Take six with six stars of the 2017 Brisbane Comedy Festival
From now until the end of March, Brisbane will be inundated with hordes of funny people. There will be laughter on every street corner, but most of it will be concentrated at the Brisbane Powerhouse and Brisbane City Hall. Yes, the Brisbane Comedy Festival is on again, boasting a line-up of some of the world’s most hilarious minds. If you’ve been ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ about buying tickets (what, you don’t like to laugh?) we decided to sit down with six of our personal favourites to hear some stories from the road, where they love to visit when in Brisbane and what shows they’d recommend seeing. We caught up with Merrick Watts, Cal Wilson, Lehmo, Tom Ballard, Susie Youssef and Steen Raskopoulos.
What are you most looking forward to doing/seeing while you’re in Brisbane?
Cal Wilson: I’m really looking forward to visiting QAGOMA again, which I loved last time I was here. Also, I am way too excited about visiting Cuddle Cat Cafe, which is, in case you can’t tell from the name, a Cat Cafe. I’m a cat lady who loves cafes, so this is a dream scenario.
Lehmo: I’m looking forward to seeing my mother-in-law! She lives in Brisbane and will probably be reading this.
Do you have a favourite cafe or restaurant to visit while you’re here, and why?
Cal Wilson: Well, I think we may have already established it’s going to be Cuddle Cat Cafe (not only can you cuddle the cats, but you’re also allowed to adopt them. It’s like a matchmaking service for people and cats. How could this get better?) Also, Watt at the Brisbane Powerhouse is a favourite, not only because it’s literally the same venue as my show, but also because the food is so great and so interesting. Last night after my show, I had a pizza that had pear and potato on it – on purpose – and it was astonishingly delicious.
Merrick Watts: I want to sound as wanky as I can here – I really like Paddington as a place to eat, day or night. There’s a spot well known to locals called Sassafras Canteen. The food is great and all of the staff were all really friendly – particularly as they thought I was K.d Lang. I get that a lot.
Do you have any pre-show rituals you would like to share with us?
Lehmo: I pace and pace and pace. If I wore a fit bit it would register 10,000 steps in the hour before my show!
Susie Youssef: I usually cry a lot and question my life choices and then I cover up my tears with make up, then rinse and repeat. No, that’s definitely not true. I drink tea and think about what I’m going to eat after the show.
Apart from your show (of course), who would you recommend is a must-see at the Brisbane Comedy Festival?
Steen Raskopoulos: Susie Youssef! She is one the best improvisers and stand-up comedians in country at the moment. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t fall in love with her instantly.
Tom Ballard: Hometown girl Alex Ward is brilliant! Look her up, look at that face and then tell me you’re not going to see her show. See? You can’t.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever borrowed (read: stolen) from a venue or hotel while on tour?
Susie Youssef: I have a pair of crinkle cut scissors and a roll of black gaffer tape that my tech let me borrow when my pants split a minute before I went on stage. They go with me everywhere now.
Merrick Watts: In the very early days of touring I once woke up next to a shovel. I don’t know where it came from but I had been drinking heavily the night before. Nine months later I got a call telling me I was the father of four baby garden trowels.
Does a visit to Brisbane conjure up any fond (or not-so-fond) memories for you?
Tom Ballard: I distinctly remember going to The Beat for the first time and laughing for upwards of two hours upon finding out that they have a bain marie downstairs. Stay classy, Brisbane.
Steen Raskopoulos: I once accidentally stole a bellboy called Magnus from a London hotel. He’s cool with it, though – he carries my bags and pronounces my name correctly so we’ve got a good system going on.
If you are keen to catch any of these world-class comics at the Brisbane Comedy Festival show, head here to find out all booking information. Catch Merrick Watts and his show Man Of The Hour at Brisbane City Hall on March 23–26. Cal Wilson’s Things I Never Said is being stages at the Brisbane Powerhouse from March 7–12. Lehmo is bringing the laughter to Brisbane City Hall with his show The Family Lifeboat on March 18 and 19. Tom Ballard will be performing two shows throughout the festival including Problematic at the Brisbane Powerhouse on March 21–26 and Boundless Plains To Share at Brisbane City Hall on March 25 and 26. Susie Youssef’s Check Youssef Before You Wreck Youssef will be at the Brisbane Powerhouse from March 21–26. You Know The Drill by Steen Raskopoulos can be seen at the Brisbane Powerhouse from March 23–26.