How do you even start to navigate your way through the 600+ acts at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival? Our reviewers are here to help, with recommendations and incisive commentary.
Check out our ultimate guide to the festival, and see the best local and best international acts making an appearance. And if stand-up isn't your style, there's plenty of cabaret, circus and theatre on offer at the festival.
I didn’t write any words down in the Spinnaker Lounge – the fictional late-night bar in which fictional late-night outrage Helen Bidou performs a cabaret-infomercial. This is for two reasons. First, there is laughter so physical it destroys all motor control. Second, a show like this can never be evoked in words.
“This show may not be for everyone,” says Pacquola at the close of a show I soon prescribe to everyone. Or, everyone in the memory of my phone. Of all moments that make the hour, there was just this one that didn’t seem to fit. If I’d seen Pacquola that night, I’d have told Pacquola that night, “This show is for everyone, you superbly gifted fool!”
Neal Portenza fans never miss a new Neal Portenza show. Everyone should trust Neal Portenza fans because the unfettered joy – and roller-coaster-about-to-plummet fear – of being in his audience is enough to make the most cynical of us feel like we’re eating birthday cake with our most beloved childhood pets.
A sporting reference mightn’t be the most appropriate, but watching Rhys Nicholson in full flight is a little like watching a batsman hit six after six after six in a speedy 20/20 cricket match. (Apologies if that reference makes little sense – I know about as much about sport as Rhys.) But there’s an extraordinary driving energy to his stand-up sets, and he leaves everything he has on the pitch.
If you’d prefer to preserve your wholesome childhood memories of pantomimes, then it’s best you don’t see the new show by PO PO MO CO (Post-Post Modern Comedy). But if you’re into the idea of your “he’s behind you!”s served with generous helpings of camp, bum sex, cunnilingus and arse puppetry, then get yourself to Trades Hall as quickly as possible.
It’s been 12 years since Colin Lane and Frank Woodley last performed together as the wildly popular comedy act Lano and Woodley. They split up back in 2006 after two decades to ensure that their real-life friendship wouldn’t suffer from spending every waking second working together. It seems the time apart has served them very well.
Don't know where to start?
It's that time again: when hundreds of funny people vie for your chuckles in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Join us as we meet the talented people behind the laughs, offer our tips for doing the festival right and our picks of the program.
You might also like
- How to do the Melbourne International Comedy Festival like a boss
- Melbourne International Comedy Festival Australia's finest
- Melbourne International Comedy Festival: best kids shows
- 4 hilarious acts to check out this comedy season
- 5 reasons to head to the Coopers Malthouse during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival