Arts Features

Posted 4 May 2016 @ 6:00pm

Ash Williams has a confession to make.


More than one, in fact. I’ve Done Some Bad Things is the name of his forthcoming show at Sydney Comedy Festival, and it marks his first solo stand-up tour on the Australian festival circuit.


So what bad things will he be sharing onstage this week? “‘Bad’, as a word, is quite open to interpretation,” he hints.


Posted 4 May 2016 @ 5:12pm

For the duration of Sydney Comedy Festival 2016, we’re bringing you a weekly round-up of the hottest tickets in town. Zanda Wilson reports.


Harley Breen: Smell The Penguins

Enmore Theatre, Thursday May 5 – Sunday May 8




Posted 4 May 2016 @ 3:48pm

Once upon a time I found myself selling tickets and stamping wrists at a metal gig in Melbourne, where the pay was happily outrageous and the cider flowed freely.


It was all fairly standard until an earless figure appeared before me, asking questions in a nasal drawl mostly drowned out by the music behind – but even without context, Chopper Read presented a uniquely heavy...

Posted 3 May 2016 @ 3:07pm

All trailers must go! Dear readers, your beloved TL;DR will be taking a month-long sabbatical over the course of May, but fret not! Do you really think I'd leave you bereft of any access to trailers, release info and snappily-worded if unsolicited opinions for a whole month? I'm not a monster, you guys.


So here for your delectation and delight is every flipping movie coming out...

Posted 30 Apr 2016 @ 11:00am

You are probably already familiar with Tommy Little.


The well-loved comic has saturated Australian media for some time, writing and starring in television shows as well as appearing on panels and Melbourne breakfast radio. However, comedy has always been the cornerstone of everything he does. Having sold out shows around Australia on previous tours, Little’s 2016 incarnation is...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 4:34pm

Tom Gleeson is at his peak, he says, and his upcoming Sydney Comedy Festival show is the best he’s ever done. He is, however, far less confident in the state of our government.


“I didn’t think I could be more disillusioned, but it’s like the floors caved in and there’s just a lower level that I’m sitting in now – I’m just so depressed about the whole mashed situation,” he says...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 2:52pm

For the duration of Sydney Comedy Festival 2016, we’re bringing you a weekly round-up of the hottest tickets in town. Chris Martin reports.


Frenchy: World’s Worst Adult

Factory Theatre, Wednesday April 27...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:58pm

Given the sheer number of review stars Nath Valvo has been picking up over the last few years, he could have had a solid second career as an astronomer.


The Australian comedian and radio personality has built his reputation on good old-fashioned honesty – though it helps, of course, to fill your day with ridiculous shenanigans and strange fortune. His shows are a smelting pot...

Posted 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:41pm

Even before The Axis Of Awesome released their all-conquering ‘4 Chords’ single and video in 2011, the song had been in their sets for a few years.


There was something so fundamentally entertaining in not only watching a patchwork of songs you love and loathe blur together, but seeing performers commit to the task with such (hilarious) sincerity. Five years on from ascending to...

Posted 26 Apr 2016 @ 3:24pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. It's the last mammoth week of April, and Marvel is calling DC's all-in. The combined universes are here, ladies and gents, and here to stay.


Unlike me - I'll be jetting off for the next month and TL;DR will be taking a sabbatical. Fear not, dear readers, for I shall soon gift thee...

Posted 23 Apr 2016 @ 10:00am

After bursting onto the scene in 2010 as a national finalist in the Raw Comedy competition, Anne Edmonds has quickly become a favourite across the Australian comedy community, presenting shows at festivals around the country and appearing in TV programs like It’s A Date and Back Seat Drivers.


Her place on the scene was well and truly cemented last year when she was awarded the...

Posted 22 Apr 2016 @ 10:00am

Dave Hughes has always had a way of turning the minutiae of life into a hilarious, relatable anecdote.


Take his supermarket shopping habits, for instance.


“I’m still torn between the large box of Nutri-Grain at the supermarket being $3.50 and the small box being $4.90 and buying the large box – even though we’re on holidays and it’s only going to be two days and...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 7:00pm

Ben Elton’s career has been so varied that it’s hard to predict just how people are most familiar with him.


His groundbreaking television work on The Young Ones and Blackadder is one facet, but then there are his achievements in musical theatre, including Love Never Dies and the phenomenally successful Queen musical We Will Rock You – not to mention his 15 novels and film and...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 6:22pm

After a staggered start to the day (“Nothing has quite gone as planned this morning,” Damian Hill wryly admits following communication gremlins and overlapping schedules), our conversation about new Australian feature Pawno seems to have been weirdly presaged.


An ensemble drama centred around a pawn shop in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray, the film sees an assortment of lives...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 1:37pm

For the duration of Sydney Comedy Festival 2016, we’re bringing you a weekly round-up of the hottest tickets in town.


Ivan Aristeguieta: Chorizo Sizzle [above]

Enmore Theatre, Thursday April 21 – Sunday April 24

With his own unique...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 1:13pm

“I love accents,” says Scottish comedian Craig Hill.


