The electrifying Nikki Britton takes to the stage as part of the travelling Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) Roadshow.
With comedy award wins and nominations under her belt, Nikki knows how to tell a good story and get a crowd laughing. She's been seen on stages around the country, but you may also have seen her on your screen – whether it's 'The Project', 'Celebrity Name Game', 'Hughesy We Have Problem', or recently 'Have You Been Paying Attention?'.
In 2019, Nikki's show 'Once Bitten' was hand-picked by ABC to be turned into a podcast, and her 2021 show 'One Small Step' was nominated for Most Outstanding Show at MICF.
She's joined at MICF Roadshow by a bunch of comedians guaranteed to split sides. Here, we have a chat with Nikki before she plays Brisbane with Daniel Connell, Blake Freeman, Chris Ryan and David Quirk, to find out more about life on the road and her background as a comedian.
How would you describe your style of stand-up to someone seeing your show for the first time? It's energetic and fast-paced – mostly stories about my own glorious failures. You'll feel better about yourself afterwards I reckon.
You’ve received accolades and awards for your work thus far in the comedy scene. What does it mean to you to have this kind of acknowledgement? It's very nice to have people you admire say that you're doing good stuff.
You’re a gifted storyteller. When did you catch on to the fact that you had this talent? I think my whole family like to spin a good yarn, so I can't take credit for it. I really didn't think it was out of the ordinary until a friend at a BBQ one day said, "you should do stand-up". I responded by necking my second bottle of wine for the day and forgetting we'd had the conversation, but she signed me up for an open mic competition and I'm super grateful because I've been telling stories on stage since. So, sometime between then and now.
What would you say has been your biggest career highlight to date? I toured to India with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow in 2017, and the whole experience was unbelievable. Comedy is relatively new over there, but people are embracing it in a huge way. There was a late night gig at the Bengaluru Comedy Festival that was nuts! People were screaming and banging their chairs on the ground – I've never heard roars of laughter like it. I expect similar in Brisbane.
Your show ‘Once Bitten’ was turned into a podcast in 2020. What was that like?! It was a live recording of a show I did at the Comedy Store, so it was a lot like doing the show and just trusting someone else had pressed record on the podcast mic. But the excellent people at ABC podcasts edited it up a treat, and I'm really glad that show has another life in podcast form.
What has it been like to be on the road with a bunch of other comedians? Look, everyone has a little weird streak. It's just that, with comedians, that weird streak is beckoned forth with the promise of money and accolades. So I guess, just imagine that concentrated into the confines of a tour bus for hours a day. Luckily, everyone's 'weird' is very charming, so it makes for a pretty great road trip. And the crowds have been amazing!
Highlight of the Roadshow so far? There's a place in NW Victoria, near Cohuna, where there is a sign on the side of the highway that says, 'pull over here for stars'. You better believe I was jazzed for a Ryan Gosling encounter. But it turns out Cohuna is a looooong way from the Hollywood Hills. Any hills in fact. It's one of the flattest, darkest regions in the world, but because of that (and some other interesting scientific explanation I missed because I was hunting for Gosso) you can actually see the curvature of the earth and a mind-blowing display of stars that encompass you like you're living inside a snow globe of sky sparkles. Incredibly beautiful. Still no Gosling though unfortunately.
What’s next for you? I'm heading to Edinburgh in August to do the Festival Fringe for the first time, which I'm super excited about. But my immediate future probably holds a bowl of hot chippies I reckon.
Nikki Britton plays as part of the MICF Roadshow at Brisbane Powerhouse on 8-9 July.