Melbourne’s arts and entertainment culture will be thrust into the spotlight this week as the annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) kicks off on Wednesday night.
The 32nd edition of the festival, running from the 28 March to the 22 April, contains more than 600 shows, 7,000 performances and was attended by more than 760,000 spectators last year.
The festival will see revered Australian comedy duo Colin Lane and Frank Woodley return to the stage, 12 years after they last toured. Their show Fly is a tribute to the Wright brothers and their success in the field of aviation.
“Life’s short – it was always such fun performing with each other, so we thought – why not have fun again?” Lane told the MICF’s website
Lane and Woodley became household names in Australia throughout the 80s and 90s in Australia. They first performed as a duo in 1994 and became known as “Lano and Woodley” throughout the entertainment industry.
The duo last performed together in 2016, in a special appearance performance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Melbourne’s festival, and last toured together in 2006.
The festival officially begins on 28 March with the Opening Night Allstars Supershow hosted by Australian Anne Edmonds at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda.
Headline events include The Great Debate on Saturday 7 April, hosted by Magda Szubanski, with Australian’s Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson and Kitty Flanagan.
High-profile international names include American comics Jim Gaffigan and Arj Barker and South African Loyiso Goya.
10 shows at this year’s festival will feature performers who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Additionally, 116 international shows will take place, including one show to be performed in Cantonese and another in ‘Hinglish’, a combination of Hindi and English.