Equality In Comedy No Laughing Matter

04 February 2023

The Andrews Labor Government is backing female and non-binary performers to take to the stage, with the Stand Up! program supporting six talented comedians to present shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos today announced the 2023 recipients of the Stand Up! grants program, delivered in partnership with the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, who will receive professional development and support to mount their festival shows.

The recipients, who received $5,000 each, are Daisy Webb, whose 2023 festival set Joy explores coming out as a trans woman in the midst of a global pandemic and Grace Jarvis, whose show This Is The Last Goldfish That I Am Going to Eat For You is an anthology of all the things done to try and make friends.

Other winners include sketch comedian Hannah Camilleri presenting her solo show Lolly Bag, 2019 RAW Comedy national finalist Rose Bishop with her show Feral, Sashi Perera who is making her solo Comedy Festival debut with Endings, and Scout Boxall, the 2022 festival Moosehead Award winner, presenting a new show, Turbo Lover.

The recipients join a list of comedic talent including Aurelia St. Clair, Alex Ward and Urvi Majumdar, whose Stand Up! grants were a springboard to global comedy stages, as well as podcasting, writing and acting gigs.

The Labor Government and Comedy Festival are working toward better equality in comedy and the Stand Up! initiative is one of the ways women and non-binary performers are encouraged to take the stage.

In recent years the festival has also ensured women are represented in every festival showcase performance, introducing measures to make all festival performances supportive and safe environments for women.

The 2023 Melbourne International Comedy festival will run from Wednesday 29 March to Sunday 23 April at venues throughout Melbourne. For more information, and for tickets, visit Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos

“Through the Stand Up! program we’re supporting talented young women and non-binary performers to stage shows during the festival and to take the next big step in their comedy careers.”

“Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the most important platforms for comedians to grow audiences and hone their craft, with this initiative acting as a global springboard for Victoria’s emerging talent.”

Quote attributable to Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan

“The 2023 Stand Up! grant recipients are outstanding representatives of the funny, clever generation of performers emerging from Victoria’s dynamic comedy scene right now. These voices will be making noise and gathering fans in the coming years and we can’t wait to celebrate their successes.”

Quote attributable to 2019 Stand Up! grant recipient Annie Louey

“Receiving the Stand Up! grant in 2019 really kickstarted my comedy career. It made me feel that as a woman in comedy, I belonged. The grant motivated me to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.”

Reviewed 04 February 2023

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