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BNE March/April 2015 |


Faves and raves of



he laughs are already echoing from the walls of the Powerhouse at

New Farm as the Brisbane Comedy Festival hits high gear. While

there are plenty of familiar faces (Wil Anderson, Tom Gleeson,

Glenn Robbins and Cal Wilson among them) and a few prodigal sons –

Sam Simmons and Dr Brown – who are back, briefly, from carving a new

notoriety overseas, there are some playful and innovative home-grown

shows making their debut this year that should not be missed.

Speed the Movie the Play

actually will be hard to miss as its ‘set’ is

positioned right at the entrance to the Powerhouse (from 3 to 15 March).

Long-time friends and veteran improv performers

Dan Beeston, Greg



Natalie Bochenski

also happen to be huge fans of the

movie Speed and decided to pay loving homage to the action thriller

in their own edited parody which takes place on a real (40-year-old)

bus, provided for the occasion with the co-operation of the Queensland

Omnibus and Coach Society. Although there are eight performers in this

semi-scripted and semi-improvised comic play, the audience will help

drive the show so it will be slightly different every night.

Meanwhile colleagues of the Speed team in the Brisbane-based

theatre group ImproMafia,

Amy Currie


Luke Rimmelzwaan

, also

will debut a show of their own called

Tales from the Old Country


7, 14 and 21 March). Anyone who has been to the Powerhouse’s free

Friday night comedy shows,


, may recognise the talents of the

ImproMafia crew as they are all regulars in the line-up and this latest

incarnation of characters is an idea Amy and Luke have been developing

between those (and other) shows.

Central to the completely unscripted

Tales from the Old Country

are grandparents, played by Amy and Luke, who take their cues from

the audience as they tell stories about their past in the undefined

‘Old Country’, spilling juicy family secrets and exploring

embarrassing family legends. “All of my grandparents

and one of Amy’s were from Europe so that

sensibility has definitely informed the show,”

says Luke. This is another performance where

the audience is involved, asking questions,

perhaps holding nanna’s knitting or eating

dished out sweets (as you’re obliged to do

with grandparents). Test performances

have been a hit, with audiences quite

willing to talk and even get up on stage to

interact with the players, described in early reviews

as “an especially hilarious brand of camaraderie”.

In the festival’s international line-up




Mark Chavez

, better known as


Pajama Men

, have chosen Brisbane for the

world premiere of their new show

2 Man 3


(20 and 21 March) – a live staging

of an epic historic romance novel in less than an

hour. The Brit comic with the dead pan delivery

and the extreme mullet,

Paul Foot




), will also be back with a new bag of

tricks (17, and 19-22 March) while

Sandra Bernhard

brings a rock star

flair to the Powerhouse with her own

band and a sharp tongue in her



(13 March).

But the laughs aren’t all just for


Harley Breen


Heath Franklin

swap their comedy

club routines for their first kids

comedy show

Captain Fun Pants and

the Mystery of the Funmatic FunWand

(21 March) for 4 to 8-year-olds.

Brisbane Comedy Festival at Powerhouse,

New Farm, until 22 March. For tickets







Sunday 1

Chain Reaction Two

(to 28 March)

Artisan, Fortitude Valley

Thursday 5 Drake

Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank

Friday 6

Just the Ticket

QUT Gardens Theatre, City

Friday 6

AIM International

Women’s Day Debate

Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank

Saturday 7 London Grammar

Riverstage, City

Tuesday 10 Dan Sultan

Brisbane Powerhouse,

New Farm

Saturday 14 Macy Gray

Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Saturday 14 Brisbane Snow Show Brisbane Showgrounds,

Bowen Hills

Tuesday 17 7 Stages of Living,

Queensland Theatre

Company (to 28 March)

Bille Brown Studio,

Queensland Theatre Company,

South Brisbane

Thursday 19 Pirates of Penzance,

Harvest Rain Theatre Co.

Concert Hall, QPAC,

South Brisbane

Friday 20 Sylphide, Queensland

Ballet (to 31 March)

Playhouse, QPAC,

South Brisbane

Friday 20 Ed Sheeran (and 21 March) Riverstage, City

Saturday 21 Kylie Kiss Me Once Tour

Brisbane Entertainment

Centre, Boondall

Saturday 21 Reinvent Your Career


Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank

Saturday 21 The 25th Annual Putnam

County Spelling Bee (to

19 April)

Brisbane Arts Theatre,

Petrie Terrace

Sunday 22 Russell Peters, comedian

Almost Famous Tour

Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank

Tuesday 24 The Man Who Came

to Dinner (student


QUT Gardens Theatre, City

Saturday 28 Michael Parekowhai: The

Promised Land (to 27


QAGOMA, South Brisbane

Saturday 28 My Friend the Chocolate


Brisbane Powerhouse,

New Farm

Sunday 29 Cloudsong, OperaQ Cloudland, Fortitude Valley

Sunday 29 Day on the Green with

Billy Idol and more

Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton

Monday 30 The Fabulous Singlettes QUT Gardens Theatre, City

Monday 30 Jim Jeffries, comedian

Brisbane Entertainment

Centre, Boondall


Wednesday 1 Walking with Dinosaurs

Brisbane Entertainment

Centre, Boondall

Friday 3

Brisbane to Gladstone

Yacht Race

Redcliffe Point, Moreton Bay

Saturday 4 Jurassic 5

Tivoli, Fortitude Valley

Friday 10 Totem, Cirque du Soleil

Hamilton Northshore

Saturday 11

Brisbane, Queensland

Theatre Company

Playhouse, QPAC,

South Brisbane

Tuesday 14 Flipside Circus

Judith Wright Centre,

Fortitude Valley

Friday 17

Demi Lovato

Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank

Friday 17

Samson, La Boite Theatre


Roundhouse Theatre, Kelvin


Tuesday 21

Anzac Bikkies (to 25 April) Brisbane Arts Theatre,

Petrie Terrace

Saturday 25 Anzac Day Dawn Service

Shrine of Remembrance,

Anzac Square, City, 4.28am

Saturday 25 Anzac Day March

George Street, City, 10am

Tuesday 28 Ricky Martin

Brisbane Entertainment

Centre, Boondall

Thursday 30 Gluten Free Food Expo Brisbane Convention and

Exhibition Centre, South Bank