HOT: Sunburnt Country, Melbourne International Comedy Festival

I love having guests bloggers and today I’m handing over the hot seat to Gourmet Chick, a Melburnian currently living in London who still knows what’s hot and what’s not in Melbourne.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival starts soon on Wednesday 24 March until Sunday 18 April 2010, and if you’re a bit bamboozled by all the acts on offer, here’s Gourmet Chick‘s guest post on comedy cabaret show Sunburnt Country starring Rosa The Russian Beautician and Friends. Thanks Gourmet Chick!

She sings, dances and waxes.  She is Rosa the Russian Beautician played by Melbourne comedian Marney McQueen, who returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year with a new show, Sunburnt Country.  I caught a slightly different version of the show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival last year (where it won rave reviews) and found myself laughing so hard that my laughter turned into those snorting laughs that are highly embarassing.  Luckily I was spared public humiliation by the fact that everyone around me was also snorting with laughter.  What more can you ask for from a comedy show?

SUNBURNT COUNTRY by Marney McQueen Melbourne International Comedy Festival Melbourne Hot or Not review

Sunburnt Country is a comedy cabaret show where McQueen plays several characters, the well established Rosa the Russian Beautician  (who has her own Facebook fan club) along with four new characters: Karen Barnes a border security guard at Melbourne Airport, Annabel Sarah Victoria Winters-Smythe of Armadale Galleries, Damo Greggs an Australian recently returned from a life changing Contiki tour around Europe with a stopover in Bali and Raelene Dreggs a Gold Coast mother who’s daughter Shana is in jail in Bali after being found with ecstasy in her rollerskates at Denpasar Airport.

SUNBURNT COUNTRY by Marney McQueen Melbourne International Comedy Festival Melbourne Hot or Not review

I can’t vouch for the new characters but I can say that on the strength of Rosa the Russian Beautician alone this is one Comedy festival show that is well worth seeing.  Never have you seen a woman make a leopard print catsuit and a mullet look so attractive.  I left the show with a sore stomach from laughing and still singing “Honour Your Bikini”, Rosa’s signature song, in my head.

Catch Gourmet Chick‘s guest post next week when she heads to Naked Japan in Albert Park. In the meantime, check out Gourmet Chick‘s fabulous blog about food in London and around the world (including Melbourne) and follow Gourmet Chick on Twitter @msgourmetchick.

HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

I’m all for comfort food, opaque tights and scarves (I think it’s a reaction to growing up in sunny Queensland) – yay for Marvellous March!

Marvellous March is also the name of a handy little booklet produced by That’s Melbourne with details of the big events around Melbourne that will make you love autumn. This is a post to bookmark! Thanks to City of Melbourne, here are some highlights and photos:

Moomba Festival 2010
Melbourne’s largest outdoor community festival makes a vibrant return to the heart of the city. From the spectacle of the Moomba Parade to the hilarious Westpac Birdman Rally, from the wonder of the Children’s Garden to awesome live music, Moomba will surprise and delight Melburnians of all ages.  March 5 – 8. Alexandra Gardens & Birrarung Marr.

The 2010 Indian Film Festival – Bollywood And Beyond
All the colour, drama, music and romance of Bollywood comes to Melbourne for eight days.  ‘The Queen of Bollywood’ – multi award-winning actress Rani Mukherjee – will open festivities at Cinema Nova with the launch of her new film, the comedy musical “Dil Bole Hadippa.”   The festival will feature eight premiere screenings and an array of Meet the Maker events where Hindi filmmakers including Rajkumar Hirani (director of the highest grossing Hindi film of all time- 3 Idiots) and Imtiaz Ali (director of box office hits Jab We Met & Love Aaj Kal) will discuss their careers within the world’s biggest film industry. 10-17 March 2010.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
One of my favourite Melbourne festivals. The delicious 2010 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will see the city hosting a long lunch, a food-lover’s fiesta and drool-worthy master classes. Take yourself on a visual treasure hunt with the Feasting Vignettes, presented by the City of Melbourne, grab a sustainable nibble at the Metlink Edible Garden showcasing regional produce and relax with free Barilla Foodie Films. 12 – 23 March 2010.


L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival
The LMFF is a stylish showcase for established and up and coming fashion designers. Check out Sidewalk, a series of free runway presentations bringing Australia’s leading fashion brands on a spectacular inflatable fashion catwalk at Federation Square. 14 – 21 March 2010.

