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2011 Event Media Release - Just for Laughs

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MEDIA RELEASE: 9 JUNE 2011

JOHN CLEESE TO HEADLINE AUSTRALIA’S FIRST JUST FOR LAUGHS AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
1-4 SEPTEMBER 2011

Sydney Opera House today launched a three-year partnership with the world’s biggest comedy festival, Just for Laughs, and Australia’s best-known comedy presenter Adrian Bohm, that will attract the brightest, funniest and finest names in international comedy to the Australian stage.

Just for Laughs at Sydney Opera House will premiere in September 2011 with a program conceived and created especially for Australian audiences, headlined by John Cleese that will feature the very best international and home-grown talent.

Over the course of four fun-filled days at the House this spring, there will be 2 International Comedy Galas and 5 solo shows featuring comedians from around the world.

John Cleese will grace the Sydney Opera House stage for the first time, fresh from his acclaimed, solo Alimony tour in the UK. He will host the International Comedy Galas in the Concert Hall for which the stars of the international comedy world will align - the evening will feature a stellar line up of comedians from around the globe.

There will be a series of unmissable solo performances from big-name comedians including Irish comedy phenomenon Dylan Moran, American-Korean queen of subversion Margaret Cho, American superstar comedian Louis C.K. and more.

Just for Laughs and Adrian Bohm Presents have collaborated with Sydney Opera House to present this landmark festival. The festival will reflect the House’s growing profile in presenting the world’s best comedians to Australian audiences – from Stephen Fry and Daniel Kitson to Billy Connolly and Tim Minchin. By collaborating with Just for Laughs, the world’s leading producer of comedy festivals, and Adrian Bohm, the partnership will create a new event of an unrivalled calibre in this part of the world.

Sydney Opera House CEO Richard Evans said, ‘We are delighted to be co-presenting such a significant international comedy festival at Sydney Opera House. Just for Laughs joins an ever expanding line-up of international festival events at the House that include Vivid LIVE, Graphic, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Message Sticks and Spring Dance.’

Just for Laughs in 2011 will mark the start of an ongoing partnership that will see the event grow each year, taking over Sydney Opera House with more performers and events.

Gilbert Rozon, President and Founder of Just for Laughs said, ‘I’m thrilled that Sydney Opera House, Just for Laughs and Adrian Bohm Presents have joined forces to create this new comedy event, especially given the Just For Laughs festival’s presence on television in Australia for over twenty years. Just For Laughs at Sydney Opera House is comic meets iconic. I want to thank John Cleese for headlining the inaugural festival; we look forward to working with our new partners and watching this exciting event grow at Sydney Opera House over coming years.’

Richard Evans added, ‘Building partnerships with festivals and entrepreneurs from Australia and around the globe ensures Sydney Opera House continues to present vibrant world-class performances to a huge range of audiences.  By partnering with Just for Laughs and Adrian Bohm Presents we can now deliver a landmark event to local audiences that will feature some of the most brilliant comedic artists working today.’

Stay tuned for more information on the other performers to join this line up of international comedy stars.

Sydney Opera House has been a destination venue for comedy since 2002, presenting some of the best Australian and international comedy talent. Recent performers include Billy Connolly, Axis of Awesome, Russell Peters, Sammy J and Randy, Wil Anderson, Peter Helliar, Daniel Kitson, Judith Lucy, Tim Minchin, Nina Conti and Akmal Saleh.

Just for Laughs brings 29 years’ experience of producing major comedy festivals with the biggest names in comedy. The Montreal festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy festival welcoming 2 million people each summer. Today, the festival which takes place annually in July, spans a month and takes over the whole city with an international roster of high profile and emerging comedians and street performers all playing a part. There are now Just for Laughs festivals in Chicago, Paris and Toronto and this will be the inaugural Sydney festival. Just for Laughs consistently attracts the very best comedians, with names such as Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, Craig Ferguson, Russell Brand, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Chris Rock and Eddie Izzard appearing on its bills.

For over 20 years Just for Laughs has been a fixture on Australian television bringing viewers the best comedians from around the world into their homes. In 2011, a Just for Laughs Comedy Gala was broadcast on Network 10. Since the first Festival in 1983, Just For Laughs’ growth has been concentrated on four major focal points: festivals (Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Paris); television production (most notably Gags seen in 140 countries and on over 95 airlines for an audience of more than a billion); live shows (including Jerry Seinfield, Louis C.K., the Capital One Just for Laughs Comedy Tour and Family Guy Live! and dozens of shows presented every year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and talent management. 

Adrian Bohm Presents has been promoting international comedy, music tours and theatre productions in Australia and New Zealand for over twenty-five years, bringing some of the world’s best known musicians, singers, stage and screen actors and stand-up comedians to the Southern Hemisphere. Over recent years, Bohm has been responsible for presenting Eddie Izzard, Chelsea Handler, Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Jo Brand, Bill Bailey, Rowan Atkinson, Steven Wright, Rob Schneider, Russell Brand, Julian Clary, Lily Tomlin, Sandra Bernhard and many more international comedians to Australian audiences.

NOTES TO EDITORS
Tickets for Just for Laughs performances go on sale on Friday 24 June by phone on 02 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com.
Keep up to date with Just for Laughs by joining us on our Facebook page and online at Sydney Opera House - Just for Laughs.

MEDIA CONTACT: Meera Hindocha, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7834 / 0401 711 531 / mhindocha@sydneyoperahouse.com

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