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Comedy, Comedy festival
Tom Ballard
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Time Out says

[Sponsored] Tom Ballard hosts a comedy gala with a serious side this May

Some of Australia’s sharpest and funniest minds are coming together to deliver a night of comedy and performance at Monash University's Clayton campus, centring around an idea which many of us don’t bother to question as our world continues to change and evolve around us progress. This is part of Progress – a Festival of Ideas, a two-week festival in May which aims to challenge our understanding of progress and discuss what it looks like in different parts of society. 

Comedian and all-around favourite Tom Ballard will MC the event, alongside 2016 Barry Award winner Zoë Coombs Marr, comedian and political satirist Rod Quantock, and Lou Wall, winner of the Best Emerging Artist award at the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival for Lou Wall’s Drag Race. You can expect comical and poignant takes on the idea of progress, and its relevance, benefits and disadvantages. Changes in technology, politics, culture and the world at large will be discussed, with hilarious results. 

Alongside the comedic discussions, live performances from songwriter and humorist The Bedroom Philosopher, and the Spire Ensemble, an all-woman music group lead by electric-violinist Xani Kolac will feature in this one-and-a-half-hour special event. 

Progress a Festival of Ideas is presented by Monash University and runs from May 16-26 and the program includes performances touching on feminism and creating safer spaces for women, the relationship between artists and machines, the evolution of protest music, the science of human bias and pursuing creative endeavours while in detention.

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