Eight Budget-Friendly Melbourne International Comedy Festival Shows You Can Still Nab Tickets To

The silly season is officially upon us, with the return of the much-anticipated 2022 edition of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Running from March 30–April 24, this beloved celebration of comedy promises to make up for the not-so-funny lockdowns of the past two years, with a truly enormous program of stand-up, improv, cabaret and more. We’re talking about over 500 shows, from more than 1000 artists.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best MICF shows and performances you can still nab tickets to — and all of them come in at under $40. Get set for some laughs and book in one of these winners, stat.

COMEDY UP LATE

Across three chuckle-filled sessions at Max Watt’s, Geraldine Hickey hosts this bold stand-up spectacular, showcasing a buzz-worthy lineup of both familiar names and emerging comedy talent. Comedy Up Late is your chance to catch the hottest comedians of the moment, all in one spot. The lineup is top-secret, though with past acts including stars like Claire Hooper, Becky Lucas, Josh Thomas and Ronny Chieng, you can rest assured you’re in for a side-splitting hour of comedy.

Catch it: Monday, April 11 (6.30pm), Monday, April 18 (6.30pm & 9pm), at Max Watt’s.

LIP SYNC BATTLE @ THE FESTIVAL CLUB

There ain’t no battle like a lip sync battle — and you’ll catch an absolute doozy going down at The Festival Club, spanning four late-night shows for this year’s MICF. Rhys Nicholson plays your host for a hilarious, high-voltage contest of wits as a lineup of comedy legends go head-to-head for lip syncing glory. You can expect some pretty wild costumes along the way as well. Confirmed to be stepping up to the plate this time around, are Nath Valvo, Concetta Caristo and the Granny Bingo crew — keep a close eye on the event page to see who else will be making an appearance.

Catch it: Friday, April 1, 8, 15 & 22, at Max Watt’s.

ALI MCGREGOR’S ‘LATE-NITE VARIETY-NITE NIGHT’

If variety is the spice of life, you can expect a very big hit of flavour coming your way courtesy of this multifaceted late-night extravaganza. Curated by Ali McGregor, the return favourite is set to deliver a jam-packed variety show fusing some of the finest circus, burlesque, cabaret and stand-up comedy from this year’s MICF. All topped off with McGregor’s impressive vocals and a splash of live jazz. Festival faves including Dilruk Jayasinha, Sammy J and Lizzy Hoo have already hit the stage over the past two weeks, with many more hot picks to come.

Catch it: Multiple dates from March 31–April 23, at The Famous Spiegeltent at Arts Centre Melbourne.

ALEX JAE, ‘TOTALLY FINE IF NOT’

Emerging star Alex Jae has already impressed the socks off veterans like Rove McManus and Luke Heggie — now, it’s your turn to be wowed. Across a two-week run at Melbourne Town Hall, Jae’s brand new stand-up show Totally Fine If Not serves up a witty deep-dive into the realities of attempting to be assertive in the digital age. Prepare to see your usual email speak in a whole new, hilarious light.

Catch it: Multiple dates from April 12–24, at The Flag Room, Melbourne Town Hall.

BEST OF THE EDINBURGH FEST

You might not have been able to make it over to the Edinburgh Fringe these past few years, but this show is bringing you a curated taste of those international laughs. Across a string of dates at RMIT’s Capitol Theatre, you’ll enjoy a chuckle-inducing showcase from three rising stars and Edinburgh Fringe alumni, as handpicked by comedy producer and talent scout Mary Tobin. On the bill: UK stand-up and new Aussie ring-in Nicky Wilkinson; globally-renowned comic John Hastings; and the self-proclaimed ‘Geordie Giant’ aka Luke Benson.

Catch it: Multiple dates from March 31–April 24, at RMIT Capitol Theatre.

SHOWKO, ‘JAPANESE THERAPY’

For the uninitiated, rakugo is the ancient Japanese art of comedic storytelling, which requires training under a certified master. Japan-born performer Showko completed a three-year rakugo apprenticeship, before going on to work across the likes of London, Edinburgh, Paris, LA and Australia. And now, she’s hitting MICF with an offbeat new show, delivered via a talented ventriloquist performance featuring her own cast of handmade puppets. It’s a little bit quirky and a whole lot of fun.

Catch it: Multiple dates from April 6–23, at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.

SIMON TAYLOR, ‘EPIC’

He started out on the Melbourne comedy scene, and would quickly become a writer for the likes of Jay Leno — at the ripe old age of 24, no less — and Shaun Micallef. So it’s safe to say you’re in for some big laughs at Simon Taylor’s new solo stand-up show. The aptly titled Epic is the comedian’s boldest and most ambitious creation yet, taking inspiration from some of his wilder travel adventures. If it’s been a while since your last overseas jaunt, this rib-tickling 50-minute production should help fill the void.

Catch it: Multiple dates from March 31–April 24, at The Toff in Town.

IMPROMPTUNES

Improv blends with musical theatre to hilarious effect for this long-running MICF classic. Each night, Impromptunes‘ troupe of fast-thinking musical improvisers take to the stage to create a brand-new musical production, based entirely on the audience’s suggestions. You’re in for some chaotic comedy, served up alongside a ripper soundtrack and jazz hands aplenty. Best of all, no two shows are ever the same, which means you can hit this one up again and again.

Catch it: Multiple dates from March 31–April 24, at The Quilt Room, Trades Hall.

Top Image: Jim Lee


Published on April 07, 2022 by

Libby Curran

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