By Mike Hitch
One of the most influential queer artists in the U.K, Krishna Istha, is coming to Australia with their hilarious, ridiculous, new standup show, Beast.
The transgender and trans-national artist is an established performance artist who has done work across the UK, USA and Australia.
Sick of overly solemn transgender coming out stories, Istha took up standup comedy with some initial coaching from Australian queer icon, Hannah Gadsby.
“I love comedy,” said Istha in a press release, comparing it with other art forms.
“The aim of comedy is to make people laugh. The aim of performance art is for people to never laugh again.”
Istha was named as ‘One to watch’ on the Rainbow List 2015, the annual celebration of the 100 most influential LGBT+ people in the UK, and is best known for their performance work which looks at gender politics and queer culture using subversive text, cabaret and comedy.
Istha has also performed around the world, including at venues such as the Southbank Centre, the Soho, the Latitude UK, Edinburgh Fringe and Sydney Festivals; Sophiensaele Berlin, and the Malthouse Theatre Melbourne.
Zoë Coombs Marr, the winner of ‘Best Show Melbourne Comedy Festival 2016’ and an Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee for 2016, wows audiences as the director behind Beast.
Sharply observed absurdities are mixed with daggy puns and silly props, as Istha dismantles what the audience thinks they know about gender, identity and even comedy itself.
With a swathe of five-star reviews across the country, it’s no wonder Istha and their charming cheekiness are making impacts on the public opinion on gender politics.
“Laugh out loud funny… This is what fringe shows should be, odd, uncomfortable, challenging, subversive and ultimately rewarding” – Out In Perth
“[They] told stories of their lives that brought the crowd to fits of laughter or audible tears; a joke about dildos in bumbags, memorably, to both” – Guardian Australia
Istha will be performing Beast at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 26 at The Malthouse, as well as also appearing in F*ck Fabulous, a new cabaret for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras which debuts at the Seymour Centre on February 19.