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Must See South Asian Comedians: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Here at ASAC, we’re thrilled to be bringing back Brown Women Comedy, with a national tour in 2024.

Australia’s first and largest comedy show featuring a line-up of incredibly talented South Asian female comedians, will be performing across Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Sydney Comedy Festival.

To celebrate, we’ve curated a list of must-see shows by South Asian Comedians at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024, which is running until 21 April.

1. Sashi Perera

Until 21 April

With top reviews from the likes of The Age, Time Out and Hasan Minhaj, it’s no wonder Sashi’s on our Brown Women Comedy line-up.

Nominee Best Newcomer at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023, her stand-up clips have notched up over 40 million views online and was also featured as ‘One to Watch’ at the UK Funny Women Awards.

2. Urooj Ashfaq

Oh No!
Until 14 April

Hailing from Mumbai, Urooj won Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2023, has appeared on India’s Queens of Comedy and just finished her first stand-up tour of the UK. Her humour draws on her psychology degree and personal experiences of therapy.

3. Brown Women Comedy

Until 21 April

Yes, okay, we are biased but we are besharam so what do you expect? After a sell-out debut at last year’s event, Australia’s first and largest ensemble of South Asian female comedians is back bigger than ever, with a national tour in 2024.

It’s already received rave reviews at its first Adelaide Fringe stint and will also hit Sydney Comedy Festival in May.

Featuring an award-winning line-up, including our co-founder Daizy Maan, Yasmin Kassim, Gauri B – on every night and 3 spots rotating featuring Amna Bee, Shyaire Ganglani, Kru Harale, Jess Karamjeet, Sashi Perera and more. Meet them all here.

Go see what the fuss is about – follow @brownwomencomedy on socials.

4. Jess Karamjeet

Grief Sex Race
Until 18 April

Another of our Brown Women Comedians, Jess Karamjeet (NZ Comedy Trust’s One To Watch) navigates the awkward intersections of her mixed-race, bisexual identity while grieving the loss of her dear, departed dad in this award-winning music comedy duo show.

As seen at Auckland Fringe, New Zealand International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe.

5. Urvi Majumdar

Until 21 April

And another one from the Brown Women Comedy line-up!

2024 Moosehead Recipient Urvi Majumdar is also doing her well-received solo show. The creator and star of ABC & Screen Australia’s Freshblood series: Urvi Went to an All Girls School has also appeared on ABC TV’s Fisk and Channel 9’s Metrosexual.

6. Nazeem Hussain

Totally Normal
Until 21 April

One of the biggest stars of Australian comedy, Nazeem is hitting stages around Australia in 2024 with this new show.

Back in 2019, his Netflix special Nazeem Hussain: Public Frenemy, filmed at the Just For Laughs Festival, launched him into an international audience and sell-out seasons across the globe. He’s opened for Dave Chappelle in New York City and even performed before the Sri Lankan Prime Minister and his wife.

7. Dilruk Jayasinha

Until 21 April

Dilruk had a massive 2023, performing to sold out crowds, appearing on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Opening Night Allstars Supershow and starring in Season 3 of Utopia. He’s back with a brand new show for 2024.

8. Suren Jayemanne

Drier Drier
Until 21 April

Comedian, writer and actor Suren has been seen on ABC (Comedy Next Gen, Comedy Up Late, Tonightly with Tom Ballard) and SBS (Celebrity Letters and Numbers, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw).

For this brand-new show he joins forces with fellow Aussie comedians Matt Stewart to provide an hour of drier than drier stand-up.

9. Kanan Gill

What is This?
Until 21 April

Indian stand-up superstar Kanan Gill brings the world premiere of his new show, What Is This? to Melbourne. Following his smash-hit Netflix special “Yours Sincerely”, his latest special “Is This It?”

10. Dehli Buoy

Dehli Belly
19-21 April

RAW comedy Australia Nationals Runner-Up Delhi Buoy presents a stand-up show on the misadventures of an Indian immigrant living Down Under, blending spice with Aussie slang in a comedy show that transcends borders and celebrates the comedic chaos of overseas adventures.

11. Raise The Bra Female Comedy & Comedy Roulette

Until 6 Apr & 21 Apr

These two lineup shows are produced by South Asian women who are ALSO both part of Brown Women Comedy. Although they aren’t South Asian specific, Kru is Indian & Amna is a Canadian Pakistani comedian based in Australia.

First up, Raise the Bra, featuring top women and non-binary comics from the Festival performing on different themed nights like Career Day and Dysfunctional Families. Acts in the stellar line-up include He Huang (Australia’s Got Talent), Jenny Tian (viral sensation) and Janty Blair (Winner Deadly Funny 2022). It’s presented by Raise the Bar Comedy, a monthly Melbourne-based showcase.

In Comedy Roulette, the audience spins the wheel, while the comedians crack improvised jokes on hilarious topics like ‘awkward family gatherings’ and ‘zombie apocalypse survival tips’.

Past guests in the line-up have included Sashi Perera, Prue Blake, William Wang and Henry Yan.

Other Honourable Mentions

There’s plenty of other South Asian comedic talent to see. Big names on the festival circuit include Danny Bhoy and Arj Barker, 2023 judges pick Rao Morusupalli, screenwriters Aditya Gautam and Anirban Dasgupta, and Suraj Kolarkar, who’s appeared on Netflix series God’s Favourite Idiot alongside Melissa McCarthy.

Other shows worth checking out for up-and-comers include Aaqib Merchant & Kashyap Swaroop and Azeem Banatwalla.

For more info and to book, head to www.comedyfestival.com.au/2024

Written by Daizy Maan

Edited by Reshma Madhi

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