20th Melbourne Queer Film Festival
See the latest, greatest and most creative in queer feature films, documentaries and shorts at the 20th Melbourne Queer Film Festival. A $2,000 cash prize is also up for grabs for the winner of the City of Melbourne Award for Best Australian short film. 17 – 28 March 2010.

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Thai Culture & Food Festival
Discover the wonderful secrets of Thai cooking, enjoy a gentle Thai massage and some traditional music and entertainment, and when you get hungry sample Thai food on the River Terrace at Federation Square – think green curry, fish cakes, pad thai, chicken basil and more. 21 March 2010.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. An impressive 500+ exhibitors will showcase the latest products and services at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. 24 – 28 March 2010.

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Melbourne International Comedy Festival
It’s the biggest festival Melbourne has to offer and last year just over half a million people laughed at the antics of some of the finest comedy performers in the world. Check out my reviews from last year’s festival. This year I’m  seeing Cardinal Burns and Tim Key. 24 March – 18 April 2010.

2010 FORMULA 1TM Australian Grand Prix
It’s the country’s premier motor sport event that brings together the world’s finest and flashiest cars, glamour, celebrities (including Miss Polonia, for some bizarre reason) and the rush of adrenalin as the world’s most skilful drivers tackle the Albert Park racetrack. 25 – 28 March 2010. 

Lonsdale Street Glendi Festival Festival
Melbourne’s large Greek community takes over the Lonsdale Street precinct to celebrate their history and culture. Sample souvlaki, sweet and sticky loukoumades (Greek donuts) and then burn off those calories in the Zorba ‘til You Drop dancing competition. 27 – 28 March 2010.

Also on in March – run, watch, sail, eat and listen:

Super Sunset Series – Docklands Dash!
Whether you run or walk register for the Super Sunset Series inaugural Docklands Dash. The fun run will wind its way through the  Docklands precinct at twilight on Wednesday 10 March.

Thread Den: The Designers Sessions
Learn how to style and sew in the relaxed sewing lounge and then create your own catwalk collection! You can read my review of the sewing classes at Thread Den here. 12 – 16 March 2010.

Poster affff 2010 V8 (Large)Alliance Francaise French Film Festival
The best of contemporary French film comes to Melbourne, from action, romance, comedy and animation to thrillers, children’s films and documentaries. It’s the largest foreign film festival in Australia and this year is expected to showcase a record number of films. 4 – 21 March 2010.

Herald Sun/CityLink Run for the Kids
Last year 30,000 men, women and children pounded the streets of Melbourne to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Do your bit for the RCH in 2010 by walking or running across and through Melbourne landmarks such as the Bolte Bridge and Domain Tunnel. 14 March 2010.

Victoria Harbour School Sailing Series
Some of Melbourne’s most promising young sailors will hone their nautical skills as part of this popular sailing series. The eager school teams will crew two-person Pacer dingies during the high-energy, fast-paced racing event – all intent on winning the series and winning the chance to represent Victoria at the Australian Championships later in the year. To enjoy the nautical action head to Victoria Harbour 18 – 21 March 2010.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra presents Profusion
Directed by William Hennessy and with guest soloist and soprano Sara Macliver, the MCO presents Profusion at the Melbourne Recital Centre at Southbank. The evening will feature classics by Dmitri Shostakovich, Jean Sibelius, Calvin Bowman and Gustav Mahler. 21 March 2010.

World Street Food Festival
To celebrate Melbourne’s love and appreciation of food from across the globe, Queen Victoria Market will host the colourful World Street Food Festival. Expect an array of cuisines from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia. Watch as the food is cooked in front of you, savour the smells, and treat your tastebuds to something new. 21 March 2010.

Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival
The annual Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival is a thrilling, colourful family-friendly event that celebrates everything that is great about this ancient sport. Watch the determined teams of more than 22 people battle it out for line honours on the Yarra River. 21 March 2010.

Opera in the Market
Fresh fruit and forklifts make way for elegant chandeliers and opera at Queen Victoria Market. Opera in the Market event gets underway again this year with appearances by talented artists such as young Soprano Tiffany Speight, and internationally acclaimed Tenor, Rosario La Spina. More than 150 voices and the 65-piece Melbourne Youth Orchestra also feature. 22 and 24 March 2010.

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Turkish Pazar Festival
Celebrate everything Turkish at this all day festival that showcases the best in Turkish dance, music, food and drink. Enjoy a traditional Turkish pancake or bread rings covered with crunchy sesame seeds, treat yourself to pretty handmade Turkish jewellery and ceramics and enjoy the distinctive sights and sounds of the many Turkish musicians and artists who support this annual event. 28 March 2010.

For a full list of Marvellous March events, click here.