An oldie but a goldie

Comedian Mandy Nolan (at rear in green) conducted workshops in stand up comedy for the over 60s in Lismore. She, and they, had a ball. The skills learned will be showcased at the Big Joke Comedy Festival in Bangalow in February.

This week at the Lismore Workers Club, seniors in search of a laugh attended the Shooting From My Hip Replacement workshop run by the hippest of them all, Mandy Nolan.

Stand up comedy is all about telling your story, seeing the humour in it and having a good time in the telling.

These people have a story to tell and the community will hear them as part of the Big Joke Comedy Festival in Bangalow from February 14-17. The festival features some of Australias finest comedians in a variety of shows as well as workshops and other comic activities.

The group will be sharing their life stories where they grew up, their relationships, their families, their dreams, their occupations, their triumphs and their struggles (and why scooters dont come with spoilers and mags...).

Its a workshop that Mandy Nolan has done before when she conducted a Seniors Week program in Caloundra, Queensland.

I have taught nearly 1000 people stand up comedy, and I have to say that I have never been as moved and inspired as I was working with seniors, Mandy said.

One of the participants is Marjorie Brewster from New Brighton. She is 73 and an amputee.

You dont know how funny life is until youve got one leg, she said. I have really enjoyed the workshop. Its a fun thing to do. It makes you feel younger. Just brilliant.

Des Bleasdale from Mullumbimby is 80. And as sharp as a tack.

I saw a blurb in The Echo about this Shooting From My Hip Replacement workshop, Des said. I was interested because I had found a whole heap of titanium replacement hips at the dump. Ill use them as door handles.

You can see the results of these elders efforts when they perform their first-ever five-minute stand up spot when Shooting From My Hip Replacement premieres at the Big Joke Comedy Festival on Thursday, February 14, at 10.30am, at the Bangalow Bowling Club.

Mandy will be, of course, MC.

Tickets are $15 and can be bought at The Urban in Bangalow. Phone 6687 2000 or buy tickets at the door. For more info on the festival visit

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