Coming of age

18th Melbourne fest opens

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the third biggest event in the worldwide comedy calendar kicks off tonight.

British stand-up stars attending the event, the 18th, include Chris Addison, Dannny Bhoy, Daniel Kitson Julian Clary, Howard Read, Ross Noble, Rob Rouse, Simon Munnery and Lee Mack.

And UK-based Aussie acts among the 177 shows on offer include Adam Hills, Brendon Burns and Sarah Kendall.

Arts Minister Mary Delahunty said: "This festival is good for a laugh, it's good for our spirits, it's good for democracy, it's good for politics, it's good for business but it's very, very good for the economy."

Dave Gorman will be returning with his Googlewhack Adventure, which started life at last year's festival, and has now spawned a best-selling book.

Kitson will be performing both stand-up and his Made-Up Story, which divided critics at last year's Edinburgh Fringe.

And mostly-forgotten 1994 Perrier-winners Lano and Woodley will also be back with a new show.

The festival is now the third biggest, behind Edinburgh and Montreal.

Published: 25 Mar 2004

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