Australia gets a virtual comedy festival | Courtesy of streaming service Stan

Australia gets a virtual comedy festival

Courtesy of streaming service Stan

Australian streaming channel Stan has commissioned a virtual comedy festival, following the cancellation of real festivals down under

The new series will be filmed in the homes of comedians Wil Anderson, Cal Wilson, Nazeem Hussain, Dave Hughes, Zoe Coombs Marr, Tommy Little, Geraldine Hickey, Dilruk Jayasinha, Steph Tisdell, Aaron Chen, Sam Campbell, Michelle Brasier and Nath Valvo. 

Fans will thus get to see material from their planned 2020 shows, with the comics having to set up and operate their own cameras, with a director on hand via video conferencing. 

Platform bosses says the Stan Original Australian Lockdown Comedy Festival is a direct result of the cancellation of events such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival. 

Melbourne festival director Susan Provan said: ‘Hundreds of comedians worked hard to create brand new shows for their hundreds of thousands of fans to enjoy during the comedy festival season  but artists and audiences never got the chance to laugh in the same room! 

‘The Australian Lockdown Comedy Festival goes a long way to fill the gap with an eclectic mix of fantastic current comedy.

Kevin Whyte, from programme-makers Guesswork TV, said: ‘For those in the comedy community a year without the Melbourne Comedy Festival is unimaginable - the festival bubble is our native habitat. This partnership with Stan gives the comedians a chance to share a bit of what they were cooking and get some support to cover the huge hole in their calendar.’

And Anderson, pictured, said: 'Thanks to Stan for their support of Australian comedy during this time - at least when I tell a joke at this gig and no one laughs I will know it is because I am responsibly socially isolating.’

The broadcast date has yet to be announced.

Published: 9 Apr 2020

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Today's comedy-on demand picks

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

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... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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