There hasn’t been much to laugh about this year, but the Newcastle Comedy Festival is planning to do its best to elicit a chuckle.
Managing Director Andrew Milos admits it’s been a nightmare trying to organise the festival, with six Victorian acts having to withdraw from the line up due to border restrictions.
“It’s been a very long year everyone’s got a story, but the entertainment industry has been hit worse than everyone else,” Milos said.
“We waited until the last minute because we wanted to see what would happen with border controls so it’s been an absolute mission.”
The festival, which will be held over the weekend of 21 and 22 November across four shows, will now feature comedians from New South Wales.
The Saturday shows will be MCed by all-round funnyman, Rove McManus and will feature Andy Saunders who many may recognise from The Block.
He brings his new solo show to Newcastle following five-star reviews and sold out shows nationally, and international tours with the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars in Edinburgh and London.
Becky Lucas will feature in all four shows, as will lauded jokester Randy Feltface.
Nominated for best comedy at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Randy went on to a season at the Soho Theatre in London, appeared at Montreal Just For Laughs Festival and had an Off-Broadway season at the Clurman Theatre in New York City.
The remainder of the line-up reads like a who’s who of “ones to watch” in Aus comedy, including Nikki Britton, Gen Fricker, Sam Taunton, Sarah Gaul, Cameron Duggan, Alex Jae, and Elliott Stewart.
There will also be a touch of home, with the Sunday shows to be MCed by Newcastle’s Cameron James.
“The line up is the best you will see in Australia right now,” Milos said.
“It’s the only operational comedy festival, I can see why people haven’t tried to run one.”
“90 percent of these comics didn’t get to perform in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, so they are debuting here and we get it before anyone else.”
Up to 750 people are allowed into The Civic Theatre per show, under strict COVID-compliant conditions.
Shows will be staged at 3pm and 8pm on both days, with the theatre undergoing a deep cleanse after each performance, ready for the next audience.
Tickets go on sale through the Civic Theatre Ticket Office this afternoon.