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Saffron Swire

Saffron Swire

Arts & Culture editor

Saffron Swire is the Arts & Culture editor at Time Out Melbourne. London born-and-bred, she loves art, books, elaborate recipes she can never find ingredients for, live gigs (the stickier the floor, the better), A24 films and all things pickled. Her journalistic antenna first pricked up when she hosted a radio show at university, a void she now fills with an unhealthy compulsion to make Spotify playlists. After completing her masters in journalism, she worked as a features writer, reviewer and editor at an online news magazine in the UK. She moved to Melbourne last year and can now be found shacking up in Cinema Nova, crate digging in Collingwood or devouring dumplings in Chinatown.


Reach her at saffron.swire@timeout.com or connect with her on social.


Instagram: @saffronswire

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Articles (27)

37 things to do in Melbourne this weekend

37 things to do in Melbourne this weekend

March 21, 2023: The wait is over; Melbourne’s leading food and wine festival is back. The two-week celebration of all things delectable kicks off this weekend, so forks at the ready. Still hungry for more action? Ability Fest hits Melbourne this weekend with a red-hot lineup, including acts like Sampa the Great, and Birrarangga Film Festival returns to Naarm to celebrate Indigenous films from across the globe. There's always something happening in this fair city of ours, so don't let the week pass you by without popping a few fun events into your social calendar. To help you plan, we've rounded up all the best activities happening this week, so all you have to do is scroll, pick and embark on your adventure. When in doubt, you can always rely on our catch-all lists of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, museums, parks and galleries, or consult our bucket list of 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die.   Looking for more ways to fill up your calendar? Plan a trip around our beautiful state with our handy travel guides.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The rising stars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The rising stars

Everybody has to start somewhere, and if you're an aspiring comedian, that somewhere often means quaking behind an open-mic in front of an unnerving crowd. Still, year after year, budding stand-up comics continue to flock to comedy hubs like Edinburgh and Melbourne to see if they have what it takes to bring the house down. Still, don't be disparaged, as lists like this can attest that anyone from anywhere could have what it takes to be the next big thing. While there are a lot of big-name performers at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, there is also a bunch of up-and-coming talent that you should bookmark, stat. If you fancy trying your hand, don't forget that there is also RAW, Australia's biggest open-mic competition. Past competitors include the likes of Hannah Gadsby, Anne Edmonds and Aaron Chen. You can register here. Not sure what to add to your comedy calendar? Check out our ultimate insider's guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023.

Rhys Nicholson on RuPaul’s Drag Race, cinema prisons and their tips for festival first-timers

Rhys Nicholson on RuPaul’s Drag Race, cinema prisons and their tips for festival first-timers

Rhys Nicholson has a bone to pick, and that bone is with Pentridge Cinemas. The former prison in Melbourne has recently transformed into a boutique cinema and market, another notch on the belt of gentrification that has left the comedian befuddled. ‚ÄúIt only stopped being a prison in the '90s, and now people are getting their organic apples there!‚ÄĚ they exclaim. ‚ÄúPeople will do anything these days.‚ÄĚ Luckily, one of the many things people will do ‚Äúthese days‚ÄĚ is flock to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. From March 29 to April 23, the city will be chock-a-block with all things comedy. International performers like Daniel Sloss, Mark Watson and Joanne McNally will take to the stage alongside homegrown talent like Anne Edmonds, Reuben Kaye and the nation‚Äôs red-headed darling: Rhys Nicholson. Last year, Nicholson was crowned one of the winners of the festival and took home the prestigious accolade for Most Outstanding Show for five-star show Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! Now, they are back for a one-off performance on April 15, so there‚Äôs no need to book pilates that day; your abs will get enough of a workout.¬† Born in 1990 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Nicholson began to dabble in comedy in their teenage years, where they were inspired by the likes of American comedian Paul F Tompkins and Maria Bamford. ‚ÄúI used to go up to Sydney from Newcastle on the train and do open mics,‚ÄĚ Nicholson¬†tells me from their Coburg house. ‚ÄúI would finish school, get up on the train and be back befor

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The international superstars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The international superstars

