A special one-off great debate will fire up the Brisbane Comedy Festival this month.
'Politics In The Pub' sees a panel of experts from a range of disciplines addressing pressing contemporary issues affecting not only our own backyard, but the world as we know it.
Two teams of Brisbane Comedy Festival favourites and locals faces will go head to head in a good old-fashioned debate of the affirmative and negative sort – it's a quick-thinking battle of the minds, with proceeds from tickets going toward New Farm Neighbourhood Centre.
We caught up with official Moderator for the event, Natalie Bochenski, for the scoop on what to expect at 'The Debate’, including the topic.
What is 'Politics In The Pub' about?
'Politics In The Pub' is a free community event that New Farm Neighbourhood Centre has run for more than 20 years. Topics usually involve an expert panel discussing serious topics such as masculinity, homelessness, youth justice and free speech.
How does an event such as this one fit within a comedy festival?
'The Debate' flips the usual format and invites non-experts – comedians – to take a lighter look at the serious stuff. We’re thrilled the Brisbane Comedy Festival invited us to take part, because humour is a very human way to process trauma, which we’ve had a bit of lately!
Can you tell us a bit about the debate topic for this event?
The topic is 'Everything Is Getting Better, Mostly', which, after the last few years, is a fun jumping off point for both the affirmative and negative teams. The extra challenge is that the comedians won’t know which side they’re arguing until one hour before they begin! We’ll tell them their teams then put them to work – they have 60 minutes to come up with their arguments and a debate strategy. It’s a really fun way to add a bit more danger to a public speaking event, but we know they’re more than up for it!
What are you looking forward to about presenting it to BCF audiences?
The festival is a great place to introduce people to 'Politics In The Pub', to connect them with a fundraising event for their local Neighbourhood Centre, and to give festival comics and local up-and-comers a space to connect with new audiences.
Ticket proceeds are going somewhere special too. Talk a bit about that!
The New Farm Neighbourhood Centre (NFNC) is just across the park from Brisbane Powerhouse at 967 Brunswick Street. It’s a place for people to connect, grab a bite, tap into services, get help, or just have a natter. You can also find meditation, capoeira and playgroups – not to mention amazing coffee. NFNC runs on a teeny budget, so all proceeds from the debate will support its mission.
How would you sell this event to someone who isn’t particularly politically inclined?
It’s important to talk about the big stuff, but we all need a break and a giggle. Audiences at 'The Debate' will get a chance to support an important cause and help future political conversations about big ideas, but 'The Debate' itself is going to be light, fun, and silly!
’Politics In The Pub' plays Brisbane Powerhouse 20 July.