The Big Gig

World Class Comedy at it’s Best

Free Entry – the last Thursday of every month

Proudly Presented by Mandy Nolan – Since April 2007


Mandy Nolan

Mandy’s Website

Mandy’s Facebook


Mandy Nolan is a funny woman.

A stand-up comedian for well over 28 years, audiences adore Mandy on stage, and around Byron Bay where she lives, Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak.

Her humour is sharp, honest, sometimes self-depreciating, somewhat outrageous, but never cruel or pretentious. Frequently irreverent, it speaks to a diverse audience with no set demographic, no gender, race or religion, occupation or tribe.

Mandy’s stand-up is known and loved for its rapid fire philandering and esoteric observations that emerge from the musings of what she describes as ‘a woman whose dilemma it is to navigate the new frontiers in the suburban badlands of human relationships and traverse that darkly hypocritical abyss that exists between action and belief.’

One of Australia’s strongest female comedic talents, Mandy Nolan has honed the ability to bring a room to its knees, whether that be Melbourne’s Last Laugh, Gold Coast’s Comedy in the Basement, Brisbane’s Sit Down Comedy Club, the 2000 plus crowds she’s wowed at Jupiter Casino’s Laugh Your Pants Off Gala’s or the 800 strong function of women from VIEW club who all declared Nolan hands down the funniest guest speaker they’d ever had.

Nolan made her return to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year with three shows launching her latest comedic offering ‘Home Truths’ published by Finch Publishing. All three shows sold out.

A pioneer of regional comedy – Nolan created her own comedy Festival, and currently has 6 comedy rooms that she programs, promotes and performs at from the Gold Coast to Ballina.

But wait, that’s not all.

For nearly two decades Nolan has taught the gentle art of stand-up comedy to over 1000 aspirants, with successful protégés Hannah Gadsby, Ellen Briggs and Paul McMahon all featuring on the national, and international circuit. Nolan believes comedy has strong therapeutic value and has delivered several programs to Kids, People with Lived Experience of Mental Health, Grandparent Carers and seniors, who all found themselves on stage delivering 5 minutes of comedy, smashing stereotypes and reframing limiting social views.

Nolan’s most important work however is the unique Stand Up for Dementia, the  Humour Therapy she created for people with dementia that was developed with the assistance of  Commonwealth funding with research making its way International peer reviewed medical journals. Most recently Nolan was featured on SBS’s Insight for her innovative approach to working with people with high levels of dementia.

With her keen eye for detail and dark wit, Mandy excels in what she calls ‘a dangerous social autopsy!’ If you like David Sedaris and Jennifer Lawson, if you like outrageous observations peppered with intelligent insightful quips, then you’ll love Mandy Nolan.

Even Olivia Newton John couldn’t help falling a tiny bit in love with the big girl of comedy and regularly invites her to feature at her private functions.

‘Mandy Nolan is hilarious, with a wicked Wicked sense of humour!’



Ellen’s Website

Ellen Briggs is a talented mother of two, with a sharp tongue and mind, and a swag of funny stories that she is not ashamed to tell!

With just two years’ experience, she bagged first prize on the National Foxtel Comedy Channel’s ‘Be a Comedian’ and earned a spot on Stand Up Australia. She then became a finalist in the nationally televised Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2007 “Raw Comedy” Competition.

Ellen regularly performs as a comedian and MC at venues all over Australia, and can often be heard on “ABC North Coast Radio” and Byron Bay’s Community Radio Station, “Bay FM”. In fact at the end of 2007, she was shortlisted for the breakfast radio program “The Cage” which is heard on MMM in Brisbane – without even applying!

Ellen’s relatability is what audiences love.  She’s unashamedly ordinary and hilariously funny. She has an easy-going, friendly nature that belies the dark wit that lurks beneath. It’s been said that “Ellen says out loud the things other mothers only dare to even think”, and that “with her tales of parenting, she could well become Australia’s next Fiona O’Loughlin”. Ellen takes her audience on an observational and hilarious journey through life as an accidental mother of identical twins and the wife of a husband who is away working for 9 months of the year. She has made an art-form of sneaking really politically incorrect jokes onto the end of “nice” yarns. She launches the punch lines stealthily. You won’t see them coming, but you’ll know when they hit. Trevor Hendy recently declared that “Ellen is probably the funniest comedian I’ve ever seen!”

Ellen has performed alongside the likes of Dave Hughes, Will Anderson, Peter Hellier, Charlie Pickering, Fiona O’Loughlin, Glenn Robbins, Gina Yashire, Austen Tayshus, Puppetry of the Penis, Tommy Little, Mandy Nolan, Troy Kinne, Judith Lucy, Peter Rosethorn, The Nelson Twins and Claire Hooper – just to name a few!  Ellen is a favourite at ladies events, such as Melbourne Cup Lunches, Girls Nights In and numerous other Cancer Council and other fundraising events, as well as Sportsmen’s Lunches all through South East QLD.

Ellen and fellow comedian Mandy Nolan have joined forces and have been performing their two-hour stand up show Women Like Us all over regional Australia, with all but one show so far completely selling out!




S Sorrensen is a comedian in the throes of mid-life crisis. He is appalled at what he sees in the world. But when he expresses his absolute horror about climate change, war for oil, and brushcutters, others laugh. A lot.
In fact, audiences all over this wide brown land have laughed at S’s view of the world – both in his solo stand-up shows and in the two-handed Glover & Sorrensen shows (with Alan Glover).
S regularly leaves the safety of his shack near Nimbin, swapping his sarong for jeans, to do his therapy at festivals, clubs, pubs and dining tables from Cairns to Hobart. He has also appeared on telly and radio. (But don’t tell anyone…)

And when it’s raining and too wet to travel, he’s a writer and journalist.