Melbourne hosts the third largest comedy festival in the world, each year attracting international comedians in their droves.   You can expect a mammoth line-up including festival veterans and first-timers such as Daniel Sloss (SCO), Daniel Kitson (UK), Stephen K Amos (UK), Arj Barker (USA), Melanie Bracewell (NZ), Ed Byrne (UK), Larry Dean (SCO), Carl Donnelly (UK), Paul Foot (UK), Ari Eldjárn (Iceland), Rosie Jones (UK), Tim Key (UK), Lloyd Langford (UK), Josie Long (UK), Guy Montgomery (NZ), Dylan Moran (Ireland), David O’Doherty (Ireland), Danny Bhoy (SCO), Sara Schaefer (US), DeAnne Smith (CAN/US), Takashi Wakasugi (JPN), Jason Leong (Malaysia), Daniel Fernandez (India), Maisie Adams (UK) and Mark Watson (UK) and more. Can't decide who to see? Check out our must-see shows for this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023. 

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The local superstars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The local superstars

It's called the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but the biggest highlights frequently come from our very own locals.  This year's line-up features plenty of favourites of the Australian stand-up scene including local acts and festival first-timers like Anne Edmonds, Cal Wilson, Claire Hooper, Circus Oz, Daniel Connell, David Quirk, Dilruk Jayasinha, Gabbi Bolt, Georgie Carroll (Aus/UK), Geraldine Hickey, Kitty Flanagan, Ivan Aristeguieta (Aus/Ven),Lano & Woodley, Luke Heggie, Lizzy Hoo, Mel Buttle, Michael Hing, Michelle Brasier, Nikki Britton, Rhys Nicholson, Reuben Kaye, Sam Campbell, Tommy Little, Tripod, Urvi Majumdar, Wil Anderson and more! Can't decide who to see? Check out our must-see shows for this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023. 

We put six self-tanning products to the test ‚Ästhere's how it turned out

We put six self-tanning products to the test ‚Ästhere's how it turned out

Summer has come and gone, so you might be thinking that your opportunity to get a natural sun-kissed glow has passed, too ‚Äď especially if you've had bad experiences with self-tanners leaving your skin streaky, stinky and orange. We get it, but there are some fabulous products out there, and to help you out, our team risked looking like Oompa Loompas to separate the wheat from the chaff.¬† We trialled products from Spray Aus, St Tropez, Isle of Paradise, Three Warriors and EleEffect ‚Äď scroll for before and after photos and read about factors like ease of application, scent, longevity and colour outcome.¬† Spray Aus Clear Self-Tan Mousse Photograph: Leah Glynn Leah Glynn, Melbourne editor Ease of application:¬†I used the Spray Aus mitt and it was the perfect buff for applying the thick and fluffy mousse. Despite my husband (and go-to tanning support person) being unavailable, I still managed to evenly apply the tan to some hard-to-reach sections of my back ‚Äď mostly because the mousse spread so smoothly. The only tricky part is because the tan solution is clear, you can‚Äôt actually see on your skin where you‚Äôve applied it. This leaves you at risk of missing spots or creating streaks, but I just made sure I was super thorough in my application: when in doubt, just go over your skin again with another layer. How did it feel on your skin:¬†Really nice and light; I‚Äôve been fake tanning (both at home and in-salon) for years now, and hate anything that leaves my skin feeling sticky, wet

Editor's picks: March

Editor's picks: March

We get it. Sometimes there's actually TOO much to eat, drink and do in little ol' Melbs (what a good problem to have). Lucky for you, the Time Out Melbourne editors are out on the front lines sipping, snacking, seeing and playing ‚Ästall so you don't have to. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. Here are our favourite things we ate, drank, saw and did this month. Want a weekly update on what's new in Melbourne? Make sure you're getting our newsletter.

