Opening night of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is always a special time. Swanston and Collins corner is crowded with people handing out flyers, comedians are having their first drinks at bars like Hairy Little Sista, and the Town Hall is all lit up in celebration. People gather eagerly outside the Regent Theatre, looking for a taste of things to come.
This taste comes in the form of the Opening Night Comedy All Stars Supershow, and it really is a super show. The full list of comedians reads:
Abandoman (Ireland/UK), Ali McGregor & Captain Frodo, Amos Gill, Andy Saunders, Andy Zaltzman (UK), Brennan Reece (UK), David O’Doherty (Ireland), Dave Hughes, Dave Thornton, David Quirk, Hannah Gadsby, Jak Knight (USA), James Veitch (UK), Jason Byrne (Ireland), Jenny Eclair (UK), Josie Long (UK), Larry Dean (UK), Liza Treyger (USA), Nath Valvo, Nazeem Hussain, Ryan Hamilton (USA), Sam Simmons, Sarah Kendall, the cast of Soap (Germany), Steve Bugeja (UK), Tom Ballard, and Tom Gleeson.
It’s the perfect kickstart to the festival. Host Kitty Flanagan is lively and mischievous, managing to make the 2000+ seat venue feel like an intimate space. The line up is stacked with festival favourites, from keyboard carrying Irishman David O’Doherty to FOX FM’s own Dave Thornton (there are a lot of Daves in comedy). The stage is also graced with the presence of British comic Andy Zaltzman of The Bugle, and the cast of German production Soap!. There truly is a slice of comedy for everyone, with Barry Award-Winning Sam Simmons appearing with his usual strange sketch stand up hybrid, Dave Hughes being as Hughesy as can be, and Josie Long adding some high-brow literary references for the more intellectual viewers.
If you missed out on this opening night extravaganza, don’t worry – it’s being broadcast tonight on the ABC. So curl up on your couch, shelter from the Melbourne weather, and let the Melbourne International Comedy Festival come to you.
Opening Night Comedy All Stars Supershow is on the ABC at 8:30 pm Sunday 9 April, and iView after the broadcast.