Damien Power Returns To His Favourite Festival For More Laughs

Damien Power
Kara is a classically-trained freelance cellist become arts critic. She loves chatting with artists from all walks of life, watching shows and performing in them, and weaving words and experiences into stories for scenestr. She and her partner teach a bunch of inspired young kids from their Adelaide home studio and she is ‘mumma’ to some special little girls.

Coming from an already successful run at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, having won the Pinder Prize in 2017 and being a three-time nominee for Most Outstanding Show, comedian Damien Power returns in 2024 with what he says is his best material yet.

“This show is all new stuff that I’ve worked very hard on, and it covers a wide scope of things but there’s plenty of conversation about how things are now and how things have changed and some social commentary and stuff,” Damien elaborates. “It’ll be a very punchy kind of show.”

“I moved back in with my dad which has been stressful waking to Sky News at 4am, so I talk a bit about that, and getting hacked, and what that’s like, and how humiliating it is when people think you sent out an email or something.

“It’s a crazy type of humiliation that just couldn’t ever exist before the internet.”

Damien is performing at Comedy Republic, which is a full-time comedy club run by comedy power couple Rhys Nicholson and Kyran Wheatley, along with Alex Dyson.

“They’re well-established in the community, it’s a great room and I’m really excited to be in a room built for comedy. I do a lot of clubs constantly and I like playing clubs and club comedy, so I think it’ll be good for this kind of show I’m doing.”

Last year was a big one for Damien, having released his stand-up special, ‘Alone In The Crowd’, premiering in October. He wrote and starred in his own series, ‘Expanded Minds Only’, alongside some of Australia’s biggest comedy names including Mel Buttle, Becky Lucas, Sam Campbell, Cameron James, Aaron Gocs and Henry Stone, to name a few.

“That series I’m really proud of, it’s a series of films all very different from each other, but they’re all in the same universe exploring the relationship between this lunatic and his sidekick, Aaron Gocs. That character is interesting, because it’s so much of our time. I’d love to do a show of that guy live eventually.”

His podcast with Dan Rath, ‘Neurotic News’, has gained a large following. The podcast is a playful spin on the news being broken down by two confused neurotics, and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more.

Damien has been doing stand-up for more than a decade. He spent his early 20s doing IT and hated it. He went to an acting class learning how to improv, and started doing improv around pubs in Brisbane.

“Stand-up is unique in the sense that you can’t really hide, because there’s no deep poetic artistry or imagery or music in front of you,” he says. “It’s not a script or a performance, it’s just you directly communicating with people, so even someone doing something absurd is still revealing about that person.”

“You have an act and you hone it over years. A couple years I’ve been working on stuff in this show, and it slowly comes together through meticulous experimentation, so then you get a show which incorporates all these ideas, with really quick lines and funny jokes condensed into an hour and then, you know, in conversations.”

“This will be my tenth or eleventh time at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It’s my favourite festival, it’s a great city. The festival brings in a lot more acts, including international acts, and the city is very savvy with comedy because they’ve seen so much of it!”

Damien Power plays Comedy Republic (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) 28 March-21 April.

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