Our highlights of Adelaide Fringe

Our highlights of Adelaide Fringe

It‚Äôs full steam ahead for Mad March in Adelaide, where revellers are descending in their droves to the largest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere: Adelaide Fringe.¬† It‚Äôs a magical time to be in Adelaide, with so much to do, see, drink and eat. Take a walk down the buzzing city streets like Rundle and Hutt and see the clusters of caf√©s, bars and restaurants spring to life with people chortling with laughter. Or watch on as the fire-breathers, plate-spinners, and card-dealing magicians punctuate the pavements with their talent.¬† Get gorging at the Fringe hub Gluttony in Rhymill Park, home to a variety of worldwide flavours which you can tuck into by¬†the emerald lake. And then there‚Äôs the electric Garden of Unearthly Delights, another Fringe hub which remains unrivalled as one of Australia‚Äôs best festival precincts with its merry-go-round of performance venues, bars, carnival rides, and market stalls.¬†¬† In stringing together over 60000 artists in over 300 venues, Adelaide Fringe collectively stages more than a whopping 1200 shows. Stretching from Whyalla across the state to Naracoorte, the city is currently bursting at the seams with cabaret, theatre, comedy, circus, music, visual arts, workshops and more.¬† We were lucky enough to attend some of Adelaide Fringe this year (alas, we only had 24hrs), and here are some of our highlights from 2023. While it is curtains up for some of these shows, there are still plenty of things to catch before the Fringe is over on March 19 ‚Äst

The best art and exhibitions in Melbourne this month

The best art and exhibitions in Melbourne this month

March 1, 2023: Come rain or shine; there is no lack of enthralling art and exhibitions to see in Melbourne this March. Head down to the NGV to see the lauded Alexander McQueen exhibition Mind, Mythos, Muse and the new free exhibition Melbourne Now. Don't miss seeing Monet and Friends take over the Lume with a multi-sensory experience. Make sure to catch other exhibitions this month, such as Collective Unease, Barbara Hepworth, Naadohbii: To Draw Water and more.  There's always something to see in this all-embracing city of ours, so don't let the month pass you by without getting your fix of the best art, culture and exhibitions in Melbourne this March. When in doubt, you can also always rely on our catch-all lists of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, museums, parks and galleries, or consult our bucket list of 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die.  Keen to add some art to your home? These are the best places to buy art in Melbourne.

The best of Melbourne theatre and musicals this month

The best of Melbourne theatre and musicals this month

March 1, 2023: It’s lights, camera, action for March and you can expect a dazzling program of theatre productions and musicals. Don’t miss & Juliet, Suzie Miller’s award-winning one-woman play Prima Facie, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, as well as major five-star rated musicals like Cruel Intentions and Mary Poppins. Whether you're after a sing-along musical or an edge-of-your-seat theatrical thriller, consider this your ultimate guide to all the best theatre and musicals coming up this March. When stuck for things to do between shows, you can also always rely on our catch-all lists of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, museums, parks and galleries, or consult our bucket list of 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die. For many more that should be on your must-see list, discover the best Melbourne theatre and musicals this March below. Want something else to do this month? Check out our gig guide.

Melbourne's best gigs with tickets on sale now

Melbourne's best gigs with tickets on sale now

Is there anything worse than hearing about a dream gig and then realising the tickets are sold out? Save future you the stress by beating the crowd and getting your tickets in advance with our list of the best upcoming gigs in Melbourne. RECOMMENDED: Our list of the best gigs in Melbourne this month.

The best gigs happening in Melbourne this month

The best gigs happening in Melbourne this month

March 1, 2023:¬†Luckily for you melomaniacs, this month is chockablock with live music, gigs and festivals that suit all tastes ‚Äď and eardrums. See and hear the dulcet tones of Bon Iver, the one and only Snoop Dogg, the celestial Florence and the Machine, riot grrrls Bikini Kill, or the legendary Rod Stewart. Should you need a moment to cool off from all this excitement, Ice Cube returns with Cypress Hill and The Game.¬† Whether you're after an epic performance by an international act at a festival or an intimate gig at a local live music venue, consider this your ultimate guide to all the best¬†live music happening¬†this¬†March. When stuck for things to do between live gigs, you can also always rely on our catch-all lists of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, museums, parks and galleries, or consult our bucket list of 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die.¬† Craving a pint with your favourite local band?¬†Here are the best live music pubs in Melbourne.

