This past Friday, on a last minute invite from a co-worker, my husband and I caught the Best of British Comedy at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It was just what the doctor ordered. (My last living grandparent, my grandmother, died a few weeks ago and I have been a bit glum ever since.) It felt wonderful to just sit in the moment and laugh.
The setting, was the upstairs of the Exford Hotel, a pub/hostel in the Melbourne, CBD. The hotel and its surrounds have been described by some as “prone to late-night drunken violence and anti-social behaviour” (my favorite type of behavior). The bar was hopping, the music was good, the venue featured a single glittering disco ball twinkling in the pale purple recessed lighting and the show featured Brits taking the piss out of Aussies… what more could a girl ask for?
The best part was how reasonably priced the tickets were. For A$25 per person I felt like the show was something we could risk even if we knew nothing about the performers.
Low prices are an important factor given that the Melbourne International Comedy Festival featured over 480 shows last year. The list to select from is daunting. In fact, while we had heard great things about the festival from my boss, we hadn’t made it to a single show previously—largely because choosing one felt so overwhelming.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival was launched in 1987. It runs roughly four weeks and starts every year in mid to late March. It is the is the third-largest international comedy festival in the world, falling behind Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and Montreal’s Just for Laughs. Every Melbournian I have spoken to has had good things to say about the event. Here’s to hoping that I make a few more shows this season.