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Comedy

Comedy clubs, comedians and comedy festivals in Melbourne

Your ultimate guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Comedy

Your ultimate guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It's that time again: when hundreds of funny people vie for your chuckles.

Stand-up comedy nights in Melbourne
Comedy

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.

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas

Hannah Gadsby has been a popular live act in Australia for more than a decade, but it wasn't until she announced her retirement from the stand-up stage that she really made her mark. In 2017, the Tasmanian-born comedian opened Nanette in Melbourne, a show which she swore would be her last. But Nanette was no standard stand-up comedy show. Yes, it was funny, but Gadsby's main objective was to deliver a fiery and furious takedown of the heterosexual patriarchy. To do that, she needed to turn her back on the sort of self-deprecating humour she made her career from. The show went on to win her the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Barry Award, the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show, and the Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer. It was then turned into a Netflix special that captured the attention of the world – and still holds an approval rating of 100 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Now Gadsby is said to have "found her voice" and you'd best believe she'll be using it in her new live show, Douglas. While Nanette was named after a random woman who Gadsby happened to meet, Douglas is named after her beloved dog. Not that you should necessarily expect a show about a dog; instead, Gadsby says that Douglas, like Nanette, inspired her to put pen to paper. Melburnians are lucky enough to get Douglas first, with a run at Arts Centre Melbourne from March 27 to April 7. The show then sets off on a US tour, which even includes a date at the prestigious Kennedy Center

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Melbourne Comedy Festival stars talk mental health and the serious side of funny business
Comedy

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

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Warm up (and cool down) this footy season at Transport Bar
Bars

Warm up (and cool down) this footy season at Transport Bar

In Melbourne, most locals can hardly wait for summer to end each year. No, it’s not that they’re fed up with the hot weather – it’s because the end of summer each year means one thing: the start of the footy season. Because the return of the AFL (and NRL if that’s your thing) isn’t just about the games. Oh no. It’s also about the atmosphere – the ability to bond over a few drinks with a couple of strangers before a match or commiserate with other fans after a loss. And for locals, Transport Bar epitomises all that’s good about the footy season with free-flowing beers, pub food and friendly crowds. The appeal of Transport isn’t just its location. To be fair, the location is a big drawcard for fans headed to the MCG, with Transport right next to Flinders Street Station and only a 15-minute walk to the ‘G (ten if you’re really keen). You can even catch a tram from Transport to Marvel Stadium in Docklands for free (catch the number 75 or 35 from Flinders Street). But the bar has also won over fans from all sporting codes for its impressive list of beers, wines and cocktails that help make match day just that little bit better. We challenge any beer lover not to find something they like at Transport Bar. The venue rocks 15 beers on tap (including Furphy, Little Creatures and Guinness) as well as a huge number of bottled beers from Melbourne and around the world. Prefer a vino before the big match? Transport has six different wines on tap and a whole lot more by the bottle. And f

The Wharf Hotel is launching a guilt-free garden party
Bars

The Wharf Hotel is launching a guilt-free garden party

Inviting riverside pub the Wharf Hotel has answered everyone’s prayers — they have taken the concept of bottomless brunch (where you would usually get sugary drinks and indulgent treats which definitely don’t pass for breakfast) and have flipped it on its head with healthier low-sugar cocktails so you can treat yourself without the calories. Every Saturday afternoon from 2pm-4pm, grab a few mates and settle yourself on the garden deck where for $49, you will be served up unlimited jugs of cocktails with a healthy twist — they are made with a ‘shrub’ starter (a mixture of fruit, vinegar, and sugar). The shrub syrup is used as the base for some tempting tipples, especially when you know they contain less sugar than the bevvies usually found in your typical Saturday sesh. There are currently some pretty enticing cocktails on offer, like tequila, watermelon and basil, or Bacardi, mint and cucumber. Also looking good are the dark rum and spiced pineapple or a Vodka and berry bliss option, and you’ll be able to enjoy any and all of them with a healthy grazing platter to share between you and your mates. Flavours will change seasonally, and you’ll have to book ahead in order to snag yourself some prime real-estate on the banks of the Yarra for a couple of hours.  To check out the details on the Wharf Hotel's website and book a table click here.

How to spend 48 hours in Redfern
Things to do

How to spend 48 hours in Redfern

Melbourne’s inner-north Collingwood has seen gentrification over the last 20 years, bringing in inventive bars, boutiques and envelope-pushing eateries of every description. It’s still a little grungy, and it’s still known for its live music. In Sydney, Redfern has a deep-rooted history of Indigenous culture, as well as an industrial past, that’s now home to exciting new bars, creative community hubs and historically significant street art. We think you’ll like it. Redfern is only one stop away from Central Station, or a 20-minute walk.

11 top things to do in Queenstown
Travel

11 top things to do in Queenstown

Queenstown really packs a lot in. Not only is it the largest ski resort in New Zealand – during the peak season the picturesque Southern Alps are dotted with snow bunnies like kiwifruit on giant white pavlovas – it’s also the home of bungy jumping and all manner of heart-stopping adventure activities. Food and wine lovers are well catered for, too.