Listings and reviews (90)

Lizzo

Lizzo

Sometimes we want the truth to hurt, and with the news that Lizzo is coming to Sydney, we don‚Äôt mind if it stings. The multi-award-winning singer teased us with her headline announcement for¬†Splendour in the Grass, and now she has announced that she will be also but hitting up Perth, Sydney and Melbourne with The Special Tour 2023.¬† It'l be her first visit to the country since she blew our minds at the Sydney Opera House in January 2020. The Grammy Award and Emmy Award-winning singer, songwriter, rapper (and good as hell flautist)‚Äôs tour commences in Perth on July 14 before she makes her way to Melbourne¬†on July 17 and wraps up at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on July 23 with special guest Zimbabwean-Australian singer-songwriter¬†Tkay Maidza. Lizzo‚Äôs hugely successful second full-length album¬†Special¬†is her biggest, boldest and brightest work yet, and is teeming with joyful disco funk songs about self-acceptance, hope and gratitude. The album saw Lizzo receive four nominations at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, with her smash hit single 'About Damn Time'¬†obliterating the charts and taking the title of Record of the Year.¬† The pied piper of pop first broke onto the music scene with her 2019 debut album¬†Cuz I Love You, which offered up countless hits like ‚ÄėTempo‚Äô with Missy Elliott, ‚ÄėGood as Hell‚Äô and ‚ÄėTruth Hurts‚Äô that all reached platinum status. ‚ÄėTruth Hurts‚Äô even raced to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and made history as the longest running number one by a solo female rap a

Le Méridien Melbourne

Le Méridien Melbourne

It’s been a cinema, a nightclub, a live theatre and even a Pentecostal church, but nowadays, this historic institution on 20 Bourke Street glistens as the glamorous new Le Méridien hotel. Originally built as a hotel in the 1850s, the venue has long been a keystone of Melbourne’s arts and culture scene as the former site of the Palace Theatre and Metro Nightclub, where live music once reverberated wall-to-wall. Like the iterations that came before, Le Méridien Melbourne invites visitors to experience the richness of the city’s sprawling art, cuisine and culture. Riffing on its art deco facade, the 235-room hotel is where contemporary chic meets mid century elegance. Walking into the lobby of the hotel, you’ll clock a cinematic-style lobby café, where you can enjoy an Axil-brewed coffee, a cocktail or a cone of the signature Le Scoop gelato (the Espresso Martini flavour will leave you hankering for oodles more). All of the rooms are doused in the brand's signature scent, and come complete with Malin and Goetz toiletries, signature Le Méridien beds, Marshall speakers, 55-inch LCD TVs, a coffee machine with pods, a chic marble bathroom and a dedicated working desk. A lovely touch is a complimentary bottled cocktail which The Everleigh Bottling Co. has created in collaboration with Le Méridien. The 14 larger suites feature black stone kitchenettes, Smeg appliances, beautifully crafted oak board games and Yamaha MusicCast 500 turntables with a selection of vinyl from artists like P

Leo Reich: Literally Who Cares?!

Leo Reich: Literally Who Cares?!

Hot. Young. Cool. Fresh. Ripped. Hilarious. Groundbreaking. Avant-garde. These are just a few words ascribed to up-and-coming comedian Leo Reich.¬†And lucky for us, the 2022 Best Newcomer nominee at the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards is set to make his long-awaited Melbourne debut with his show Literally Who Cares?! Taking to the Powder Room at Melbourne Town Hall, Literally Who Cares?! will see Reich armed and ready to share some of his hot takes with the community at large,¬†including big existential questions like: am I hot? Is this helping? What is going on?¬† Directed by British playwright Adam Brace with music composed by Toby Marlow, Literally Who Cares?! will oscillate¬†between rousing stand-up and performance art. Expect Reich to blend songs with¬†anecdotes to raise awareness about important social and political causes, like his own Twitter account.¬† In the words of Reich himself: ‚ÄúTo come to my show is self-care; to miss it would be toxic; to criticise it any way whatsoever amounts to gaslighting. Or something.‚Ä̬†Join this ‚Äúinsufferable hunk‚ÄĚ and practice some self-care with a ticket to Literally Who Cares?! Book¬†here. After some more¬†side-splitting comedy?¬†Check out the¬†regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Rosie Jones: Triple Threat

