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 25 October

Headline: Greg Fleet
Support: Marty Lappan
MC: Mandy Nolan

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


Greg’s Facebook

Subtle, Succinct and Surreal” The Scotsman

“exceptionally funny… the audience was spellbound throughout” The Scotsman

“hilarious, hard hitting… hug this man today” The List, Glasgow

“A wild, great show” Herald Sun, Melbourne

“Devilish, menacing and totally mesmerising” The Scotsman

“Greg Fleet is brilliant … inspired nonsense – utterly fresh, utterly hilarious” The Scotsman

“The fastest thinking stand up around” The Sunday Times, London

“In one hour he succeeds in dragging us to extremes of laughter, embarrassment and pity, but mainly laughter, as he takes us on the emotional roller-coaster journey of our lives. He deserves to be massive.” The Independent, London




Marty Lappan was born funny to a family of radio/TV hosts and musicians, who quickly recognised his unique take on reality and (what?) rules as an entertainer’s gift!  Marty himself didn’t realise how much natural talent he had until he bit the bullet and pushed himself on stage at St Kilda’s famous and iconic ‘Espy’ Esplanade Hotel in the mid-nineties.  He was cutting his comedy teeth among the household names of Hughesy, Dave O’Neil, Greg Fleet, and the irrepressible and sorely missed Dave Grant.  This amazing talent pool provided a springboard to successful gigs at all the major Melbourne comedy clubs and beyond, including guest spots on Hughesy and friends Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) show, among others.

Within a year of his comedy debut, Marty had teamed up with good mate Chris Franklin to perform their own MICF show: The Bushie and the Bogan. Their shows had rave reviews and sell out audiences in Melbourne, and again at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. They toured nationally, and crowned their success by writing and performing the acclaimed share-house comedy A Room with a View at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The corporate world soon heard about him. Marty has performed for companies as diverse as Australia Post (Philatelists Division), RAAF, Australian Army, Australian Navy, Toyota, St Kilda Football Club, as well as Grand Final Breakfasts for the Richmond and Melbourne Football Clubs (not on the same day!)

Performing stand-up is Marty’s first love, but he also has an impressive range of TV credits to his name, i.e. Hey Hey It’s Saturday, The Russell Gilbert Show, The James O’Loghlin Show, Full Frontal, Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules, and Headliners, as well as the Comedy Channel and YouTube.  Marty’s radio gigs include Lappan It Up,The Shed, and Sports Unlimited.

Live theatre also found it’s way into Marty’s repertoire as he played three characters in the cult classic and award winning He Died with a Falafel in His Hand.

Marty’s international work has included performances at world famous venues such as The London Comedy Store, the Jongleurs circuit of comedy rooms, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

As a performer, Marty has a unique understanding of all aspects of running the best of nights! He proved that in the late-oughties by running successful comedy rooms across Melbourne, calling on his enormous circle of talented mates, and mentoring up and coming comedy talent, passing on valuable lessons from experience. His comedy rooms were magnets for the best performers and it showed. He knows how to make people laugh!

Marty’s enjoying his current circuit of stand up gigs in the far north, and planning tours to nearby Asia….and beyond!


Thursday 29 November

Headline: Greg Sullivan
Support: Robert Grayson
MC: Mandy Nolan

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




Greg’s website

Greg Sullivan has performed on television, radio, in theatres, overseas, to corporate bigwigs and to smalls groups of disinterested tradesmen whilst standing on the back of a ute. He has written material for Rich Hall (The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live) which was used in his Edinburgh Comedy Festival show. He has also written columns for Bean Scene Magazine and jokes for the NRL Footy Show.

As you can see, he’ll pretty much do anything for money.

He has been invited to the world famous Improv Comedy Club in Los Angeles, performed at major festivals such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival Gala and has appeared, in a variety of roles, on television shows such as Good News Week, Home Delivered Humour, O’Loghlin on Saturday Night, The Today Show and A Current Affair.

Despite a lack of sporting prowess, Greg has entertained at functions for the Queensland Reds, the Queensland Bulls, the Brisbane Broncos, the Brisbane Lions and stayed in camp with the Queensland State of Origin team.

Through his affable charisma, dedication and entertainment value, Sully has developed an eminent and likeable public profile throughout Australia.



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.






DOORS: 6.30 – DINNER & SHOW – 7.30




Mandy Nolan Website

For eleven years now the Ballina RSL have been offering comedy lovers a chance to bring in the New Year with a laugh. With a sit down meal, and comedy right up to midnight. This is a totally civilised way to wave goodbye to 2018 and welcome in 2019. Hosted by Big Gig comedian and local legend of laughter Mandy Nolan with some of her favourite funny people.


Release the Bees

Between the two of them, musical comedy duo Release the Bees have been seen everywhere from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Brisbane Comedy Festival and ABC2. The guitarist, David, has also been seen smoking outside comedy venues, which is disappointing.


Dusty Rich

A comedic space-warrior riding a living volcano with one hand whipping the reins and the other gingerly fingering the lava-hot truth that flows freely down all sides – is smothering the world in comedy magma.

His meteoric rise in the Comedy Industry is due to the fact he had learnt to ride meteors at a very young age – a mind meteor, smashing through the atmosphere of mediocre and mundane. Each show is unpredictable and hilarious, leaving audiences gasping for air.


Sean Choolburra

Sean Choolburra is known and acknowledged as the funniest and most enduring Aboriginal Australian comedian. Born in Townsville QLD coming from a family of twelve, his comedy is created from a wide variety of life time experiences, stories, and observations.

​Sean is one of few comedians who choose not ‘profanity’ building his craft around those early comic pioneers. Sean creates his unique brand of comedy which sets him apart and is therefore suitable for audiences of all ages. As a comedian Sean’s audiences whether corporate, private, public sector, or community are always delighted by his wit, energetic delivery, improvisations, and non-stop dance moves.

WITH RICHIE WILLIAMS – Entertaining us over dinner…

Singer, Guitarist Richie Williams is fast making a name for himself on the Australian east coast. Originally from Sydney now based in Northern NSW, Richie’s captivating melodies and quirky heartfelt lyrics drives his original sound, blending funk based soul with acoustic grooves. Richie is due to release his highly anticipated album this summer that he has been co-writing and recording with producer Murray Burns (Mi-Sex, Party Boys) at Studio 301, Byron Bay.