Going to see edgy comedy at the tail end of the weekend rather than the boozy late-night hours of Friday or Saturday night seem misplaced, but as residents will tell you – Brisbane's West End has always done things their way.
So, appropriately, ‘Hot Mess Comedy’ takes place one Sunday night a month in West End at The Sideshow.
It boasts headliners from across the country and local up-and-comers. They’re good – just how good is revealed by the novelty of the show which comes in the second half, when audience suggestions are read out on stage and the comedians have to come up with a set about the topic on the spot. The comedian best at riffing off the crowd topics is crowned champion.
Atmosphere is key for a show like this, something about the West End lends itself to this show. The comedians are professionals but they’re trying stuff here and part of the appeal is the risk that you might see it all fall apart on the night.
It feels like a family indoor get-together rather than a nightclub, and to that end, MC Steph Tisdell beautifully set the scene like a proud aunty introducing friends coming up to perform and calling on you to support them through thick and thin. She was the rudder that guided the ship and always managed to steer things back on course.
The line-up for the December show was something special, Lorna Bremner who could never be accused of being someone who was going to die wondering, Jack Knight who owned the garden shop staff section of the crowd, Ben Knight who killed with his definitions of Sunshine Coast people and Jarryd Goundrey who had some interesting tales to tell.
Andrew Lee has the energy of a comedian who is dangerous and will go there, he shows huge potential for being the kind of comedian who will have avid followers. He started off strong, but some didn’t warm to him – on another night he might have been carried out on people’s shoulders.
If there was one who had the crowd on side with her razor-sharp wit, right from the beginning it was Ting Lim.
‘Hot Mess Comedy’ could become a staple of Brisbane culture, it has some of the best comedians around plying their trade and experimenting once a month on a Sunday in the end of town where new things take flight.
‘Hot Mess Comedy’ plays once a month at The Sideshow in Brisbane's West End.