Your free what's on guide to the top end

Comics' Corner – February

The holidays are over, the demoulding rituals complete and New Year’s dietary resolutions made and jettisoned – now is the time to venture into the world and explore the cultural delicacies that Darwin has on offer, and what better than to catch some of Darwin’s phenomenally talented standup comedians. 

By Will Crawford.

Darwin is blessed with an abundance of obscenely gifted standups performing some of the more intelligent, interesting and well-executed comedy in the country. The NT has enjoyed a comedy renaissance in recent years led by standup vanguards Amy Hetherington, Ryan McArthur, Danielle Andrews, KC Martin, Ange Wu, Nicole Stevens, Justin Crookes, Dave Woodhead, Angus Robson, Brad Stott and Andi Egan. More recently, Ben Stephenson, Jason Williams, Justin Brown, Leo Tchia and Briant Clark have all developed into budding standup superstars. Alice Springs has seen the emergence of Jacqueline Pillar, Chris Cook, Danny Sgro, and Chris Little, perhaps the most talented standup in Australia not currently on television. 

February also means that RAW Comedy, the national open mic comedy competition, comes to town. Some of Australia’s premier comedians have been discovered off the back of their success in RAW Comedy including Aamer Rahman, Hannah Gadsby, Ronny Chieng, Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor. Darwin and Alice Springs will host heats before the NT final at The Venue Fannie Bay in March. The winner goes through to the final in Melbourne, which will be broadcast on ABC TV. So go see Darwin’s comedy superstars of tomorrow battle it out and perhaps be the first to see a Darwin comedian before they hit the big time and get too big to sign your belly at a Happy Yess gig. 

Also this month, Alice Springs standup, Jacqueline Pillar, comes to Darwin to perform her new show “Labelled”. This show promises to be a “raucous trip through labels and stereotypes as applied through her lifetime – and her rejection of some of the maddest ideas in history”.

Darwin has a regular stand up night, First Thursday Comedy, at Brown’s Mart and there are always a couple of open mic spots available for people who’ve been thinking they’d like to give standup a try. 

Head to the Beachfront Hotel for LOL Thursdays to catch five hand-picked stand-up comedians deliver some fast and furious comedy. 

Finally, best of luck to KC Marin and Jason Williams who are both touring their solo shows to the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February.

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

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