Fricker – Monsterpussy
An acerbic, demented, self-torturous collection of songs and stories. Australia’s morose Sarah Silverman.
Kate Dehnert – Pony Yell
Legitimately one of the shows of the festival last year. An insanely surreal dreampop unicorn.
Lauren Bok, Chelsea Hughes, Megan McKay – Wander Women
Multi-bill shows are a great way to test unknown waters. Here, it’s three tough as shit women with varying styles. Get a little variety into you and get some bang for the buck.
Martin Dunlop – All Change is Death
Comedy as bleak and black as the deepest depths of the ocean. Laugh, cry, shrivel into a whimpering ball of nothingness.
Rose Callaghan – And Mates 2: Return of the Mates
Rose is hilarious, and this variety show-style hour is a great way to see some unexpected big names in a smaller setting. Names that appeared last year included Joel Creasy and Tom Ballard among others.
But don’t just take our word for it! Hit the streets! See something unfamiliar! Go seek out a totally insane late-night show! Catch the RAW Comedy Grand Final! Hit up the Comedy Club at the Hi-Fi Bar!
Get out there and go see some comedy, people!
The full program and all ticketing details for the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival can be found at the Comedy Festival website.
Photos via MICF.