Blake Freeman makes his much-anticipated return for Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2021
24.03.2021

Blake Freeman makes his much-anticipated return for Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2021

Words by Marnie Vinall

Freeman has scrapped the show he wrote for Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2020, preparing a completely new one for 2021.

Blake Freeman is increasingly cementing himself as one of Australian’s best young comedians; known for his raw, honest and charming comedy where he’ll happily serve up his blind spots or moments of lapsed judgments for a laugh.

He’s getting some accolades to his name too, taking out Best Newcomer at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019, being hand-picked to perform the year prior for the same comedy festival’s prestigious Comedy Zone, appearing on ABC TV’s Comedy Up Late series and performing shows internationally, including at Soho Theatre in London’s West End.

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And yet, he, like the rest of us mere Melburnians, had to press pause on it all and go into the great Melbourne lockdown that left the year 2020 feeling like a huge blur.

Now, most intriguingly, Freeman’s come out of 2020 with a new comedy show ready to perform. He’s scrapped the one meant for last year’s cancelled run and is set to perform the fresh content for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

That’s if all things go ahead this time around.

“It’s basically a completely different one [show]. I feel like last year’s show was about like travelling for the first time and that sort of stuff, and it’s that thing coming out of the year we all had, and being like, ‘Aw man, I really don’t connect with talking about traveling like at all’,” Freeman says.

“Not even in that way of like, ‘Oh yeah, remember that?’. So, I kind of put together a new show.”

Despite being written over the past year, fans shouldn’t expect pandemic-related content from Freeman as he’s steered clear of COVID-related comedy. Which makes sense given the young comedian’s anecdotal and observational style of stand up, and, well, him not being able to witness much in the year that was 2020.

“I had no observations; I wasn’t out in the world. It was just like, ‘Fucking hell, the light went off in the bathroom, isn’t that crazy?’” he notes.

Instead, viewers will be taken on a 45-minute journey of stand up where the comic talks about embarking on a formal education for the first time – which he comments is a very light theme for the show – and learning more about the world.

“It [the show] is me wanting a formal education because I’ve never really had one,” he says.

“At one point I was trying to suss like archaeology classes, I was like, ‘That’s fucking smart so I’ll do that’ and I looked into it and was like, ‘I have no fucking clue what this is about’.”

After the last-minute cancellation of MICF 2020, fans and Freeman alike are excited for him to finally be able to take the stage again.

As he puts it, “I’m super excited but pretty nervous. Melbourne has such a specific feel to it – it’s going to be so interesting getting around that.

“I’m definitely G’d up.”

Blake Freeman performs at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2021 from Thursday March 25 until Sunday April 18 (bar Mondays). Find out more here.