Stand-up comedy nights in Melbourne
We are so spoiled for choice when it comes to comedy in Melbourne – there's laughs to be had every night of the week, if you know where to look. Keen for a post-show drink? Visit one of Melbourne's best bars so the laughs can keep rollin'. Melbourne's finest late-night snacks may come in handy too.
Melbourne Comedy Festival stars talk mental health and the serious side of funny business
If you think about it, April might just be the most emotional time of the year for the Melbourne Town Hall. Each night, every one of its rooms – some grand and elegant, others makeshift and cramped – will host a person opening up to strangers. Some will fire out peppy one-liners; others will go deeper, pulling out stories from their lives, spinning them into comedy, and hoping that people will laugh – and maybe even relate. Comedians have the power to break down barriers around issues that we find difficult to discuss, reminding us that we’re not alone. Humour can help us heal. And increasingly, comedians are opening up about difficult periods of their lives and their experiences of mental illness. On television, comedian Maria Bamford sensitively portrays living with bipolar disorder in Lady Dynamite, and in 2014, Eddie Perfect performed a song titled ‘Don’t Kill Yourself’ for a mental health-themed ABC comedy panel show (making the point that you’d miss out on Game of Thrones). On stage, comedians like Felicity Ward speak candidly about anxiety and depression. The Australia-born, UK-based comedian became a mental health advocate in 2014, when she created Felicity’s Mental Mission, an ABC documentary in which she revealed her own struggle with anxiety and interrogated the stigma around mental illness in Australia. As part of the documentary, she also began work on her 2015 stand-up show What if There Is No Toilet? – a candid (and hilarious) journey through her battle with
This week in Melbourne comedy
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Amex Eats: Salt and pepper squid in Melbourne
Deep fried squid, calamari, salt and pepper squid – whatever you want to call it and whichever way you want to fry it – it comes up on every other menu in Melbourne. From pubs to fine diners, Italian institutions to the local fish and chip shop, we scooted around the city to see who's frying up the cephalopods in the most interesting of ways, and letting you pay for your salty fried treat using your American Express.
Head to the Duke of Wellington for happy hour tasting platters
Every day (so that includes weekends) Melbourne's oldest licensed pub the Duke of Wellington is putting on $18 Happy Hour Tasting Plates from 4 to 6pm. Punters can order up $7.50 wine, beer or basics or imbibe with $10 cocktails. Now, this CBD pub is also offering up share plates to complement your bargain drinks. You can snack on crisp salt and pepper calamari; dips with sourdough; lasagne croquettes with mushroom ketchup; and charcoal fried prawn sliders packed with wasabi slaw, pickled seaweed and kewpie mayo, all for just $18. Probably the biggest clincher is the Duke's stellar location, minutes from Fed Square and all the action on Flinders Street. Their minimalist public bar is ringed by comfortable green banquettes, so you can kick back with mates, enjoy happy hour drinks and catch up on any night of the week. Find out more about the Duke of Wellington.
Enjoy boozy ice cream at the Exchange
To see out that last of the long summer days, Port Melbourne's Exchange Hotel is doing adults-only ice creams and sorbets, with house made wine and spirits infused frosty treats available every day of the week. The flavours change weekly so you may get a scoop of gin and cucumber sorbet, Aperol sorbet with blood orange or an espresso martini ice cream served in a house-made chocolate bowl. On Saturdays, head chef Fraser Stark is flipping mini burgers, so you can also snap up a cider and slider special, with $20 jugs of cider and four sliders for just $15 (from noon until 5pm). Also on any given day you can order up a rosé spritz for just $6 from 4-7pm. There's only a few weeks left of balmy days, so head into the Port Melbourne pub to send off the summer in style. Find out more about the Exchange Hotel.