“I’m a bit obsessed with the Australian one. It’s so positive-sounding!” Even with its penchant for F-words and C-bombs? You better believe it. “Even then, [you’re] sounding fucking aliiiive!” says Hill, Aussie accent and all.


Hill will be hitting Sydney Comedy Festival this week with his latest show, Playing...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 1:12pm

After a solid half-decade of oddness, absurdism and acute observations about the world at large, UK comic Paul Foot is taking a brief moment to reflect on his last batch of original festival shows before he ventures off onto a new one entirely.


His imaginatively titled 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival show, An Evening With Mr. Paul Foot, is a collection of stories and bits from...

Posted 20 Apr 2016 @ 12:13pm

Come in, spinner!


The ANZAC Day long weekend is here, with ANZAC Day itself falling on Monday April 25. And while the day is one of commemoration to our fallen, it’s also one of celebration. Enjoy an ANZAC Day of food, drinks, entertainment – and a bit of two-up – with our picks of the best venues in Sydney.



Posted 19 Apr 2016 @ 1:00pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. As the mid-year releases tend to come in uneven spurts, I've decided to let a couple of next week's premieres sneak in early and get a mention today.


This week's newcomers...

Posted 17 Apr 2016 @ 4:00pm

It’s certainly not uncommon for modern comedians to rely on personal anecdotes and brute honesty as a way of better relating to their audiences.


We see it from prolific comedy icons like Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K., with the latter only reaching success after he got older, fatter and had a couple of kids to complain about. Australian humour has always had blunt...

Posted 16 Apr 2016 @ 12:00pm

Tanyalee Davis first appeared here back in 2001, having forged a name for herself both at home in the US (though the three-foot-six comedian is Canadian-born) and across the UK.


She has recently wrapped performances at the Soho Theatre, featured on Live At The Apollo’s first Christmas special, and is unleashing her updated show on Australian soil after 26 years of honing her...

Posted 16 Apr 2016 @ 11:00am

“There is an element of self-deprecation in my comedy,” says critically lauded local comedian Susie Youssef ahead of her upcoming Sydney Comedy Festival show, Check Youssef Before You Wreck Youssef.


“I’ve joked about being single. It used to mean more when I was younger,” she says. “There has been a lot of backlash about clichés, but these experiences are real for the person...

Posted 15 Apr 2016 @ 4:00pm

Despite what you might have read, Irish stand-up comedian Tommy Tiernan isn’t out to shock his audience.


Although comments from one of his shows attracted controversy when taken out of context a few years ago, scandal isn’t something he courts. His thoughts about the US might offend some more patriotic Americans, however – Tiernan is excited to be coming out to Australia, but...

Posted 15 Apr 2016 @ 1:30pm

Sydney’s Alice Fraser left her life as a corporate lawyer to pursue a career in comedy. This year she’s bringing her new show The Resistance to Sydney Comedy Festival to spread the good vibes.


“I think I always knew it wasn’t for me,” says Fraser, pondering her previous career. “But I wanted to give it a proper go, because wouldn’t life be a lot easier if you suddenly realised...

Posted 15 Apr 2016 @ 1:00pm

Felicity Ward’s new show relies a lot on toilet humour, but not the usual kind.


What If There Is No Toilet? sees the widely loved local comedian continue her mission to tell it like it is with mental health, exploring her experiences with anxiety, depression and chronic irritable bowel syndrome, and her longest-running relationship: with the toilet.


“I used to...

Posted 15 Apr 2016 @ 11:52am

Even though it might not be true that you can have too much of a good thing – seriously, which grump came up with that line? – it’s certainly possible to be overloaded with opportunity. 


Sydney Comedy Festival 2016 is so packed with performers that navigating the whole thing can be a thankless task. To that end, and because we’re such helpful folks, we’ve drawn up a list of the...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:27pm

After emerging from Adelaide as a teenage stand-up wunderkind, Demi Lardner has spent the first part of her 20s making a name for herself in her new home of Melbourne.


In that time, she’s been on both the giving and receiving ends of advice – plenty good, but even more bad. “The worst advice that I’ve been given recently is that you can clean your toilet using Coke,” says...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 2:56pm

We Are All In The Gutter, But Some Of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty.


That’s the distinctive name of a new show coming to Sydney Comedy Festival this year. But what is a David O’Doherty, anyway? A David O’Doherty is a man. A man with a silly sense of humour, which he says has been fairly constant since he was eight or nine years old. “I still love people falling over and...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 2:25pm

Arj Barker is a man of action. Not only is he currently the toast of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival thanks to his brand-spanking new show Organic, but he also finds time to train his beloved pet pooch.


“She’s a good girl, but sometimes she licks her own balls,” Barker says matter-of-factly. “It’s a habit I’m trying to break.”


In conversation, Barker...

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:03pm

Brian Posehn’s comedy is pretty hard to sum up, but the following anecdote does it better than any journalistic ramblings ever could.


Skip this next paragraph if you’re planning to go to his show at Sydney Comedy Festival, though. You’ll spoil it for yourself should he do this bit on the night. 


“My son is nude a lot. At six years old, he’s naked all the time. I...