Stand-up comedians Mandy Nolan, Nick Penn and Ellen Briggs join forces for One Night Stand, a night of stand-up comedy raising money for Mullum Playgroup.
Last year the fundraiser sold out, with people ringing from as far afield as Lismore begging organisers to hold them a seat. This year the crew are hopeful they’ll illicit the same response especially with some of the major prizes up for grabs.
‘We’re raising money for playgroup. Maybe next year we should raise money for contraception’, jokes Nolan. ‘Playgroups are the way parents of young children get to connect with each other. They have a cup of tea and a chat while the kids play. The playgroup needs to get new toys for the kids, you can imagine the state toys get in after 20 or more kids work their way through each week!
‘It’s not just the comedy’, says Mandy, star of the show but also mother of a four-year-old who regularly attends the playgroup. ‘It’s the fact that local festivals are supporting us by offering up tickets to their events. We have a double pass to Splendour – with tickets completely sold out, this is like gold! We have a five-day pass to next year’s 25th anniversary Bluesfest and a double pass to Friday of Mullum Music Festival.
‘To win the tickets you have to be there on the night – we are so appreciative of the generosity of these local and some internationally acclaimed events!’
Mandy Nolan is a stand-up comedian who knows the challenges of motherhood inside out. Author of What I Would Do If I Were You published in 2011, Nolan believes in ‘telling the truth about parenting.’ ‘Motherhood is an institution built on lies’, she says, ‘and it’s these lies that make most of us feel like complete failures! I use my parenting experiences in my comedy. I think deep down everyone wants to be the perfect mum to their perfect kids, but in reality most of us rarely hit the mark. We may however on very very rare occasions manage to hit the kid instead!’
It’s how we parent that Nolan gets the most material from. ‘We are a generation of parents who have been left with nothing. We were told to be their friends, but that doesn’t work because it means we surrender control. We were told to praise them, but now we’ve found out that too much praise affects their ability to build self-reliance and resilience. We were told to trust them. And then we were told to say No. Then we were told never to say No. To be positive. To be loving. To be firm. Most of us don’t have a clue what we are supposed to do and the rest of us are just making it up as we go along!’
Nolan has been on the comedy circuit for almost three decades, but it seems that it’s only now that the big girl is finally making her mark.
‘With a few TV appearances, my regular Echo Soapbox, and being published at a national level in magazines and online in Wendy Harmer’s The Hoopla I am finally getting a bigger reach!’ Most recently Nolan featured alongside Dave Hughes and Cal Wilson in a massive comedy Gala at Jupiters Casino.
Nolan is joined by comedy comrades Ellen Briggs and Nick Penn. A mother of two teenage sons, Briggs has proved herself a worthy adversary on the comedy circuit. Having made it to a national level in Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Raw comedy, Briggs has truly found her feet and now works regularly around the country.
Nick Penn is the feature comedian for the night. A major Australian headline who opted for the simple life seven years ago when he moved to Nimbin, Penn never fails to capture the imagination of an audience. Dry, laid-back yet hugely animated, Penn is off the wall funny.
Catch three very funny comedians at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club on This Friday.