24 May

Russell Brand announces Australian tour in October

Russell Brand joins Occupy Wall Street activists in New York City on 14 October 2014. Photograph: XP

“We’ve been told freedom is the freedom to fulfill our petty desires,” says British comedian, actor, author and political figure Russell Brand, in the announcement of his national tour. “but TREW freedom is freedom FROM our petty desires”.

Hitting our shores in October, Brand will come armed with biting political criticism and the dogged determination for truth that has earned him more than a million subscribers to his Youtube web series, The Trews.

Fans of Brand – who rose to fame as a stand-up comedian – can still expect his sharp observational humour and electric charisma. Whether he’ll pull out anything else in his attempt to give the power back to the people remains a mystery.

Asked by Time Out in a recent interview whether he’s concerned that fans of his comedy don’t like his political material (or his recent book, Revolution), he said that “I do have concerns, because I’m a comedian and I don’t want this to start being some dry, bureaucratic first pump – unless it’s an anal one.Read more

24 March

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is here

L-R: Geraldine Quinn, Bob Downe, Em Rusciano, Denise Scott, Dolly Diamond

Here’s a secret: we’re actually a bit scared by the sheer number of shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (which begins tomorrow morning). Seriously – with a record-breaking 599 shows, we’re wondering whether our social calendars (and core muscles) can cope.

A fair whack of the festival’s funnymen and women turned up today to The Greek Centre (the newest MICF venue in the heart of Melbourne’s Greek precinct) for the festival’s media launch. A quick scan of the room revealed Sammy J, Ronny Chieng, Lawrence Leung, Dolly Diamond and Paul Foot, for a start. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley attended too; Foley later remarking that politics is “show business for ugly people”. Huh.

Sammy J and Randy.

Melbourne’s favourite Hellenic comedy goddess Effie kicked off proceedings, only to be pouted off stage by Puddles: the sad, seven-foot clown who launched into an absurdly melancholy rendition of ‘I Started a Joke’.… Read more

23 February

Have you always wanted to see 159 comedy shows in 26 days? This is your chance!

Posted by in Comedy, News


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

13 February

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival has launched its biggest program ever!

Posted by in Comedy, News


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!

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015. Mar 25-Apr 19.Read more

11 September

New venue complex for St Kilda


When is a cinema not a cinema? When it’s an arts hub. The former George Cinemas – which were last in action when Gus Berger rented them out for his George Revival Cinema from July 2013-February 2014 – were last destined to become a gym for a new apartment block, or so we thought.

Now it’s been announced that the space is the new project of theatre producer and investor Aleksander Vass. He’ll be transforming the three cinemas into two venues – one seating 500, the other around half that – to host theatre, opera, gigs, musicals, cabaret and comedy, as well as films. Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Richard Fitzgerald, pictured, is the general manager, and has in recent years revived the Arts Centre in Darwin and was general manager at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. He tells Time Out that the original projectors will be dismantled and preserved off site to allow for a broader scope of digital films.… Read more