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Launching the Women Like Us movement

Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs are launching their book Women Like Us on May 1. Photo supplied.

I had picked it up and taken it to bed in the hope of a quick read (I’d finish the book another day) before falling into a happy slumber with the book on my face – but it was egg on my face as I kept telling myself I’d just read one more chapter…

Then there was my poor partner who had to put up with whole body-shaking laughter next to him in bed. And of course I couldn’t resist poking him during my adventure of Mandy’s and Ellen’s lives and try haltingly – as there were times when I couldn’t get more than two words out between the hysterics – read him exerpts from their book Women Like Us.

Comedy duo Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan have taken their comedy skills and woven them into a fantastic blend of humour and insight.

There were moments when I closed the pages and reflected on lives that weren’t mine. As Ellen and Mandy narrated their lives through the pages of Women Like Us I felt I got to know many of their greatest and most devastating moments.

Life is no easy rollercoaster and their stories were revealing, heartbreaking and fucking hilarious in equal parts.

Having read the book I wasn’t sure I needed to speak to these amazing women – I felt like they had told me all their deepest secrets and already revealed their most intimate moments.

Nonetheless they had plenty to share.

‘Everything we do is about bringing women who feel they have become invisible and voiceless to the table,’ said Mandy.

Ellen followed up saying, ‘We’ve built a following outside of the mainstream media and entertainment industry, which isn’t interested in middle-aged women. But there are SO many of us! We laugh that it is not just a comedy show, it is a movement!’

It was the early hours of the morning before I stopped poking my wife as I regaled him with yet another laughter splattered reading from Women Like Us ­– and he sweetly told me he was a little pissed at the fact I’d taken Ellen and Mandy to bed and not him.

Finally, when I had failed to find any more words and agreed to turn out the light my lovely partner said to me ‘I hope to enjoy ramming your head into the kitchen bench someday too…’ and we both laughed… But you’ll have to read Women Like Us to find out why.

Women Like Us hits the street on May 1 at your local bookstores. If you are looking for a special day out for Mothers Day then pick up a ticket to their show at the Beach Cafe in Byron on May 13. Book tickets on 6685 8445 or see their the full schedule.

And as Mandy so succinctly puts it, ‘When we started out, we weren’t aware of the power of comedy celebrating and satirising our failure to meet societal benchmarks re attractiveness, relationships and achievements. It is clear women still spend far too much time in quiet self-loathing about their looks and who they feel they have failed to be. Our message is about self acceptance.’


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Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

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