Thursday 30 August

Headline: Chris Radburn
Support: Shayne Hunter
MC: Mandy Nolan

Doors 7.30pm Show 8pm
Free Entry – 18+ Years


Chris’s Website

Chris is an Award winning International headline comedian known for his unique observational comedy. Chris has performed 10 solo festival shows, appeared on over 15 TV shows including The Footy Show, Sydney Comedy Festival Gala and Last Comic Standing and had his own radio show. Live stand up comedy is where he is at his best. Chris also created the TV show ‘The Parents”.




Shayne’s Facebook


In 2010, Shayne was selected for the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival Comedy Zone. He toured every capital city, constantly sharpening his stand up skills on the road becoming one of the Australia’s most original and interesting voices.

2013 saw Shayne step back from the mic and focus his energy and voice as a political activist, participating in fundraisers for refugee and aboriginal rights.

In 2016 he returned to the touring on the national comedy circuit. In 2018 he is stepping it up and taking his show “Blaze Against The Machine” to the Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth Comedy Festivals.

Shayne Hunter is an Australian Comedy Maverick. Intellect in disguise, Shayne’s smart, poignant and socially aware comedy pushes boundaries in pubs, clubs, arts centres – any setting is a suitable backdrop for his biting, big-laugh perspective. To comedy fans: don’t miss Shayne’s thoughtful, often manic comedy. It can be vicious, it can be raw, but it’s always hilarious. To bookers: Shayne pushes boundaries and tests limits with every audience, but his risks are calculated and he always has the energy, material and control to bring a crowd back from the brink. His performances are always endearing and incredibly funny – Josh Armstrong, Owner & Operater of BASED Comedy.


Thursday 27 September

Headline: Dan Willis
Support: Robert Grayson
MC: Mandy Nolan

Doors 7.30pm Show 8pm
Free Entry – 18+ Years


Dan’s Facebook

How do you become a stand-up comedian??
I’m asked this at pretty much every gig I do.. And I’m beginning to think that people actually mean “How ON EARTH did YOU become a stand-up comedian?”.
With what little ego I have left I’ll have to hope that the former is the truth, people simply want to know how a normal person chooses to give up their average to acceptable life in normality in order to tread the boards of theaters, pubs, restaurants and rest-rooms the world over.
I’ll try and be concise, but I’m guessing I’ll probably blather on a bit, so I’ll get on with it.

Getting into comedy should always begin with a passion for the art, be it televisual, live or in the written form. I’m guessing I clocked all three, I’ve always loved stand-up comedy when I was a kid, Tommy Cooper, Dave Allen and Bill Cosby all appeared in my record collection (that’s vinyl people, none of this new fangled MP-whatnots). The first live comedian I saw was a Mr Lenny Henry at the City Hall in Newcastle, I’m guessing 1985- His support act was a local act – Richard Morton, I loved every second of it, probably because there was a lot of swearing.
Television-wise, my favorite sitcom when I was a kid remains my favorite sitcom to this day “The Phil Silvers Show”, mix this with an unhealthy collection of Garfield and Peanuts books, not to mention Calvin and Hobbes, and my childhood comedy collection is almost complete.
Mid nineties I became a massive Frank Skinner and Chris Rock fan- check my VHS collection for any proof required, I’ll be honest, proving my fanhood is all they’re good for now- I don’t actually own a VHS player anymore.
On my 28th Birthday I randomly chose to celebrate at “The Banana Cabaret”, Balham.. 4 fantastic comedians doing 20 mins each, I was quite literally breathless from laughing. And from that moment I was hooked..
Over the next year I went to so much comedy I ended up winning an award from TimeOut and a place on the Perrier Panel for the Edinburgh festival (2001). That summer I watched over 90 shows at the festival, nominating Adam Hills and Daniel Kitson. Eventually handing the crown to Garth Merenghi.
Out of the 90 shows I saw, about 50 were borderline terrible, I thought “I could be that bad, it just takes guts and gumption”, thus booked in my first gig.
After a brief comedy course lasting 3 hours, I stood in front of 12 people at the “Bunch of Grapes Pub” in Bristol City Centre. 3 minutes later I was a comedian. Russell Howard was the MC, and he’s quite rich now, I still have high hopes for me.
A couple years of try-out nights later, paid work started falling my way, now I’ve played in just over 15 countries, 3000 gigs and am now onto my 7th solo show. Add to that- I’ve gigged many times with Richard Morton- linking right back to that first Lenny Henry gig, and Richard feels really old each time I remind him…

And there you have it.. How does someone end up being a stand-up.



Robert’s Facebook

Robert is very nice guy and makes the funny funny sometimes. He is an Aria nominee for comedy record of the year and a National Archive inductee for his rather immature but amusing comedic work. A student of life, spirituality and metaphysics he as well aware of the shining god-like potential in each and every human being. He uses his comedy to explore exactly what the heck happened, finding humour in the gap between our stellar potential and the crap we have now. He is a long time refugee from the USA, but still has an accent. Robert also has a guitar and is not afraid to use it. A Taurus, he likes long walks on the beach, consensual sex, preferably with others and the gluten free vegan hemp love-bite hearts from the pure-melt chocolate shop in Mullumbimby.