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The Comedy Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Melbourne
  1. The Comedy Theatre 2019 supplied image
    Photograph: Bodie Richardson
  2. The Comedy Theatre 2019 supplied image
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

The Comedy Theatre building is a landmark in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Formerly the location of the sadly departed Hippodrome, here the spirit of theatrical entertainment is soaked into the ground.

Don’t let the name fool you – the Comedy Theatre is not just home to stand-up stars and their water bottles. The theatre has hosted blockbuster acts and musicals. Famous names to grace the stage over the years include Rex Harrison, Frank Thring and Vincent Price.

These days it is less theatrical melodrama and more hysterical laughter, as the Comedy Theatre welcomes stand-up back chat from funny folks of all persuasions. It's an awe-inspiring venue, and it takes some big laughs to lift this old roof.


240 Exhibition St
Nearby stations: Parliament

What’s on

A Christmas Carol

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Drama

One of the defining aspects of Christmas that delights and frustrates, depending on your inclination, is its inexorability; it comes around again and again, like the white horse on a carousal. Maybe this will also be the case with the Old Vic production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which proved a great success last year and is back to spread its Yuletide cheer around the Comedy Theatre once more. The central change – in fact, the only significant change – is the casting of the villain who becomes a hero. Last year it was David Wenham playing Ebenezer Scrooge; this year it’s Welsh character actor and Game of Thrones alumnus Owen Teale. In some ways, Teale (who only last year played Scrooge in London) slots effortlessly into the role, the cogs around him clicking pleasingly into place. He’s a natural fit, with an irascible visage and weary gait. He’s the right age and temperament. It’s almost too easy. But Teale’s performance, as solid and affecting as it is, pales when compared with Wenham’s – who brought an unexpected emotional intensity and mercurial physicality to the role – which in turn shifts the focus of the show onto the ensemble. With Teale playing a more quintessential Scrooge, one we recognise and expect, the production as a whole better achieves its aim, which is to charm and delight. I miss Wenham’s swirling morbidity and keening tragic mien, but Teale’s moody old Grinch works perfectly well. Adapted by Jack Thorne (who co-wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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