Brisbane Comedy Festival: 2017 Preview

  • Written by  Velvet Winter
  • Monday, 16 January 2017 16:54
Aunty Donna Aunty Donna
It’s that time of year again when the breathtaking art installations and theatre that usually reside within Brisbane’s iconic Powerhouse are replaced with comedians.

Yes, while the Brisbane Comedy Festival might not have the size of its southern counterparts it provides just as much of a comedy punch.

Let’s start off with the show that’s been on everyone’s lips. Every mum’s favourite comedian, Rove McManus, is back after a while off the comedy circuit and has got a brand new hour of jokes for us. Having rebuilt his comedy standing around Sydney for the last year McManus’ show, 'That’s Me Talking', is worth it for the nostalgia factor alone.


After consistently scooping up awards for the last five years, the do-not-miss act for this season is Melbourne absurdist trio, Aunty Donna. Fresh off carrying the comedy programme at Fall’s Festival over New Years, if you haven’t see these boys doing what they do best then stop reading this now and go procure tickets. Ok, now that you’re back you can look forward to side-splitting skits and incredibly-endearing crowd interaction. Good job, you.


Unfortunately missing us on the last whip 'round, Tom Ballard has been kind enough to bring his 2016 show, 'Boundless Plains To Share', to the good people of Brisbane. If you like to think while you laugh then this is the show for you. Tackling the topic of immigration in Australia, this show scored Balled the prestigious Helpmann Award in Melbourne last year. Performing only two mid-afternoon shows in addition to his 2017 show 'Problematic', it’s the quick or the dead with these tickets.

Sticking on the comedy-with-a-message theme, black sheep Michael Workman has made his return to comedy in show called 'Nothing You Do Means Anything'. While this might sound depressing, Workman has this innate ability to make people laugh through their anguish. For proof watch his 2011 show 'Mercy', which contains one of the most haunting songs ever heard in comedy.


While there isn’t a plethora of international acts on this year’s line-up, a bright spot comes in the form of Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss. A rare sight in the Sunshine State, Sloss stunned Melbourne audiences with his 2016 show 'Dark' and promises to bring his trademark aloof-misdirection to 2017’s 'So'?

If local comedy is what you’re after then you are in luck with this year’s line-up bursting with Brissie talent. Comedy stalwart Mel Buttle is back with the delightfully named 'I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buttle'; Brisbane via Melbourne comedian Alex Ward is bringing her debut show 'Quiet' to home audiences; and RAW alumni Sam Campbell deserves your ticket sale simply for putting what appears to be his private mobile number in his official programme blurb.


While these are just a few stand-out acts, there are plenty more shows to get your laughing chops around during the festival, so check out the official guide for more suggestions.

So whether you go for the big names or take a punt on the little guy the name of the game is supporting live comedy. Happy Bris Com Fest 2k17.

The Brisbane Comedy Festival is held at the Brisbane Powerhouse and Brisbane City Hall 26 February until 28 March.

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