Rosie Jones: Triple Threat

British comedian Rosie Jones has enough strings to her bow to form a small battalion. She helped write a season of Sex Education, has abseiled down a four-hundred-foot building, covered the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and even written a children’s book. Safe to say, she is a national treasure. And now the stand-up comedian, TV personality and all-around polymath is set to return to Melbourne with her solo debut show Triple Threat to ponder whether she really is a national treasure, a little prick, or something that lies in between. Jones is known for incorporating her cerebral palsy into her comedic style, using her slow speech pattern to subvert the punchline expected by the audience. Hailing from the North of England, Jones started her career as a TV researcher and scriptwriter before performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appearing on shows such as The Last Leg, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Mock the Week and Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.  Catch the triple threat of a performer at the Westin One from April 5 until April 22. Book tickets here. After some more rollicking comedy? Check out the regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Sam Campbell: Every Single Emotion

Sam Campbell: Every Single Emotion

While there are long lists of accolades and prizes for those in comedy, the most coveted is the Best Comedy Show at Edinburgh Fringe.¬†In 2022, Queenslander Sam Campbell took the trophy home and now you have a chance to see the victor live and in stereo with his show Every Single Emotion.¬† Performing between¬†Max Watt‚Äôs¬†and the Athenaeum Theatre from March 30 until April 23, Campbell is oven-ready to present his latest unsavoury ideas in a set that is full of¬†surrealist absurdity, observations and idiosyncrasies.¬† Campbell‚Äôs shows have all been smash-hits. As well as winning Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Fringe, he won Best Newcomer at the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2015, the Directors' Choice Award at MICF in 2016, and Most Outstanding Show at MICF in 2018. Campbell is also behind the series Nippers of Dead Bird Bay and Dayne‚Äôs World, and has been featured on The Checkout on ABC.Don‚Äôt miss out on seeing this ‚Äúwizard of extreme eccentricity‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcomic genius disguised as an idiot savant‚ÄĚ at this year‚Äôs festival. Get tickets to see Every Single Emotion¬†here. Want to laugh yourself silly?¬†Check out the¬†regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Ross Noble: Jibber Jabber Jamboree

Ross Noble: Jibber Jabber Jamboree

Ross Noble has a birthday to celebrate. This year marks the comedian's 21st solo stand-up tour and he has cordially invited us to join him in¬†celebrating¬†his inspired nonsense with his show Jibber Jabber Jamboree. Catch Noble live on stage in his natural habitat as he returns to Arts Centre Melbourne from March 29 until April 23. If you find yourself pondering what Jibber Jabber Jamboree is about, don‚Äôt bother; trying to put Noble in a box is like trying to put a leash on a cat ‚Äď best left untamed. Born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England, Noble spent his formative years honing his comedic skills in the rough-and-tumble world of street performance. He soon began to perform in clubs and theatres across the UK, where his improv-based comedy and lightning-fast wit quickly earned him a legion of fans.¬† These days, Noble is a former Perrier Award nominee, Barry Award winner and Time Out¬†Award winner for best live stand-up, and he has recently been nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical at the cr√®me de la cr√®me of awards ceremonies in Britain: The Olivier Awards.¬† Considered by some to be the most successful cult comedian of our time, catch the one-of-a-kind jokester and see for yourself how he takes to random tangents like they are an Olympic sport. Book tickets via the MICF website here. After some more knee-slapping comedy?¬†Check out the¬†regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Comedy Zone

