2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival program out now

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival GuideThe 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival program is officially out now! With well over 600 shows taking over 150 venues and the streets of Melbourne from 27 March.

This year the laughs will reach even more people across Melbourne and the suburbs. The Festival’s Neighbourhood Sessions program will return, taking a curated line-up of comedy stars to the ‘burbs for a fourth year, with shows in Essendon, Caroline Springs, Williamstown, Moorabbin and Werribee.

The 2024 program features more International comedians than ever before, and while comics from the UK, US and New Zealand dominate the spread, there are a great number from India and Asia including: Indian film star, author and comic Kanan Gill, Edinburgh Best Newcomer 2023 winner Urooj Ashfaq (India), plus Anirban Dasgupta (India) and He Huang (China).

Chan Lok Tim (HK) and Vivek Mahbubani (HK) will do full shows in Cantonese, and for one night only an incredible line-up of the best comics will appear in Comedy Zone Asia Allstars featuring Daniel Fernandes (India), Jason Leong (Malaysia), Sam See (Singapore), Showko (Japan), Takashi Wakasugi (Japan) and more – hosted by Singapore’s Fakkah Fuzz.

If fast paced comedy vibes are your style, check out Larry Dean (UK), Nina Conti (UK), Fern Brady (UK), Chris Parker (NZ), Darren Harriott (UK), Olga Koch (GER, RUS,UK), Schalk Bezuidenhout (STH AFRICA), Shenoah Allen (USA), The Lucas Bros (USA) or Two Hearts (NZ). If you’re after whimsy or storytelling – don’t miss the UK ‘s best-loved comics Rob Auton, John Kearns, Sarah Keyworth or Ireland’s Catherine Bohart.

Discover new international voices with Norwegian clown Viggo Venn; Latino satirist Martin Urbano; the mesmerising Julia Masli (Estonia); surreal and dark Lara Ricote (MEX); and Britain’s finest new comics Celya AB, Josh Jones and Dan Tiernan who together perform under the New Order banner.

Much loved Australian stalwarts will take centre stage once again – Anne Edmonds, Celia Pacquola, Claire Hooper, Damian Callinan, Dane Simpson, Daniel Connell, Danielle Walker, Dave Hughes, Dave O’Neil, Diana Nguyen, Dilruk Jayasinha, Emma Holland, Joel Creasey, Josh Earl, Kirsty Webeck, Lizzy Hoo, Luke Heggie, Mel Buttle, Merrick Watts, Nath Valvo, Nazeem Hussain, Nina Oyama, Sam Campbell, The Umbilical Brothers, Tom Ballard, Wil Anderson and many more.

So many fresh new local voices and perspectives can be discovered in shows from Aurelia St Clair, Breast of the Fest, Bridget Hassed, Bron Lewis, Bronwyn Kuss, Con Coutis, Dahn Razario, Frankie McNair, Grace Zhang, Kimmie Lovegrove, Natalie Harris, Noah Szto and of course the Festivals own Comedy Zone – in its 24th year, the curated selection of Australia’s rising stars of comedy, will not disappoint.

Cabaret and theatre lovers should dive in to Reuben Kaye, Christie Whelan Browne’s Brittany Spears the Musical, Groundhog Day, Jay Wymarra’s AmaJayus, Ali McGregor and her guests in Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night or join Andrew McClelland and Louisa Fitzhardinge for The Von Donk Family Old-Timey Vaudeville Revue.

If you want to take the whole family to the Comedy Festival, kids are well catered for! Weekends and the school holidays are peppered with performances by Circus Oz, Sean Choolburra, Mr Snotbottom, The Listies, The Scientwits, Trash Test Dummies, Basketball Man, and on Good Friday, The (Very) Big Laugh Out will take over the Fed Square main stage for a huge day of free, family friendly entertainment and a whole lot of laughs.

Big events are all back too – The Gala, proudly supporting Oxfam, Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow, The 34th Annual Great Debate, Upfront, Deadly Funny, Class Clowns and RAW Comedy National Grand Finals.

The 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 27 March to 21 April. For more information and full program, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Guide (supplied)