From drag divas to sensitive bogans – five fresh faces you need to see at Brisbane Comedy Festival
If you’ve felt a dull tickling sensation in your funnybone lately, it’s probably because the Brisbane Comedy Festival is almost upon us for another year. The 2019 edition is stacked with some seriously impressive (and famous) local and international comedians, but we thought we’d shine a light on some emerging talents that you might not have had the pleasure of discovering yet. From sensitive new age bogans to drag divas, we’ve found five fresh acts appearing at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival that will make you bust a gut.
Charity Werk – Community Service (March 5–10 at Brisbane Powerhouse)
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race can generally agree that the comedy queens are always the best, which is why the world is falling in love with Charity Werk. This drag diva’s debut solo show is fresh from a sold-out season at Melbourne Fringe Festival, so you’re going to want to catch the hype train early. Fusing stand-up, musical talents and the art of drag, Charity’s show Community Service tackles love, pop culture and life as a twenty-something homosexual with high hopes (and high hair). Don’t miss her Brisbane debut – it’s for Charity, after all.
Gillian English – 10 Things I Hate About Taming of the Shrew (March 5–10 at Brisbane Powerhouse)
90s kids (and 1900s kids), this one’s for you – Gillian English is about to take us back in time to reminisce on the good old days with her hilarious take on history. Gillian recounts the Y2K phenomenon, butterfly clip obsessions and the age-old adage that any chick in a movie becomes instantly hot as soon as she ditches her glasses. Oh, and let’s not forget the really old days when we were worried about the plague and women’s rights actually didn’t exist – think this vibe, but make it funny.
Ciaran Lyons – What’s Next? (March 12–17 at Brisbane City Hall)
If the name Ciaran Lyons sounds familiar, it might be because you recognise it from both Triple J and The Project. This 21-year-old wunderkind’s credit list is already extremely impressive (damn him!) and his Brisbane Comedy Festival appearance is proof that he’s a rising star. With a show that features anecdotes about an awkward massage parlour encounter, a potential serial killer housemate and even obtaining a stalker, this is a wild ride from start to finish. Want to find out what’s next for Ciaran? There’s only one way to find out …
Zack Dyer – Sensitive New Age Bogan (March 12–17 at Brisbane Powerhouse)
The word ‘bogan’ isn’t commonly prefixed with the phrase ‘sensitive new age’, but Zack Dyer isn’t your common bogan. The North Queensland via Melbourne comedian earned himself some serious acclaim after taking out RAW Comedy in 2017, using his background as a labourer and innately likeable demeanour to charm audiences into listening to the funny shit he comes up with. With a uniquely absurd perspective, Zack will make you cackle with his honest and down-to-earth brand of humour.
Steph Tisdell – Identity Steft (March 12–17 at Brisbane Powerhouse)
When it comes to powerful (and hilarious) Aboriginal voices, Steph Tisdell is one name that tops our list. The comedian makes her hotly anticipated Brisbane Comedy Festival debut this year with Identity Steft, a show that delves into the issues of self, what ‘sorry day’ really means and the politics of white guilt versus overt racism. It’s a gift to be able to take heavy topics and give them a humorous spin, which is exactly what Steph excels at. If comedy raps and learning while you laugh is something you can get behind, don’t sleep on Steph.
These are just five of our favourites acts appearing at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival – to peep the full line-up and grab tickets, head to the festival’s official website.