How much comedy is too much comedy?
You could be about to find out.
The evil geniuses in charge of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival are seeking three brave souls to put their lives on hold and their love of laughter on the line for the Funny Tonne, billed as the ultimate test of comedy endurance.
Participants will race each other, the clock and the slow decay of their own personal hygiene to see as many shows as they can over the 26 festival days. It’s a crazy-fun way to spend a month, especially since you’ll be flashing a super-exclusive passport everywhere you go and filing reviews to the festival’s website in whatever free time you can scrounge.
The comedy gauntlet has been run each year since 2005, and the bar has been set very high. Last year, Funny Tonne winner Chris Menezies saw a gut-busting 158 shows in 26 days, blowing the previous record of 147 out of the water. That’s around six shows per day for the better part of four weeks.… Read more
As the Melbourne Fringe Festival expands every year, we’re relishing the chance to celebrate what makes our city different (and to use it as further proof of our status as the country’s art capital).
Last year, the festival exploded from the theatres into the streets, putting art in unusual places with its keynote project Uncommon Places. This time, it’s widening its borders out to the City of Stonnington, too.
The concept is simple: 18 emerging artists will create and exhibit installations at various public locations.
“The return of an expanded Uncommon Places is great for artists and venues involved, and for the audiences in Melbourne to come and engage with the work during the festival,” says creative director Jayne Lovelock. “Last year’s program produced beautiful work in spaces that people don’t usually associate with art. It allowed regular visitors to see the places in a new light, while giving visitors an insight they wouldn’t have normally had.”
The theme this year will be ‘instructions’, and artists will be encouraged to explore it any way they choose using text, audio, visual art, sculpture, film, or any other non-performance medium.… Read more
Charley Drayton, Cold Chisel drummer and late rock goddess Chrissy Amphlett’s husband, misses his wife – but the opening of Amphlett Lane solidifies her place in Melbourne’s hearts and minds.
Two years ago, Drayton and Little Pattie (sassy ’60s icon and Amphlett’s cousin) bailed up Councillor Rohan Leppert on the steps of Town Hall. They were pissed off, grieving and on a mission. They brought a petition of over 6,000 signatures with them (including high-profile support from Molly Meldrum, Suze De Marchi and Noah Taylor). It was a no-brainer though: even the councillors voted unanimously in favour of it last year.
This arvo, if you’d been looking in on Amphlett Lane from the street you would’ve seen an eclectic mix of folk: suits, rock dogs and families. It made sense when you knew what was going on.
Naturally, Divinyls tunes blasted down the lane before and after the formal bits. I had one of them on cassingle as a kid (I Touch Myself). I had no idea what the hell it was about, I just knew that Amphlett was downright exotic in her difference.… Read more
Every time a music venue closes down we cry a bit inside, so the news that our beloved Hi-Fi Bar had gone into voluntary administration over the weekend was not well received.
The Swanston Street rock icon has been kicking for as long as we can remember – we saw in New Year’s 2000 at the Hi-Fi for god’s sake – but it’s now under serious threat following an unresolvable dispute with a creditor.
Suffice to say, we’re deeply saddened by the news. We’ve seen many a cracking gig there over the years (The Supersuckers, Eagles of Death Metal, Rocket from the Crypt, Dead City Ruins et al), but, for various reasons, it’d be hard to top the Anthrax incident of 2013.
Not being metal fans ourselves, we took someone as a labour of love on a 35 degree day and braved the olfactory assault of a primarily bloke audience sans deodorant, drinking Jack and coke and smoking weed.… Read more
Ribs still hurting from last year’s Comedy Festival? Yep, ours too. Believe it or not, Melbourne’s funniest festival is upon us once again, and the organisers have just revealed a record-breaking number of acts. We’re talking more than 559 in 145 venues, by over 3,000 funny people. The MICF website is now live, and all tickets are now on sale.
It can feel overwhelming, but remember, comedy’s supposed to be fun, not scary. We’ve given you a mere taste of the lineup: go forth and get booking!