Comedy Zone

Having first kicked off at the dawn of the millennium, Comedy Zone ‚Äď the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's flagship development program ‚Äď will this year celebrate 23 years of spotlighting the future stars of comedy. In 2023, the five hand-picked comics from across Australia include: Alexandra Hudson (NSW), Ben Hunter (QLD), AJ Lamarque (NSW), Samuel Gebreselassie (VIC) and Annie Boyle (NSW). Alexandra Hudson took out the top spot at the 2022 RAW Comedy National Grand Final and is certainly one to watch. Her comedy stems from her experiences as a disabled woman and her observations about the majoritively able-bodied world she lives in. Ben Hunter is a filmmaker and comedian with a unique comedic style. Not afraid to delve into the absurd and unconventional, Hunter‚Äôs humble awkwardness has made him a regular fixture at venues across Queensland. AJ Lamarque is a proud mixed-race and Queer comedian that has fostered a formidable reputation as a skilled writer and lively performer. His comedy perfectly captures the zeitgeist as he tackles sharp topics which have earned him multiple awards and accolades across Australia. Samuel Gebreselassie is one of Footscray‚Äôs boldest comedic voices, bringing a critical and fresh perspective to Melbourne‚Äôs comedy scene. Hailing from Ethiopia via New Zealand, Gebreselassie is not afraid to be provocative while still leaving you in stitches.¬† Annie Boyle¬†exploded onto the Australian comedy scene with her deadpan, dry and hilarious delivery

Josie Long: Re-Enchantment

Josie Long: Re-Enchantment

Award-winning comedian and writer Josie Long returns to the¬†Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time since 2017 with¬†Re-Enchantment, a brand new show¬†imbued with humanity, compassion and the odd political rant. Hailing from London, Long started performing comedy at 14. She shot to fame at the dawn of the millennium after performing at comedy clubs and festivals across the UK, where she won praise for her humour that combined anecdotal musings with political commentary.¬† As well as writing for several publications such as The Guardian and the New Statesman, Long has also appeared on a string of hit TV shows in the UK such as 8 Out of 10 Cats¬†and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. She has won a number of awards for her work, including the BBC New Comedy Award and the Chortle Award for Best Breakthrough Act.¬† Performing from March 30 until April 23¬†in the Cloak Room at¬†Melbourne Town Hall, Long‚Äôs show Re-Enchantment covers it all. Expect the comedian to whisk you on a journey through her own experiences and observations ‚Äď from moving to Scotland, parenting and her ADHD diagnosis ‚Äď all while light-heartedly making you question the world around you.¬† Book tickets¬†via the MICF website here. After some more knee-slapping comedy?¬†Check out the¬†regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Geraldine Hickey: Of Course We’ve Got Horses

Geraldine Hickey: Of Course We’ve Got Horses

Comedian Geraldine Hickey has a new show, and this time, it's all about acknowledging and revelling in her newfound privileges. What privileges, you might ask? ‚ÄúGetting married and being able to buy a nice camera to take photos of birds,‚ÄĚ she affirms. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm very good at telling funny stories ‚Äď it‚Äôs why I‚Äôve won awards and can afford nice cameras and horses.‚ÄĚ The queen of deadpan delivery, Hickey is a comedic archaeologist when it comes to extracting the funny from the everyday absurdities of modern life.¬†Melbourne-born and raised, Hickey began her career in the early 2000s, performing in small clubs and comedy festivals across Australia before bursting onto the scene with a string of critically acclaimed performances at MICF. Her deceptively understated, artfully drawn shows have reached dizzying heights with Hickey winning the 2021 Melbourne Comedy Festival Award for Most Outstanding Show for¬†What a Surprise.¬†The show was filmed for Paramount+ and nominated for Best Comedy Release at the 2022 AACTA awards. Hickey has also made a name for herself as a talented writer and performer, having¬†featured on several popular television shows. Her appearances on shows like Have You Been Paying Attention? and The Project have further cemented her as a beloved figure in the Australian comedy scene. Hickey is also the¬†co-host of the Breakfasters program on Melbourne community radio station Triple R. In what promises to be a ‚Äúvery joyful show‚ÄĚ, you can catch Hickey talking fools and horse

