April Fool’s pranks may be over, but there is still plenty more fun to be had in the month.
In a two-week stretch, you will get the who’s who of Singapore comedy all on one stage, an international line-up of standup comedians (including some big names… read on to find out who) at two concurrent fringe festivals in the heart of Singapore.
Happy Ever Laughter
What to expect: Truly Singaporean comedy
Date: 16- 27 April 2014
Time: Tue-Thu 8pm; Fri & Sat 4pm, 8pm; Sun 2pm, 6pm
Venue: Esplanade Theatre, Raffles Avenue
Tickets: Preview show: 16 and 17 Apr 2014, 8pm, tickets at $107, $87, $67, $47, $35. Standard tickets at $127, $107, $87, $67, $47. Available via Sistic.
It will be night after night of standup comedy madness as 13 of Singapore’s finest comedians take to the stage. No topic is off limits, be they about bus drivers, elections, racial tensions or political mansions.
It will be a failsafe and stellar line-up, featuring Mark Lee, Adrian Pang, Sebastian Tan, Hossan Leong, Pam Oei, Selena Tan, Judee Tan, Siti Khalijah, Karen Tan, Zulkarnain Sadali, Fuzz, Rishi Budhrani, and the inimitable Kumar.
Be prepared for a mish-mash of languages (mostly English, with some Malay, Mandarin and Chinese dialects) in true Singapore style. Subtitles not provided.
As the organisers put it, “confirm Happiness Index up and blood pressure down”.
Singapore Comedy Fringe 2014
Left to right: Michael Winslow (US), Harith Iskander (Malaysia) and Vir Das (India)
What to expect: Themed shows, and a good mix of regional and local acts
Date: 23-26 April 2014
Time: 7.30pm, 9.30pm
Venue: DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road
Tickets: $20 or $38, with $48 packages for both shows in a day. Available via Sistic.
Laugh is in the air!
The first ever Singapore Comedy Fringe will feature 30 comedic talents from all over the world, including India’s Papa CJ and Vir Das, Malaysia’s Harith Iskander and the Philippines’ GB Labrador. Singaporeans Sharul Channa and Jinx Yeo also feature.
But the undeniable highlight is an appearance by ‘The Police Academy’s’ Michael Winslow, the man of 10,000 sound effects, who is playing a 90-minute set on the closing day of the festival (26 April). The one-man sound-effects machine is able to mimic eveything from Jimi Hendrix on guitar to the roar of a jet plane.
The festival is split up into eight themed shows, with two per night.
Highlights include ‘Show Us Your Wits’ on the first night, with its all-female line-up. On the second night, catch 'Malaysian Mirth Mafia’ and their sharp, Malaysia-style wit, or the ‘Indian Laugh Riot’ on the third night featuring the best in Desi comedy.
Magner’s Singapore International Comedy Festival
Left to right: Alan Anderson (UK), Luisa Omielan (UK) and Ryan Coffey (Australia)
What to expect: European and Australian humour
Date: 23-26 April 2014
Time: Various timings
Venue: Various locations along Boat Quay
Tickets: $75 (all-acccess pass for all shows at all venues, within one night), $50 (venue pass for all shows in one venue, within one night) and $25 (single show tickets). Available via SISTIC.
This festival is much like the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where there is "open access" to shows that are held at different establishments.
Magner’s Singapore International Comedy Festival will feature 34 comedians, playing 131 shows across 10 venues at Boat Quay, including Home Club, the Barber Shop @ Timbre, Uncabunca and more. A few shows are already sold out.
Check out Luisa Omielan and her show ‘What would Beyonce do?’ (23-26 Apr, 8pm, Harry’s @ Boat Quay). With soldout shows in London’s Soho theatre, her set is as much a singalong as it is a comedy. Ryan Coffey incorporates music into his guitar-and-loop-pedal show in his brand of rock comedy (23-26 Apr, 8pm, Penny Black).
Also playing is Alan Anderson (23-26 Apr, 9pm, The London Bar @ Boat Quay), who is passionate about whiskey. Join him for an interactive hour of educational drinking (where patrons get to sample whiskies as well) where he will fill you in on the history, methodology and lore of the fine, malty beverage.
There is also an ongoing search for the next comedy star, including a paid trip to the renowned festival in Edinburgh and a venue for your performance. Entry is open to both Singaporeans and foreign nationals. More details here.