FEELING a little homesick? Swamped with readings and assignments and feel like there’s no escape? Treat yourself to a laugh as Comedy Zone Asia returns to Melbourne this month as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016.
Laughter is the best medicine and there’s no better way to unwind than with a bit of comedy that’s close to home for many international students.
Taking place from March 24 to April 17 and hosted by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Comedy Zone Asia brings together a cast of five leading comedians from across Asia, for an evening of mirth from a range of culturally diverse perspectives.
The show last year received good reviews from The Sydney Morning Herald and Herald Sun, and this year’s line-up promises to be just as good, featuring expert comedians from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Philippines and India.
Daniel Fernandes (India)
Headlining for Comedy Zone Asia this year, Daniel Fernandes from Mumbai is not shy of talking about topics that are sensitive. From feminism to the Syrian Crisis, he takes topics that are rarely mixed with comedy and reduces the audience to laughter and cheers. With a background in advertising, he eventually left his job to pursue his passion in comedy (and snakes). He founded Microphone Entertainment in 2012 and features regularly in The Comedy Store, Canvas Laugh Factory and many more.
Sharul Channa (Singapore)
A veteran in the TV industry, Sharul Channa is no stranger to the spotlight. The first Indian female stand-up comedian in Singapore, Channa has headlined for The Comedy Club KL, Comedy Kao Kao, PJ Laugh Fest 2013, One Mic Stand, The Comedy Lounge in Perth and Sydney, amongst many others, has received significant media attention in publications including The Straits Times and The Economic Times India.
Storm Xu (China)
Hailing from Yangpu Shanghai, China, Storm Xu’s first foray into comedy was initially fuelled by his desire to get over a relationship that had turned sour. What started as revenge however, turned into a career. In addition to performing at shows, he also has a youtube series named TMD Shanghai on YouTube. He also recently won the Outstanding Performance Award at the Shanghai International Comedy Festival.
Andrew Chu (Hong Kong)
Andrew Chu had a sense of humour before he could even walk. He seldom cried as a baby, and instead laughed a lot. This eventually led him down the path of becoming a comedian. Andrew is a part of Take Out Comedy, the first dedicated “full-time” comedy club in Asia. In 2010 he won the English Funniest Comedian Competition, and his dream is to make everybody happy!
GB Labrador (Philippines)
Representing the Philippines is GB Labrador who brings his innocence and childlike wonder to the world of comedy. He has headlined at venues such as Comedy Kao Kao Malaysia, One Mic Stand Kuala Lumpur, Talk Cock Comedy, Cash for Comedy KL, Comedy Bah in Sabah and Comedy Masala Singapore. As the first-runner up in the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival 2010, Labrador not only does regular stand-up but also writes for Philippines television broadcaster ABS CBN’s children’s sketch comedy show Goin’ Bulilit. His passion for the craft also led him to establish Comedy Manila, with the aim to provide a platform and an open mic to all aspiring comedians.
Comedy Zone Asia will be showing at the Melbourne Town Hall, Regent Room, from March 24 to April 17 every Tuesday to Sunday. Tickets range from $22 to $32 and are now on sale, and can be purchased online or at the venue. For more information about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, visit the MICF website.