You know laughter’s good for the soul. So consider this as a kind of therapy.
If you love the acerbic wit of a woman on the edge – or find humour inexplicably linked to motherhood (because let’s face it, some days you either laugh or cry) – then this year’s Canberra Comedy Festival is surely going to appeal.
Running from 18 to 24 March, the festival has an impressive line-up of female acts who take on every topic—from hormones, to domesticity, and caring for other humans between the ages of squawking newborn to grumpy aged parents.
A 2019 Mooseheads Recipient (and by Mooseheads we mean the comedy funding scholarship, not the Canberra bar) Tanya Lossano unpicks “The Good, The Bad and The Elderly.”
The Canberra girl—who has recently returned home after 20 years in Melbourne—showcases the embarrassing reality and somewhat hilarious truth of caring for her elderly parents. Meanwhile, Tanya’s children dive further into technology—leaving her slap bang in the middle of two deeply divided generations.
As a first generation Australian of two traditional Italian parents, Tanya has a rich vein of comedic material from which to draw. Her show “talks about the chaos and the belligerence we go through…When I did this trial show there where 10 people there, mostly women my age and between the laughing there was a lot of nodding in agreement”.
But for those who find that being a part of the “sandwich generation” offers very little to laugh about, Tanya promises some positivity in her messages.
“The crux of the story is that old people have had an amazing life and we don’t appreciate that enough. Everyone has a story to tell and the world is full of cowboys. We can’t discount them for being old’.
Another act local act is Frankie McNair—one half of the dynamic girl power comedy duo ‘Sweaty Pits’ who cracked the big time with a spot at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Lucky for us, Frankie is loyal to her local roots and her newest show ‘Frantastia’ has been described as “the emotional version of watching a cat trying to walk in socks”.
Using audio queues, burlesque and sketches, Frankie promises us it’s an incredibly silly physical theatre show which defies traditional stand up comedic style.
Also, you can see her in “Sweaty Pits” as two friends decide to follow their dream of creating an amazing sketch show which variously includes numerous costume changes, the squirting citrus, ’80s aerobics, and the magic mike strip routines. What more could you possibly ask for?
Canberra’s Maddy Weeks is debuting her first ever solo hour. “Blade University” takes a look at obsession, online shopping, addiction, sadness and why on earth Maddy owns 23 swords. She describes it as “an hour of dumb jokes and recorder solos, that is secretly a beautiful coming of age story, three years in the making”.
Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs present ‘Women Like Us’, where country mammas go rogue and put all pretence of being organized and in control where it belongs – at the bottom of the overflowing and unsanitary laundry hamper. As mothers to seven children between them they have a mountain of material to share during this ‘two tena pad show’.
Expect to see channel TEN’s Have You Been Paying Attention star Anne Edmonds with her show ‘What’s Wrong with You?’, Becky Lucas, who will explain how and why she got banned from Twitter, Zoë Coombs Marr and her “Bossy Bottom”, Chris Ryan explain how to handle a passive-aggressive co-workers, Fern Brady talking politics and relationships, and newcomer Emma Holland—whose deadpan delivery was enough to snare her Runner Up at the 2018 RAW Comedy national final.
There are plenty more women to see, and some pretty hysterical men too.
The Canberra Comedy Festival runs 18-24 March at various venues around Canberra. For more information visit canberracomedyfestival.com.au