Dilruk Jayasinha: Heart Stopper

Dilruk Jayasinha: Heart Stopper

In 2022, one of Dilruk Jayasinha's arteries tried to hit the brakes on his heart. While in Hindi 'Dil' means heart and 'Ruk' means stop, Jayasinha survived and now he lives to tell the tale.  The Sri Lankan-born Australian comedian, actor and writer migrated to Melbourne with his family aged 19. Jayasinha soon made a name for himself on the comedy scene with his infectious rapport and insightful commentary, and in 2018 released his first comedy special The Art of the Dil which received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike.  He has since become a familiar face on screens across Australia, having survived the jungle on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, filmed a stand-up special for Amazon Prime and appeared on other programs like Utopia, Celebrity MasterChef Australia and Have You Been Paying Attention?  Jayasinha is also an ambassador for a number of charities, including the Reach Foundation and the Pancare Foundation and is a vocal advocate for mental health awareness, speaking openly about his struggles with anxiety and depression. Oh, and he's now one of the most in-demand headliners on the comedy scene, with a reputation for repeatedly nailing shows with his upbeat brand of stand-up. His new show for this year’s MICF is not only about hearts stopping but also setbacks and overcoming them. Running from March 30 until April 23, you can catch Heart Stopper in the Supper Room at Melbourne Town Hall. So what are you waiting for? Grab some beta-blockers and buy yo

Dane Simpson: Always Was, Always Will Be… Funny

Dane Simpson: Always Was, Always Will Be… Funny

Comedian Dane Simpson comes from a long line of jokesters and pranksters. And thanks to his wisecracking parents, Simpson is set to take to the stage at this year‚Äôs MICF¬†with ‚Äú60,0000 years of laughs rolled into 60 minutes‚ÄĚ. Based in Wagga Wagga, Simpson is a stand-up comedian, karaoke host, didgeridoo player and proud Gamilaraay man. His hilarious relatives have become familiar figures in his shows, and considering that his dad holds the Wagga record for most flinger clicks in a minute and his mum once took on Apple Corporation in a court case and won, is that of any surprise? Simpson was a Deadly Funny national finalist in 2015 and since then has embarked on a whirlwind of corporate gigs, tours and festival runs ‚Äď as both a solo artist and part of Aborigi-LOL. He¬†has toured almost every Aussie state with the MICF Roadshow (he‚Äôs coming for you, Tasmania) and has appeared on everything from Have You Been Paying Attention? and¬†the Opening Night Allstars Supershow¬†to¬†Would I Lie To You? and¬†romcom The Merger.¬† See the ‚Äúmassively talented‚ÄĚ comedian at the Comedy Republic from March 30 until April 9. Book your tickets here. After some more knee-slapping comedy?¬†Check out the¬†regular comedy nights in Melbourne.

Diana Nguyen: Going All In

Diana Nguyen: Going All In

Comedienne Diana Nguyen is back and ready to go all in. After chasing Keanu Reeves for two years, she is ready to share the ins and outs of life with us.¬† Nguyen is not only a comedian but a writer, producer, director, theatremaker, guest speaker and, it transpires, a Linkedin influencer with more than 78,000 followers. To top it all off, Nguyen won the Asian Australian Top 40 under 40 in 2021, and has appeared on¬†Just for Laughs Australia, How to Stay Married, Fat Pizza and The Project. She is also the co-creator of the first-ever Vietnamese Australian family comedy webseries¬†Phi and Me,¬†which celebrates Vietnamese refugee migration to Australia and the trials and tribulations of intergenerational family love.¬†Nguyen¬†has performed at several festivals in years, including MICF, Edinburgh and Los Angeles with her shows Phi and Me, Chasing Keanu Reeves (which we reviewed here), Naked and Dirty Diana.¬† Performing in the Flag Room at Melbourne Town Hall from March 30 until April 23, you can expect a show that is ‚Äúall about celebrating life‚ÄĚ. Book tickets to see Going All In here. Can't get enough of comedy?¬†Don't miss these¬†improv comedy nights in Melbourne.

