Line Up Your Laughs For The Brisbane Comedy Festival

Sydney Morning Herald – by Natalie Bochenski

Former Brisbane boy Josh Thomas is coming back to his home town for the Brisbane Comedy Festival.Former Brisbane boy Josh Thomas is coming back to his home town for the Brisbane Comedy Festival. Photo: Simon Schluter

Choosing which shows to see at a comedy festival can be serious business.

Tickets to the fifth annual Brisbane Comedy Festival are now on sale through the Brisbane Powerhouse. The four-week festival has a rotating program of guests, so we’ve done the legwork to help you make it easier to digest.

The big names

  • Stephen K. Amos is one of the festival’s regulars and a favourite. The Spokesman is a vehicle to show off his oratory prowess. (Tuesday February 26 – Sunday March 3.)
  • Dave O’Neil in 33 Things I Should Have Said No To. The TV and radio favourite reflects on times he should have stood up for himself. (Thursday March 7 – Saturday March 9.)
  • Heath Franklin’s Chopper in The (S)hitlist. (Friday March 8.)
  • Josh Thomas: Douchebag is the title of the Brisbane lad’s latest offering, in which he tries to become a better person. (Thursday March 14 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Danny Bhoy is the ladies man of international stand-up. Good-looking and with that charming Scottish brogue, expect plenty of smiles from his latest show about letters, Dear Epson. (Monday March 18 – Saturday March 23.)
  • Wil Anderson always pulls the crowds, and GoodWil should be no exception. The Gruen Planet host is currently testing out his new material in Sydney, so we’ll get something very fresh at the festival. (Tuesday March 19 – Saturday March 23.)
  • Tom Gleeson sold out last year. He’s back, and he’s saying Hello Bitches! (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)
  • Sarah Millican comes to Brisbane for the first time with Home Bird, her show about domestic bliss. Don’t let her sing-song Geordie accent fool you, Millican is filthy and fantastic. (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)

The sublime

  • Steve Hughes lives in the UK these days, and it’s Australia’s loss. See the former heavy metal drummer wax lyrical in Big Issues. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Sammy J & Randy are so big now they can host an Arena Spectacular. Puppetry, musical comedy and sweet whimsy on offer. (Saturday March 9 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Hannah Gadsby should be a national treasure. The Tasmanian is one of the smartest writers of long-form comedy around. Happiness is a Bedside Table tells of her lowest point in life, and her redemption through furniture. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Damian Callinan portrays an array of characters in The Merger, a one-man comic play about a country football club that looks to recruit asylum seekers to avoid folding. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Stéphane Georis animates objects, plays multiple characters and explores the universe in Adam, a show suitable for children 11 and over. (Saturday March 16.)
  • Jon Bennett would seem superficial if you took him on the title of his show alone. But it turns out Pretending Things Are a Cock has a lot of heart as well as a lot of … well, you can probably work that out for yourself. (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)
  • Paul Foot is described as speaking a comedy language from a galaxy far away. You might know him as Robin da Hood from the Virgin Mobile ads. Kenny Larch is Dead is absurd, surreal story-telling from the British comedian. (Friday March 22 – Sunday March 24.)

Local flavour

  • Mel Buttle struggles with the parking at Chermside, a desire to put costumes on cats, and writing in her feelings journal. Hear about it all in How Embarrassment. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Jenny Wynter’s Wonderland is a cheery blend of comedy, cabaret, audience interaction and an acapella house band. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Paul Brasch is a veteran on the Brisbane comedy scene, and gets his cape on to dish the dirt in the A to Z of Superheroes. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Damien Power explores our base desires versus our higher purpose as humans in The Disillusioned Ego. (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)

And don’t forget . . .

  • Karl Chandler Has (Literally) 1.5 Million Jokes. Or does he? (Tuesday February 26 – Sunday March 3.)
  • Tommy Dassalo in Spread, about his great-grandfather’s invention of Vegemite. (Tuesday February 26 – Saturday March 3.)
  • Rhys Nicholson explores a sudden feeling of happiness, and why it’s not right, in Dawn of a New Error. (Thursday February 28 – Saturday March 2.)
  • Ronny Chieng will prove who’s got the goods in Can You Do This? No You Can’t. (Thursday February 28 – Saturday March 2.)
  • Tom Ballard in My Ego is Better than Your Ego. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Matt Okine in Broken Diamond House. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Dave Thornton: Tall & Pointy. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 12.)
  • Skills in Time present Checkmates. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Jack Druce: Unqualified Life Coach. (Tuesday March 5 – Sunday March 10.)
  • Josh Earl is a Librarian. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Harley Breen in Some Kind of Something. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Danny McGinlay in Hypertonic. (Tuesday March 12 – Sunday March 17.)
  • Bart Freebairn explores nostalgia and flights of fancy in The Age of Wonder. (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)
  • Slow Clap is a Melbourne duo exploring experimental dance and character comedy in Truth. (Tuesday March 19 – Sunday March 24.)
  • Super Happy Fun Time, featuring four up-and-coming Brisbane comics. (Saturday March 9, 16 and 23.)
  • Breakout Comedy. Showcasing hot new Australian talent. (Thursday March 21 – Saturday March 23.)

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