Sarah Millican will perform at the fifth annual Brisbane Comedy Festival. Photo: Simon Schluter
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/comedy/millican-leads-stellar-lineup-at-comedy-festival-20121129-2aiex.html#ixzz2IWLV4NXqDon’t let Sarah Millican’s innocent face and sing-song Geordie accent fool you – she’s one of the filthiest, funniest comedians working today.
Brisbane audiences will be able to soak up South Shields’ favourite daughter at the fifth annual Brisbane Comedy Festival, at the Powerhouse from February 26 to March 24.
The official program has been released today, with all tickets now on sale.
Festival director Sarah Neal says it is the first time Millican has played in Brisbane.
“She’s fantastic, absolutely one of the best in cutting-edge comedy,” says Neal.
The Brisbane Comedy Festival is a different beast to its counterparts in Melbourne and Adelaide. Rather than growing organically, the festival has been curated by the Powerhouse since its inception in 2009, and has stayed within the complex.
Danny Bhoy, Stephen K. Amos and Wil Anderson will also headline, and Neal credits the good relationship the Powerhouse has built up with such popular comedians as the reason they keep coming back.
“They could be playing in much bigger spaces … but they genuinely love the Powerhouse, and they love the experience they have at the festival, and it makes us very proud.”
One show title that jumps off the program page is Pretending Things Are a Cock by Australian photographer-cum-comedian Jon Bennett, in which he displays a slideshow full of pictures of himself pretending various things – household utensils, world monuments, geographical features – are, well, cocks.
Neal initially thought “Not on your life!”, but realised the show actually went a bit deeper.
“It started as a dumb in-joke with friends … but Jon Bennett is a great storyteller, and you actually learn a lot about his life and his family through the show,” Neal says.
“For people who are going just to have a laugh at images of things that look like cocks, sure, you’ll do that, but you’ll get a lot more out of it.”
Other highlights include former heavy metal drummer Steve Hughes, an Australian now based in Britain, where he has a cult following for his particular brand of calm, reasoned political and existential comedy. Big Issues is his third show in three years in Brisbane.
Hannah Gadsby creates some of the most cleverly written comedy around, and Happiness is a Bedside Table details the lowest point in her life (so far) and her redemption via a piece of furniture.
Paul Foot’s style has been compared to The Mighty Boosh, and his Kenny Larch is Dead show has been winning plaudits around the globe for its florid prose and otherworldly humour.
Malaysian Ronny Chieng is a rising star, winning best newcomer at the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and will tell you what’s what in Can You Do This? No You Can’t. Meanwhile, Belgian puppeteer Adam will charm children in the festival’s first show for youngsters.
Dave O’Neil, Tom Gleeson, Tom Ballard, Damian Callinan, Matt Okine, Josh Earl, Harley Breen, Jack Druce, Bart Freebairn, Dave Thornton, Rhys Nicholson, Karl Chandler, Tommy Dassalo, Danny McGinlay and duo Slow Clap round out the visiting performers.
There is also a strong contingent of local talent, led by Josh Thomas with Douchebag, Mel Buttle’s How Embarrassment, Damien Power’s The Disillusioned Ego, and Jenny Wynter’s Wonderland.
Comedy collective Skills in Time returns with Checkmates: The Story of Kasparov and Deep Blue, which resets the famous chess rivalry in suburban Australia; while veteran Paul Brasch will take on caped crusaders in The A to Z of Superheroes.
The Chalkboard, a scratch late-night show featuring a random line-up of festival guests doing 10 minutes, will return on Friday and Saturday nights.
Neal’s dream is for people to take a punt on a comedian they have never seen before.
“Everyone goes and sees what they know,” she says. “If I can give one message to people it is: trust us, be brave, stick your finger in the program on an artist you may not know anything about, and just go.”
For full program details and ticketing information, visit www.briscomfest.com.
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