Your free what's on guide to the top end

Comics' Corner – Darwin Festival Funnies

By Will Crawford.

If you like your stand up smart, angry and full of dubious advice to the world's gentrifiers, then the sharp, biting satire of visiting New York comic and performance artist Penny Arcade will get you thinking, laughing and questioning your life choices. Arcade will take you on a memorable, revolutionary stroll into the world of politics, pop culture and urban planning. As Molly might have said, “do yourself a favour and catch this act”.

Tessa Waters is one of the emerging stars of character comedy. Her ultra-high energy style and the wildly florid misfit caricatures in her two shows, WOMANz and How to be a Rockstar, sit proudly alongside the character comedy of Martin and Ackroyd’s crazy guys, Bobcat Goldthwait’s early endearing and anarchic work, and Tracy Ulman. 

Tommy Little is on top of his game. A baby-faced veteran of 10 years on the Australian stand up scene, he is a supremely polished and talented performer. His routines are fast, clever and well crafted. A real crowd pleaser, Tommy Little will charm,  delight and occasionally disgust his audience, all the while wearing a cheeky grin. A sure fire hit.

The dark horse of the festival is definitely Bron Batten’s innovative Onstage Dating. This show involves Batten going on an actual first date with a volunteer on stage each night – plucked and chosen by her based on audience pre-show surveys. The show has won rave reviews elsewhere and, if believed, her show will revel in the absurd, awkward and embarrassing. An intelligent and warm look at the how, why and what we’ll do on a date. Not to be missed.  

Sammy J's Hero Complex looks to be a return to form for the comedian. Best described as a magical realist, nerdy, autobiographical stand up, the show details the story of Sammy J’s discovery of the Phantom comics and the impact on his life. A whimsical tale that promises to delight.  

My pick of the comedy is the UK award-winning duo EastEnd Cabaret. Their risqué songs and deviant character pieces are hilarious and disturbing in equal measure. A night of naughty laughs and guilty pleasure looks guaranteed.     

Will Crawford is an up-and-crawling comic. He moonlights as a land rights lawyer and policy activist. 

His monthly column showcases Top End comic writing and local stand-up performers who are often grilled to reveal their influences, favourites and foibles. 

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