In Australia we’ve just had a 5 day weekend due to ANZAC day and Easter falling on the same dates. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to spend our week down in cold Melbourne for the last days of the International Comedy Festival and to get in some general sight-seeing. We went down last December for a sci-fi convention (’cause we’re nerds, yo) and we enjoyed Melbourne so much that we’ve needed an excuse to come back. This time we got 2 and 1/2 days to fully explore and take in all the sights of this beautiful city.
There is so much to talk about that I’ve broken it down into sections spread over 2 posts to make easier to group together places we checked out. Most of this post is about the historic buildings around Melbourne we saw because there’s just so many gorgeous old designs and architecture that you don’t see in other Australian cities like Brisbane.
The Comedy Shows and their Venues
Our main reason for coming to Melbourne was to attend some of the shows at the International Comedy Festival. My boyfriend suggested the idea last month so a week later we booked to see Arj Barker, Steven K Amos, Wil Anderson and David O’Doherty.
Our first two shows were both held in the lovely Melbourne Town Hall. I didn’t take my camera on the first night so the interior shots were taken with my phone.
We were pretty lucky and got seats close to the centre for both performances. First up was Stephen K Amos, who I demanded that we see because we missed him at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. I had a bit of a star-stuck moment out the front of the Town Hall when I went to ask one of the volunteers about lining and out of no-where, there’s Amos getting a photo taken with the volunteer, right in front of me! I think I stood there for a few seconds after he disappeared into the venue completely shocked at what had just happened. I guess I figured that the stars would use a back entrance to get in, not the front door, silly me :P.
Anyway, I really enjoyed Amos’ show, however I think some of his other stuff I’ve seen has been a little more funny. I think he really works the audience well, often talking to the front row and referring back to them later in the show.
After that we saw Arj Barker, who is one of my boyfriend’s favourites. Arj’s show was quite interesting in that during parts the lights would suddenly go out and then come back up with Arj singing and playing a harmonica, something I’ve never seen him do before. I think it was a nice way to break it up and in a way made it easy for him to change subjects.
The next night we went to see Wil Anderson at the Athenaeum Theatre. We actually ran a little late for this show because I thought it started at 7pm when it actually started at 5pm!
Wil Anderson’s show was great and had me going throughout the entire show. I was a little worried about it because I had been told by a colleague that when she saw him, he was off his face however this wasn’t the case for us.
Our last show was for David O’Doherty. The day after we actually walked right past him in the city to which I was again starstuck, stopping in the middle of the pathway, tugging at my boyfriend’s jacket going ‘OMG did you just see who walked past us?!?!’ to which he of course responded ‘nope’ :(. I considered running after him but I figured if I was a comedian I wouldn’t want to be annoyed on my first day off. The show was at The Forum which is quite an unusual but impressive building. O’Doherty put on a great show, loved his quirky humour.
Definitely a place to visit if you’re into history. We got to see most of the site and went on the tours for the Old City Court and Police Watch House. I should note that this is place where Ned Kelly was trialed and hung.
Captain Cooks Cottage
A very cute little cottage set in the Fitroy Gardens just outside of the CBD. It’s quite amazing that this was originally built in Yorkshire and moved over here in 1934, brick by brick.
Arcades and Laneways
There are so many small arcades and laneways in Melbourne that you can do a 2.5km self-guided tour around the city that takes around 1.5 hours! We didn’t do the walk but we did check some of the main ones I wanted to see like the Royal and Block Arcades. I must admit that I thought these would be a lot longer than they actually were but they are still impressive and it was quite a joy to be able to walk down the small narrow streets to small shops and restaurants.
Other Old Buildings Around Melbourne
This is just some of the other old buildings that needed to be mentioned but didn’t fit into anything. My favourites were these 2 very old and smoky looking buildings looked like they were plucked out of some fantasy novel and stuck on top of some shops. I think it would be fascinating to check out what’s inside on those upper levels, see what’s been left behind.
That’s all for now. I’ll post a second blog soon about some of the more modern introductions in Melbourne and some of the other things we saw.