When it comes to deciding which shows to see during a comedy festival, most people find themselves spoilt for choice due to exhaustive line-ups. For the first time, LGBTI comedy fans in Brisbane may also find it tough to narrow down which gay and lesbian comedians to see.
Five openly gay and lesbian comedians will take to the Powerhouse stage this month during the festival, with four of the five being major headline acts. Hannah Gadsby (pictured), Josh Thomas, Tom Ballard and UK comedian Stephen K Amos will all be making their return to Brisbane this month.
Sydney comedian Rhys Nicholson will make his first appearance at the festival, promising an act that will showcase his much lauded razor-sharp wit and tongue.
Having such an extensive line-up of openly gay and lesbian comedians may not come as news to fans in Melbourne or Sydney but Gadsby believes having such great demand for these acts is a good sign of things to come.
“It’s great that more [openly gay] comedians are being featured and audiences increasingly want to see them. I also think it shows it’s becoming the norm and that’s good to see,” Gadsby told the Star Observer.
Ballard admits he would find it hard to be the comedian that he is if audiences weren’t so willing to hear honest stories about his personal life.
“It’s a very important part of who I am and I have to talk about my life but it isn’t all I’m about either. If I didn’t talk about my personal life and relationships, I would write myself out of so many jokes,” Ballard said.
Gadsby will be bringing her new show, Happiness is a Bedside Table, to the festival. It features an “epic story” regarding the lowest point of her life so far: nude swimming and how she found happiness in a piece of furniture.
“There’s a lot of embarrassment involved. For the first time in my life I’ve got ‘things’. I’ve never owned things, I’m 35… and I’ve got my first ever television and I have a coffee table and a beside table. This is a revelation to me. I have consistency in my life, it’s so nice,” she said.
Ballard will be putting his self esteem on show when My Ego is Better Than Your Ego comes to the Powerhouse. In it, he discusses his need for attention and validation, and how craving it can go horribly wrong.
Rhys Nicholson – February 28-March 2
Stephen K Amos – February 28-March 10
Tom Ballard – March 5-10
Hannah Gadsby – March 12-17
Josh Thomas – March 14-17