Chris Ryan Takes Laughs On The Road, Joined By Fellow Comics For The MICF Roadshow

  • Written by  Dianah Star
  • Thursday, 23 June 2022 13:31
Chris Ryan Chris Ryan

Canberra comedian Chris Ryan has recently emerged as one of the nation’s most favoured acts, hand-picked to star in this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) Roadshow of the fest’s freshest and best. And it’s easy to see why.

Only a few sips in to our afternoon coffee catch-up confirms the Sydney Comedy Festival Best Newcomer 2019 & MICF Best Newcomer Nominee 2021 has – on stage and off – the winning trifecta; instantly relatable, likeable, and lol-inducing.

Among her many qualities is an ability to both channel and speak to the fun-loving ‘dickhead’ that exists within us all.

“The whole premise of my very first set was 'we’re all dickheads, and if you look to your left, good chance someone next to you is; if they look right, it’s probably you! And I’m one too',” Chris says.

That first performance was ten years ago. It wasn’t until after career number one as a journo and having a couple of kids that, aged 38 – having never been to live stand-up – Chris entered MICF’s national talent search RAW Comedy (the year that brought us Amos Gill and Georgie Carroll).

“[Performing] was just this silly fun that felt so good. I’d felt invisible in the suburbs for ages and was dying to get on stage – I didn’t realise it ‘til someone suggested it – and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened,” Chris explains.

She says at the time her RAW success took her to Sydney, she was oblivious to the mechanisms and behind-the-scenes toil comics go through, writing and honing their craft, which is what she set about doing in subsequent years. The result is her recent emergence on the national touring circuit as an award-winning pro comic, seemingly overnight.

To be cast in Roadshow after her solo debut in Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Chris says, was a “real privilege”.

“These are THE BEST gigs. They pick the line-up to appeal to a broad range of audiences with a lot of different types of funny. They give you a diversity. And they don’t let dickheads go on Roadshow, so you never get stuck with a dud, it's bloody great.”

This year’s acts – travelling around Australia since April and who’ll continue touring regional Victoria, NSW, the ACT and QLD through to July – include Daniel Connell; David Quirk; Nikki Britton; Luke Heggie; Ivan Aristeguieta; Brett Blake; and Japan’s Takashi Wakasugi.

“It’s just the sickest line-up with some great mates,” Chris says, adding “Dan Connell gave me my first ever paid gig when I started, so I couldn’t ask for a better bunch. And I get to MC for the first time this year!

“When I first MC'd I asked one of my favourites, one of the best, Adelaide’s Mickey D, ‘how do I do this right?’ and he said ‘mate, it’s a barbecue at your place – make ‘em welcome, make ‘em laugh’, that’s the role of the MC. It's lots of fun.”

Chris adds that a favourite aspect of her former journo work she’s delighted has carried over into comedy is “meeting new people I wouldn’t have met otherwise; people from different walks of life and experiences. If you like making friends, comedy is a great job.”

And as if it couldn’t get better, each place the tour van stops is also a chance for Chris to indulge her long-held penchant for op-shopping. So, if you see a luscious, grey gravity-defying wolf haircut within a ten kilometre radius of any Roadshow venue, say hi and maybe make a new friend.

In the meantime, Chris sums up the 24th annual MICF Roadshow for us like a pro:

“If you only buy tickets to comedy once a year, this is a sure thing,” she says. “Whoever you buy tickets to this for, they’re gonna love you because it’s guaranteed funny.”

MICF Roadshow Remaining 2022 Tour Dates

23 June – Gunnedah Town Hall (NSW)
24 June – Dubbo Regional Theatre
25 June – Orange Civic Theatre
26 June – Cowra Civic Centre (NSW)
29 June – Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre (VIC)
29 June – The J (Noosa)*
30 June – Latrobe Performing Arts Centre (VIC)
30 June – Empire Theatre (Toowoomba)*
1 July – The Wedge Performing Arts Centre (VIC)
1 July – The Events Centre Caloundra (QLD)*
2 July – Forge Theatre And Arts Hub (Bairnsdale VIC)

2 July – Moncrieff Entertainment Centre (Bundaberg QLD)*
7 July – The Country Club, St Georges Basin (NSW)
7 July – Ipswich Civic Centre (QLD)*

8 July – Bega Valley Civic Centre (NSW)
8 July – Brisbane Powerhouse*
9 July – Brisbane Powerhouse*
9 July – Canberra Theatre Centre
10 July – Goulburn Performing Arts Centre (NSW)
*featuring Chris Ryan



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