Firmly perched alongside the world’s other major international comedy festivals, Just For Laughs Sydney is set to return for the 10th anniversary with a week of belly laughs and exclusive shows.
The side-splitting Just For Laughs Sydney will again be hosted on Gadigal land and stretched out across the many famous and beautiful Sydney landmark venues, including Sydney Opera House, State Theatre, Comedy Store, Enmore Theatre and Factory Theatre.
The festival runs from November 28 to December 4 so now’s the time to get to Sydney and book shows before you miss out. To help with some tricky decisions, we’ve compiled some of the highlights of the festival below.
Wednesday 30 November – Sydney Opera House, Studio
In a premier show for the festival, Steph Tisdell has curated a potent lineup of Indigenous comedians for a night of utter hilarity. Entitled First Nations Funnies, Steph will also host the evenings proceedings, seeing the likes of comedic virtuosos Dane Simpson, Janty Blair, Andy Saunders, Kevin Kropinyeri and Jay Wymarra hurtling jokes in the direction of the audience.
Having recently launched First Nations Talent Agency, Tisdell has embarked upon a collaborative partnership with the festival to ensure this show runs year in year out. In a collision of ancient culture and observations of modern societal life, the show will be brimming with provocative and politically-fueled satire and clusters of impertinent gags – boundless and bold this show will appeal to all.
Thursday 1 December, State Theatre
Founding member of 1970’s comedic group Monty Python and integral bandmate of the parody group The Rutles, Eric Idle has done it all, at least comedically. Also, a cancer survivor and having withstood the sheer agony of crucifixion – at least he claims – the comedian is teaming up with Shaun Micallef, and a guitar for one night only.
A discussion that will feature musical interludes, tangents a plenty, tales of British stardom amidst the height of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the state of his liver, his loves and all else in between. Expect candidness fused with the bizarre in an entertaining dose of the not-so-ordinary human condition.
Thursday 1- Saturday 3 December – Sydney Opera House, Studio
Spanned out across three nights, with two shows set to be shared each evening, the crowd favourite Just For Laughs Australia: Live shows return this year to be hosted by Nath Valvo.
Being such an in-demand comedian in Australia isn’t easy, especially when your repertoire of comedic skills ranges from a high-octane energy to a fast wit that stems from an observational critique. Showcasing the prowess of over 30 Australian and International comedians each show will feature a unique lineup.
- Thursday 7:15pm: Nikki Britton, Randy Feltface, Jay Wymarra, Amos Gill, Tom Walker, Georgie Carroll
- Thursday 9:30pm: Steph Tisdell, Matt Okine, Brodi Snook, Nish Kumar, Rob Beckett
- Friday 7:15pm: Mel Buttle, Al Del Bene, Rhys Nicholson, Alice Fraser, Jay Pharoah
- Friday 9:30pm: Claire Hooper, Blake Freeman, Two Hearts, Nikki Osborne, Alan Carr
- Saturday 7:15pm: Peter Helliar, Anne Edmonds, Rhys James, Frankie McNair, Rove McManus, Aunty Donna
- Saturday 9:30pm: Urzila Carlson, Pax Assadi, Rudy-Lee Taurna, Tom Ballard, Demi Lardner
Heralded as the precious stone of the festival, these shows will have you in stitches upon conclusion, but they sell out quick. Grab your tickets and prepare to be satiated, at least if that’s how you would describe a face and torso sore from laughter (exertion).
- Friday 2 Dec Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall: Huge line-up with Rob Beckett, Nish Kumar, Steph Tisdell, Tom Ballard, Melanie Bracewell and Rhys Nicholson
- Saturday 3 Dec at Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall: Huge line-up with Rob Beckett, Nish Kumar, Steph Tisdell, Melanie Bracewell, Rhys Nicholson and Urzila Carlson
Friday 2 December & Saturday 3 December – Sydney Opera House
Wil Anderson is bringing his podcast series out of dormancy for two nights. Expect discussion with smart people about stupid subject matter in pursuit of determining the meaning of life, supported by special guests aplenty.
Sunday 4 December – Enmore Theatre
Featuring Matt Okine, Michelle Brasier, Two Hearts, Jude Perl and Donny Benet
It’s new and it’s hosted by Aunty Donna, what could go wrong? Entitled Musical Comedy IS Cool, it’s a first in Australia. That’s right, there isn’t another single musical comedy gala in this country. Undeniably experimental, its rumoured there will be disco balls, sing-alongs, maybe even fireworks. What could go wrong?
Sunday 4 December – Factory Theatre
Non-human comedian Randy Feltface, the people’s favourite, brings its zany and controversial humour and a flock of comedians including Anne Edmonds, Dam Rath, Frankie McNair and Scout Boxall to the festival. Dubbed a potential new hit show, if the Muppets were left uncensored and they originated in Australia.
Just For Laughs Sydney runs between November 28 and March 4. For more information and to see the full program, head to the Just For Laughs Sydney website here.
This article was made in partnership with Just For Laughs Sydney.