After months of cleaning cupboards, knitting beanies and making sour dough, ‘Women Like Us’ Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan have had enough. With their families unable to provide the thrill of a real live audience in what had been described as a ‘hostage’ situation the two comedians are chomping at the bit to get back in front of a crowd! Yes! They are back on stage, bold as brass giving the sass at Bellingen’s Memorial Hall on Thursday 14th January, for their first ever Bello show!
Rod’s interest was piqued. Was this his big chance to understand women? Was he even welcome at the show? He decided to go straight to the source….
Let’s cut to the chase Nolan. This seems like an ideal chance for us males to learn a little more about the female mind. Are we invited to this gig or is it a girls’ only event?
You are totally invited! We always say that if a bloke comes to our show and he laughs at the jokes he’s a keeper. Otherwise he needs to stay in the car. So many blokes leave the show surprised they enjoyed it so much. One guy out west said ‘gees I thought this was going to be a cock bash’. I told him I’d leave the cock bashing to his wife.
Now having cleared that up, I’m also stuck on the name… Women Like Us. Now depending on how I emphasize each word, I come up with different meanings. Please explain?
It’s why we thought it was so clever. It means that we are talking to our tribe – Women LIKE us. The ones who feel inadequate or pissed off or just downright confused. We also know that women actually like us because our comedy is about normalising a lot of the taboo stuff you aren’t supposed to say. It’s brilliant really.
The show has been touring for 5 years now. Why do you think a show about the everyday experiences of mothers and wives is such a success?
Because our stories are so mundane that they are often not told, especially in comedy settings. Most comedy is dominated by men so its their narrative that we hear. Audiences tend to be female dominated so its no surprise that women want to start hearing their stories. We are rising, you better stand aside!
It’s true that Bellingen loves Mandy Nolan. Is there a town that doesn’t always love Mandy Nolan?
Oh yes there are towns where I’ve felt the prickle of judgement. Like my home town. I don’t think people love Mandy Nolan in Wondai..its quite conservative and I’m a bit of a lefty femmo, which doesn’t always go down well. I love doing small towns – you know I am a small town girl. I am making it my mission to seduce every small town in the country, except the one where I was born.
As a comedy writer do you sometimes wake up at night with a great joke and have to get out of bed & write it down?
Yes I do. I often lie there at 3 am in half sleep forming some idea, I get out of bed at 5 and then its ready. It’s so great when that happens. It’s like your subconscious is your ghost writer.
For comedians, a Donald Trump character only comes around once in your life. Which Australian Politician has gifted you with the most material?
Pauline Hanson. Without a doubt. She’s nasty, she’s a bigot, she says dumb shit. She is also very recognisable in her twang and her vocal patterns – makes here easy to imitate.
Ellen Briggs is your co-star on this tour. As a comedy team how close does the act stick to the game plan?
Ellen Briggs is a brilliant comedian. I love working with her – Bellingen are going to LOVE her. She’s such a great story teller, she’s whip smart, and she always delivers. She knows how to get a crowd.
Who do you admire the most in the world of comedy?
Comedians make a habit of being very good at serious acting. Have you had any roles outside of comedy?
Yes I have. I just starred in the pilot for a new series playing someone who drives the courtesy bus for a bowlo. Talk about typecast. I was the Avon lady in Stefan Elliot’s Surfin Safari, I starred on a menopause ad as the woman that wets herself. What a moment.
I am a bit of a comedy writer myself. I am working on a new script about the disappearance of Prime Minister Harold Holt called Holt…who goes there. I was wondering if you would have a look at it for me? I’m actually considering you for the role of Dame Zara!
I would love to have a look! I’ve been waiting to be a Dame. My bucket list complete xx
Women Like Us Tour starring Mandy Nolan & Ellen Briggs
Bellingen Memorial Hall Thursday 14thJanuary 8 pm. SOLD OUT
Sawtell RSL – Friday 12th March 7.30pm