Whether he's stopping mid-run for a Rosetta sesh or jumping blindly into a Yarra River picnic boat, Dilruk Jayasinha knows how to do Melbourne. Here he gives us the inside scoop on his new MICF show (tickets on sale now!), filming for FOMO and his take on the city's best spots.

Tell us about your Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, Victorious Lion.

The show was one of the most fun and upbeat shows I’ve written, and I had performed it over 25 times before the pandemic postponed everything. So now I’m excited it’s getting a chance to be on in my home city. The weird thing is the material was primarily about how much I love being alone and having my own space, so let’s see how much of that material still holds up after the year we’ve all had!

What was your most memorable moment shooting the FOMO TVC?

For me the GoBoat was an interesting experience. For the scene I had to first jump into the boat from the pier which made me nervous until after a few times of doing it. But then actually getting the shot of me using the boat was tricky because I couldn’t hear the director from so far away, so there was a crew member hiding near my feet getting instructions on his walkie-talkie, “ok now go…turn slightly to the left…nope apparently that’s too much so go more right”. Showbiz!

A man jumping into a boat
Seamless entry off the GoBoat pier

Where can you find...

The best coffee?

My favourite café by far is The League Of Honest Coffee just near little Lonsdale Street. Great coffee and the best service from the staff. And the sauce in the Reuben sandwich is magic.

Your favourite bar?

I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so I love that the bar at Comedy Republic on Bourke Street has, among its wide selection of drinks, about four non-alcoholic beers and even prosecco! Great place to hang before and after the show’s that happen just upstairs in the building.

The best place for a fancy night out?

I love going to Rockpool or Rosetta’s for all special occasions. To be fair doesn’t have to be special. I did once stop at Rosetta’s for lunch while I was in the middle of a run – my excuse was that I needed to carb load.

The place that wows your friends?

The Royal Botanical Gardens and all the spaces around it. I lived in and around the city for nearly 15 years before I finally went inside to the gardens and I was kicking myself for not going in there sooner. It’s just so beautiful! And it’s hard to imagine a place so peaceful is so close to the CBD. It was a highlight of my dad’s trip when he visited in 2019.

Two people walking through a green garden
Royal Botanic Gardens

The best cheap eats for comedy festival?

Oh! The Stewed Pork noodles from Biang Biang Noodles on Elizabeth Street. So cheap yet so great every time. They’re so proud of the quality of their homemade noodles, that their delivery menu doesn’t include the noodles because they don’t want to compromise on the texture of it by the time it reaches your address. Love them for that!

A hidden gem that you’ve uncovered in the city?

I’m not sure how hidden it really is but the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden in King's Domain is something I happen to stumble on during my runs around the Tan Track, and now I build a little detour into it almost every time I run the track. I’ll even pause my running watching to snap a selfie or four.

The best post-show hang out spot?

Hmm, I’d say the steps of the Town Hall is where most of us would congregate secretly hoping someone would ask a question that allows you to talk about how well your show is going. Otherwise, most of us head to the Festival Club at Max Watt's.

A town hall building lit up at night during an event
Spot comics on the Town Hall steps all festival long

Your fave go-to gift shop?

Hmm, probably Lush at Melbourne Central or Glasshouse. Those places have such a wide variety of soap and scented candles, and I like finding one that suits the story of the gift recipient. (And I hope they don’t think that I’m hinting that they smell.)

Your fave place for a riverside or park run?

The Tan Track no doubt! Whether it’s a relaxing recovery stroll or hill sprints, that track has it all for me, including a perfectly positioned bin to spew into after hill sprints.

Something that Melbourne does better than anywhere else?

Multicultural Cuisine! Honestly, where else in this country can you find this much variety of food in such close proximity to each other. If you ever find me standing in the middle of Bourke Street confused, it because I’m paralysed by choice and not sure if I want my taste buds to take a trip to Asia, Italy or South America.

A busy Thai restaurant
Thailand or Bourke Street? Image: Isan Soul.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is on until 18 April. Thanks to Melbourne photographer Nicole Reed (@Nicasa) for the lead photo on this article.

Last updated on Tue 23 Mar 2021

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