9 acts you won’t want to miss at Brisbane Comedy Festival

Kicking off just as mask restrictions (hopefully!) ease in Brisbane next week, the Brisbane Comedy Festival has got a stellar line-up planned for its 2021 iteration.

With so much to choose from, including legends such as Ross Noble, Akmal, Cal Wilson, and Jimeoin, as well as internet sensations Nat’s What I Reckon and Christian Hull, we’ve compiled a list of nine shows we think you’d be absolutely mad to miss – plus a very special nautical-but-nice bonus!

1. This Is Your Trial

Fri 23/7, Fri 30/7, and Fri 6/8
The Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets and more info HERE

Act React and This Is Your Laugh UK have joined forces to bring justice to late night comedy.

Dob your friends in for their petty crimes, or take to the stand and defend yourself against their slanderous accusations on Friday nights throughout the festival. But be warned – with comedians acting as both prosecution and defence, and the rest of the audience playing jury, this one might be more court jester than court of law!

(Psst, the fun and games with Act React don’t stop when the festival ends, either. Be sure to catch Titanic: The Movie, The Play at the Powerhouse from August 19th!)

2. Karen From Finance, Out of Office

Thu 29/7 – Sat 31/7
The Tivoli
Tickets and more info HERE

She’s back from Drag Race, but she’s Out of Office!

Karen From Finance presents her award-winning one-woman show in all its camp finery at Brisbane’s stunning Tivoli. Fresh off a grand final place in the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, this one is all but guaranteed to sell out, so make sure you put your tax refund to good use and schedule your RDO accordingly!

3. The Naked Magicians, The Home-Coming Tour

Thu 29/7 and Fri 6/8 – Sun 8/8
The Tivoli
Tickets and more info HERE

Oh, Naked Magicians, how Brisbane has missed you!

Returning from a Las Vegas residency at the MGM Grand (no big deal!), Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne are back where it all began for an strictly four night engagement at the Tivoli. Wowing audiences in more than 300 cities across the world, the boys are back on Australian soil to put the actual magic into Magic Mike!

4. Mel Bracewell, The Rumours Are True

Thu 29/7 and Fri 30/7
Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets and more info HERE

Brisbane Comedy Festival welcomes one of New Zealand’s best and brightest in the form of Mel Bracewell!

As well as appearing on the likes of The Project and Have You Been Paying Attention?, Mel’s also a writer and producer for the fantastic Wellington Paranormal – check out our interview with her earlier this year HERE!

5. One Trick Pony Club

Fri 30/7
The Tivoli
Tickets and more info HERE

What’s a festival-goer to do when there’s so much to see but so little time to do it in? Schedule a night at the One Trick Pony Club, of course!

Featuring a whole host of local talent, expect comedy, drag, cabaret, burlesque, music, circus, and a whole heap of confetti!

6. Lizzy Hoo, Hoo Dis?

Sat 31/7, Sun 1/8
The Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets and more info HERE

Lizzy from Brissie is coming home!

After sold out performances in Melbourne and Sydney, one of comedy’s most exciting rising stars is back on home soil and ready to make the locals laugh.

Plus, she has a rescue greyhound, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s reason enough to buy a ticket.

7. Geraldine Hickey

Sat 31/7
The Tivoli
Tickets and more info HERE

Geraldine Hickey’s made quite the name for herself, thanks to both her stand-up and appearances on The Project, Tonightly with Tom BallardHave You Been Paying Attention? and Hughesy, We Have a Problem. If you like your observational comedy smart, deadpan, and bang on, you can’t miss this one night only show. 

And in case all that doesn’t convince you, maybe knowing that she took home the award for Most Outstanding Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year will!

8. Josh Earl, Don’t You Know Who I Am?

Sat 31/7, Sun 1/8
Underground Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets and more info HERE

Do you like your comedy served with a side of gameshow antics? Look no further!

With over 250 episodes under its belt, Josh Earl’s Don’t You Know Who I Am? is This Is Your Life meets Would I Lie To You?, as four comedians battle it out over their favourite subject matter – themselves!

Expect social media histories to be exposed and deep dives into the most mortifying of embarrassing stories, all helmed by Josh himself. Comedians beware – he’s done his research!

9. Rosie Waterland, Kid Chameleon

Fri 6/8, Sat 7/8
The Tivoli
Tickets and more info HERE

She’s a best-selling author, an award-winning podcaster, an iconic Bachelor re-capper, and the subject of an episode of ABC’s Australian Story. Pretty sure that makes Rosie Waterland the full package – and then some!

Mining a difficult upbringing for material (comedic, confronting, or otherwise) might be nothing new, but you can sure that when Rosie’s on stage, you’re in incredibly talented hands.

And here’s that nautical-but-nice bonus we promised you…

As well as a whole host of comedians, cabaret, and quiz shows, Brisbane Comedy Festival has also introduced a very special mode of transportation to some of its most in-demand events.

Cruise Into Comedy offers the ultimate VIP arrival package, with festival-goers hopping on board the Mirimar and cruising along the Brisbane River on the way to their comedy destination. As well as bevs and nibbles aboard the boat, an exclusive VIP bar waits on the other end, so you can enjoy another cheeky drink while you regain your land legs.

Cruise Into Comedy is available as an add-on for select shows throughout the Brisbane Comedy Festival season – all the info you’ll need is right HERE.

And, of course, don’t forget to check out the full Brisbane Comedy Festival line-up on the festival website HERE. With shows running from July 16th all the way to August 8th, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s to come!

Jodie Sloan

Living, writing, and reading in Brisbane/Meanjin. Likes spooky books, strong cocktails, and pro-wrestling.