Shoestring Melbourne: DonDon and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It has been an insanely busy week for me, as I’m sure it has been for a lot of you.

With the next couple of weeks containing the first deadlines of the new semester, I’m sure that more than a few of you have suddenly realized that there’s work to be done.

Not all of you, I’m sure, but some.

All of that setup is meant to help me explain that I’ve not really had a chance to get out and find something cool and cheap for you to do this week, as I’ve been working on essays and I’ve been lucky enough to be reviewing a bunch of shows at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

So, I have a tip for a nice restaurant for you, and if you stick with me, I’ll give you some tips for good (and cheap) shows at the Festival.

Along the southern end of Melbourne Central runs Little Lonsdale St and along there is the DonDon Restaurant, a Japanese place specializing in cheap meals that are prepared amazingly – almost suspiciously – fast.

You will be able to fill up your belly and get a soft drink in you for around $8 for most things on the menu and the most expensive is just a little over $10, and that’s a full Bento Box.

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So, now, as promised, here are some hot tips for the festival.

Simon Keck is presenting a show called ‘Nob Happy Sock’ which touches on depression and suicidal thoughts.

It is honestly one of the most captivating and ‘humorous without dismissing the gravity of the subject matter’ shows I have ever seen.

I have a history of depression and even suicidal tendencies myself, so finding a performance that taps in to my own feelings on the subject and makes me laugh about them, not at them, is a special and rare thing.

He’s performing at the Portland Hotel every day (except Mondays) until April 21st and student tickets are $10.

Next is Juliet Meyers. Her stand up show, ‘Middle Lane Swimmer’, is a lovely, friendly, show of jokes and stories which slant toward being about being OK at something, but accepting that you’re not great at it.

Her delivery is well timed and engrossing and her show a lot of fun.

She’s performing every day until the 9th at the Tuxedo Cat for $17 a shot.

Pat Burtscher’s show, ‘Breaking Even’, is a curious one because it is a stand up show by a comedian still very much looking for his voice and how to best refine his work.

He’s not yet at the top of his game but he’s still pretty damn funny, even reminding me of a young Louis CK.

Or, at least, how I imagine a young Louis CK sounded.

He’s also at the Tuxedo Cat every night except Wednesdays until the 21st and tickets are $10.

Lastly, if all you have is $5, you can get along to the Imperial Hotel for ‘These Kids Are Good’, which is a short showcase of local comedy talent and, although none of them are great, they’re all definitely good and enjoyable.

The shows are every night until the 21st.

So, try to get out and enjoy the Festival while it’s on, but if not try to enjoy the festival atmosphere of the CBD at the moment.

It’s always nice

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when something like this is on, even if it does bring out the people with seemingly nowhere to be, but take up all of the sidewalk…

Alastair Collins


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