Here's Everyone Who'll Get You Giggling at Melbourne International Comedy Festival's 600-Plus 2024 Shows

'Starstruck' talent Rose Matafeo, 'Fire Island' and 'Loot' star Joel Kim Booster, drunken Shakespeare, and Australian favourites Hannah Gadsby and Sam Simmons are all on this year's lineup.
Sarah Ward
February 27, 2024

Get ready to laugh. That's the autumn mantra in Victoria's capital, when the Melbourne International Comedy Festival unleashes a month of comedy. If someone knows how to tickle a funny bone, they're usually on this fest's lineup, and 2024's edition is set to be no different. Here, you can chuckle at international talents such as Starstruck's Rose Matafeo, Fire Island and Loot's Joel Kim Booster, and Upload's Zainab Johnson — and also local names including Hannah Gadsby, Sam Simmons, Celia Pacquola, Josh Thomas, Joel Creasey, Josh Earl, Lizzy Hoo, Nazeem Hussain, Nina Oyama and Zoë Coombs Marr.

2024's MICF runs from Wednesday, March 27–Sunday, April 21, with the lineup spanning more than 600 shows at 150 venues. Hoo will help get things started at the host of the fest's gala on its very first date for the year, while the official opening festivities happen at the Comedy Allstars Supershow a week later, where New Zealand's Guy Montgomery is on MC duties.

When Booster and Johnson hit the stage, they'll do so as a double bill for almost two weeks of gigs. Matafeo is performing solo, but will also play for a couple of weeks. From there, David O'Doherty, Lara Ricote, Ed Byrne and Jason Leong are among the fellow overseas comedians heading to Melbourne — and Kanan Gill, Kate Dolan, Sam See and Takashi Wakasugi as well. Or, you can see Adam Kay and Fern Brady, who are well-known for books This Is Going to Hurt and Strong Female Character, respectively, too.

From NZ alone, as well as Montgomery, Tom Sainsbury, Spankie Jackzon, Chris Parker, Guy Montgomery, Guy Williams, Melanie Bracewell, Ray O'Leary and Urzila Carlson all have slots.

Australia's list of talent includes Rhys Nicholson, Claire Hooper, Tom Ballard, Tom Gleeson, Ting Lim, Tommy Little, Wil Anderson, Sean Choolburra and Nat's What I Reckon as well, alongside Dave Hughes, Felicity Ward, Gen Fricker, Mel Buttle, Merrick Watts, Michael Chamberlain and The Umbilical Brothers.

As well as stand-up sets — and plenty of them, as the above names make plain — MICF's lineup incorporates shows that'll get you giggling at more than a person behind a mic. Checking out one of Bard's masterpieces but boozy comes via Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare, which is doing Macbeth, for instance. Shrek but a saucy cabaret is the vibe of Swamplesque, a Weird Al piano bar will be one big sing-along to the comedian and musician's tunes, Christie Whelan Browne will perform Britney Spears: The Cabaret, and Murder Village: An Improvised Whodunnit gives an Agatha Christie-esque setup a new spin each and every time it's performed. Pus, the already-running Groundhog Day The Musical also falls under the fest's umbrella.

Also, RocKwiz is hitting MICF, as is Brisbane's Not on Your Rider, which takes more than a few cues from RocKwiz and Spicks and Specks. Fans of the latter can also look forward to Myf Warhurst on the bill with Zan Rowe, doing their Double J podcast Bang On live.

Or, if that's not enough to fill your calendar with sidesplitting hilarity, you can also make a date with MICF's returning regular events within the fest, such as the Festival Club and its mix of stand-up, drag, burlesque and cabaret; the RAW Comedy, Deadly Funny and Class Clowns National Grand Finals, all of which are about up-and-coming talent; and the Neighbourhood Sessions, which will take the festival to the suburbs in Essendon, Caroline Springs, Williamstown, Moorabbin and Werribee.

Get excited, comedy-loving Melburnians — the program from there still goes on, and will mean that laughing might be the only exercise that you need while this annual favourite is on.

The 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from Wednesday, March 27–Sunday, April 21. Head to the festival's website for further details and tickets.

Images: Nick Robertson / Jim Lee / TJ Garvie / SomeFx / Bianca Holderness.

Published on February 27, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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