Laugh with women like you
COUNTRY girls and comedic champions Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs are looking forward to "a bit of a party” and sharing the laughs when they perform at their upcoming Chinchilla fundraising event early next month.
The duo, northern NSW residents, are looking forward to returning to the Queensland community with their new show, Women Like Us - which covers such topics as housework, chickens, love, big undies, disappointment, yoga farts and being a menopausal woman dealing with teenage angst - to raise money for Chinchilla State School.
Mandy, who was born in Kingaroy and now has 30 years of comedy experience, said this week she "honestly prefers a country show”, describing the Chinchilla gig as "close to being a home show for me”.
"Ellen and I know what it's like to live in a small country town where everyone knows your story.
"And I think we have some unique insights into country life and I think that gives people a sense of connection that our lives are more aligned with them.
"The atmosphere is awesome. It's always lively - we deliver a lot of laughs - it's a cracker, and people get rowdy. We're in there to deliver a good time.”
Mandy said she and Ellen had performed in Chinchilla previously and "we both remembered having a great time out there”.
"It's a really great community, and comedy shows can be very city centric. We really wanted to go to places where they don't usually get shows.”
Mandy and Ellen have been working in partnership with Chinchilla State School, and the two-hour stand-up performance of Women Like Us will help raise money for the school.
With seven children between them, the comic pair are passionate supporters of community and public schools and believe comedy is best when it's used for good.
"We are putting on our show at no cost to the school, donating $10 of our ticket price to the school, and they will be raising money with the food and bar on the night.
"We have used this model around the country and helped organisations raise thousands of dollars and have a great night out at the same time,” Mandy said.
Mandy, who is a columnist for the Byron Shire Echo and regular writer with Mamamia, also encouraged regional comedians to take part in their local community and charity events to boost their confidence and experience.
"I teach comedy, so I'm always working with new and regional voices, and there's really a role for people who want to be a comedian in regional areas.
"Don't be discouraged: Get up at an open mic night or host an event at your school.
"I got most of my experience in a regional area.”
Mandy said the popularity of Women Like Us was the ability of the comedians to engage with their audience and "talk about everyday experiences in a very open way”.
"We're very flawed, unremarkable, average women with no filters. And we're prepared to throw our husbands and children under the bus for a laugh.”
Ellen said: "We tell everyday stories about our struggles, our failure to parent, the beauty industry, getting fatter, strange surgeries, obsessions, frustrations, and at the end of the day 'who unpacks the dishwasher'.
"It's not a show just for women. In the same way a comedy show by two men would never be seen as a blokes-only show. Women Like Us is about making our experiences universal rather than 'niche'.”
Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs will perform at Chinchilla Cultural Centre. Doors open 6.30pm, show 8pm, Friday, December 7.Tickets $35, from womenlikeus.com.au, Chinchilla Newsagency or at the door. Drinks and food supplied by Chinchilla State School P&C.