Finding new performance spaces in Melbourne can be tough, especially from late March when comedians flood every nook and cranny of the city for the Comedy Festival. Makeshift theatres pop up in the most unlikely of locations, and audiences find themselves in rooms that were never made for live performance, but seem to serve just fine.
One of the city's newest spaces, opening in January, takes the 'found space' philosophy a step further.
The Bordello Theatre is being launched by the managers behind Speakeasy HQ, a Flinders Street venue specialising in vaudeville, comedy, burlesque and cabaret. They're expanding their offering and have found a new space in the attic of the next door venue, which just happens to be Melbourne's longest-serving brothel, Top of the Town.
The attic of 518 Flinders Street has been disused for several years, but is intended as a new home for queer cabaret and stand-up, kicking off with Lush Life on January 19. The show is an exploration of the queer history of jazz by Melbourne musician and cabaret artist James Halloran.
There are no other shows announced yet, but the theatre managers say the Bordello will host stand-up seven nights a week as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which runs from March 28 to April 22 2018.