The sheer variety of acts on the Brisbane Comedy Festival line-up makes it the perfect time to see something completely different. By now you’ve probably heard which big names are appearing (and there are plenty of them), so we’ve put together the highlights that veer left of centre while still hitting the mark in the hilarity stakes.
If there is a group of people who know how to shake things up, it’s comedians. More than 70 comedians are on the Brisbane Comedy Festival bill this year, with the program stretching well beyond the stand-up format.
From musical sketches to improvisation, these are some of the shows to catch if you’re ready to venture outside your comedy comfort zone.
-- MUSICAL SKETCH COMEDY --
Yada Yada Yada: A ’90s Sitcom Special
The ‘90s gave us Friends, The Nanny and Seinfeld, and it’s time to relive this golden era of sitcoms with Yada Yada Yada: A ’90s Sitcom Special. This comic exploration of TV history will see comedians Lauren Edwards and Jude Perl star as The Nanny’s Fran and Yetta, who will step out of Flushing to turn out TV obsessions into fresh new laughs.
The Stevenson Experience
With their take on musical comedy, the Stevenson twins are being compared to the likes of Flight of The Conchords and Tim Minchin. Hilarious songs and sibling rivalry make for a show that was a sell-out at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
27 February to 4 March
Gillian Cosgriff: To The Moon and Back
Her sketch show (pictured) takes the same name as a Savage Garden song, and that’s just the start of Gillian Cosgriff’s musical comedy stylings. In this performance, she looks at the future and whether progress is leading us to doom. Yes, it sounds bleak, but she cleverly puts an endearing spin on the apocalypse – and that’s precisely why she was such a hit at the last Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The Travelling Sisters
The Travelling Sisters are masters at conjuring new characters and unexpected twists. Their style of sketch comedy has taken them from Brisbane to the Edinburgh and Prague fringe festivals, and their lauded combination of sass and antics will be in abundance as they perform for home crowds once again.
-- STORYTELLING --
This ever-popular Sydney event is heading north for the very first time. LGBTQI comedians will join host Maeve Marsden for a night of queer storytelling that traverses everything from pride to prejudice and love – all told with warmth and humour. Alex Ward, Ben McLeay and Nayuka Gorrie have been confirmed for this special edition of Queerstories, with more comedians to be announced.
David Smiedt: Finding Chemo
A very personal story in the hands of a comedian sheds new light on often-taboo topics. David Smiedt delivers an hour of stand-up comedy based on his own, very raw, experience with cancer. Head along for an evening of intimate storytelling on the Rooftop Terrace at Brisbane Powerhouse.
-- IMPROV --
Cool Story Bro
Is the truth funnier than fiction? That’s for you to decide at Cool Story Bro. In a format similar to Armando and ASSSSSCAT shows in Chicago and New York City, this series features a guest comedian who shares a real story that is then remixed by Big Fork Theatre’s band of improvisers. The special guest changes each night, meaning that no two shows are ever the same.
10, 17 + 24 March
Animated! An Improvised Musical Fairytale
Taking their cues from the audience, ImproMafia will transform everyday problems into adults-only parodies of animated films. Disney and Pixar are in the firing line as these comedians sing, dance and joke their way into a universe where real-word issues are sprinkled with fairy dust.
Continue scratching below the surface of the Brisbane Comedy Festival program by checking out the full line-up.
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