News (2)

Our seven favourite moments from this year’s Mona Foma

Our seven favourite moments from this year’s Mona Foma

Mona‚Äôs annual summer jamboree of art and music returned to Tasmania this year, and the flaming hot line-up of acts and performances for Mona Foma 2023 rendered it one for the books. More than 360 artists played across both weekends in Launceston and Hobart, and we were lucky enough to soak up some of the magic in Hobart, where the likes of Peaches, Bikini Kill, Angel Olsen, Pavement and Vieux Farke Tour√© coalesced for a weekend chock-full of punk, indie rock, soul, R&B and electropop tunes. On top of seeing these internationally acclaimed artists perform on the Mona lawns, we got to watch the polymathic composer Nico Muhly join forces with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), see Amber McCartney‚Äôs contortion dance in Baby Girl, revel after-hours at The Party and listen to the Songs for Freedom concert at sundown which paid an emotive tribute to the family of John Pat through music, vision and story.¬† While there were countless favourite moments from this year‚Äôs Mona Foma, we have tried our best to narrow it down to seven, so here goes: Getting schooled by the teaches of Peaches¬† Photo Credit: Mona/Jesse Hunniford The electro-pop star Peaches ‚Äď real name Merrill Nisker ‚Äď took to the Mona lawns in a filthily fruity performance. The singer kicked off proceedings wearing a vulva hat which, in retrospect, rated relatively low on the salacious scale. Peaches would go on to perform within a giant inflatable penis to sing the song 'Dick in The Air', descend into the crowds to sp

The Temple of Boom brings the Parthenon to the NGV

The Temple of Boom brings the Parthenon to the NGV

A reimagining of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens¬†has opened up in the NGV garden. 'Temple of Boom', by Australian architects¬†Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, has replaced the incredibly popular 'Pink Pond', which has been the centrepiece of outdoor events at the gallery for the past year. The Greek-style temple¬†features overlapping large-scale artworks (like floral motifs and optical illusions),¬†which are evocative of the vibrant colours long since lost from the facade of the original building from over two thousand years ago.¬†Taking its name from the vibrations¬†of¬†music, 'Temple¬†of¬†Boom'¬†will¬†act as a meeting place and colourful centrepiece for all of the upcoming NGV summer events, including a series of curated performances, programs and live music. The¬†NGV¬†has recently unveiled¬†new¬†vibrant works by Melbourne-based contemporary artists Aretha Brown, Creature Creature, Manda Lane, Chuck Mayfield, and Resio on¬†the¬†temple.¬†In this second phase of painting,¬†Temple of Boom¬†‚Äď a contemporary reimagining of The Parthenon on the Acropolis - has been adorned with large-scale works inspired by Greek mythology and diverse connections to culture and nature. ¬† Photograph: Sean Fennessy "One of the most famous examples of classical architecture, the Parthenon in Athens, is often viewed as a potent symbol of Western art and culture," says¬†Tony Ellwood AM, director of the NGV. "This thought-provoking work by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang invites us to consider how we create and im

Australia snubbed in Rolling Stone’s Greatest Singers of All Time list

Australia snubbed in Rolling Stone’s Greatest Singers of All Time list

It appears Rolling Stone woke up and chose violence with its recently released ‚Äú200 Greatest Singers of All Time‚ÄĚ article. The publication, shared on New Year‚Äôs Day, spotlighted who they deemed to be the 200 greatest singers in history. Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin fittingly took the crown, followed by Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday.¬† However, the list has since ignited quite a furore for not only snubbing Canadian treasure Celine Dion but also for the number of Australians mentioned in the list, which stands at a grand total of zero.¬† The Aussie comedian Em Rusciano took to social media to slam Rolling Stone‚Äôs list, calling for an¬†‚Äúinternational inquiry‚ÄĚ into why the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Kurt Cobain got a mention but Antipodean legends such as John Farnham and Tina Arena didn‚Äôt make the cut. Let‚Äôs not forget the omittance of international pop-princess Kylie Minogue and what about the brooding goth rocker Nick Cave? Tame Impala‚Äôs Kevin Parker? The legendary Paul Kelly? AC/DC‚Äôs Bon Scott? Olivia Newton-John? Rick Springfield? INXS‚Äôs Michael Hutchence? Sia? Iggy Azalea? Keith Urban? Delta Goodrem? King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard? Courtney Barnett? Natalie Imbruglia? Daryl Braithwaite? Australia, we ride at dawn. Keen to celebrate Aussie music? Here are Melbourne's best upcoming gigs.

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