Melbourne Loves Comedy
- Melbourne International Comedy Festival
- Sue Thomson, Libertarian Productions
- Mary Keneally
- Arts Centre Melbourne
For more than sixty years, Melbourne has played a pivotal role in the development of Australian comedy. The energy and vitality of the Melbourne comedy scene - that has fostered so many careers - can be traced to the T.F. Much Ballroom performance venue and the Pram Factory theatre shows of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In the mid-70s, the talent and audiences generated through the Pram Factory in particular primed the way for the opening of a series of venues in inner city Melbourne: The Flying Trapeze Cafe, Foibles, The Comedy Cafe and its comedy try-out room, The Banana Lounge and John Pinder and Roger Evans’ famous Last Laugh Theatre Restaurant and Zoo. These venues were the all-important foundations for what has become Australia’s biggest festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
This story traces the vision and influence of John Pinder on certain performers and the scene in general. It also celebrates the growth of his brainchild, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which began officially in 1987, and has been taken up and developed by others including Susan Provan, to flourish into a far-reaching entity that has, for 30 years, been supporting artists and entertaining audiences.