Anna Piper Scott: Such An Inspiration

Reviewed by Erin Hill

An aptly named show from a performer with the savvy to handle a heckle from gravity itself, Such an Inspiration takes malevolent “chaos demon” joy in the darkness of the human experience.

I’ll open with one critique though; what is it about people from Anna Piper Scott’s community that they feel the incessant need to identify themselves within the first few seconds of conversation?  We get it… you’re from Perth. No need to ram your Western Australian agenda down our throats. Anna Piper Scott is also a trans woman and lesbian but she barely gets a chance to talk about it around the “Fremantle this” and “the mining industry that”.

Yeah… I don’t know a lot about Perth.

One thing I do know about is a masterclass in searing, comedic social commentary and Anna Piper Scott’s Such an Inspiration is just that. From comparing cis-gendered folks opting for pronouns like a popular brand of cola (spoiler alert, it’s not LA Ice); to the bittersweet realisation that transitioning to a woman is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for having an opinion on sport, Anna holds both the rooms attention and a mirror up to us all, grinning throughout with macabre delight.

Anna provides a perfectly weighted tension sustained throughout an hour of comedy exploring the common pre-written narratives for trans women; as punchline, villain or victim. She offers a fourth option; human being. At the core of this show is a call to arms for humanity, and the singular truth that in the midst of great darkness, upheaval and distress, that the first indication that you’ll be okay is when you can make a joke about it.

And Anna makes a lot of jokes about it. Genuinely laugh-out-loud, snort-inducing jokes. For someone trying to be a human being first and comedian second, she very almost fails. But not quite.

Anna Piper Scott’s show Such an Inspiration is hilarious, moving and captivating.

Also, I Googled it, apparently Perth also has gorgeous blooming wildflowers.

Anna Piper Scott performs Such An Inspiration at The Butterfly House until April 14

Anna Piper: Queer & Present Danger

By Lisa Clark 

Anna Piper Scott is such a brilliant stand up comedian. Forged in the dark comedy rooms of Western Australia, she comes to us, having journeyed throughout Australia, with all of the skills of the best kind of comedian. She owns the stage, keeps the laughs rolling and is a joy to spend time with.

Anna is warm and welcoming and understands how to make others feel safe and included. Even hecklers, who, rather than spoiling the show, gave Anna the space to prove how fucking awesome she is at dealing with them. Adding them to the show, so that the experience is part of the whole, she’s going to accept them and get big unexpected improvised laughs out of it without being unnecessarily nasty. This makes the rest of the audience feel safe and included as well. Impressive stuff. Some comedians say they are inclusive, but Anna really means it.

Last time I saw Anna it was in a two hander with Sofie Joske called Almost Lesbians. It was one of my highlights of the 2018 festival. It too was warm and welcoming but also kooky, sketchy and a bit rough around the edges. There is nothing rough about Queer and Present Danger. Highly polished, well written and executed, Anna has blossomed and found her voice and her comfort zone on stage. This was a very personal coming out show but I also love the topical and political stuff that make appearances. She names political names making the audience gasp as they laugh. Perfect edge for a late night show at the Festival.

It’s only been just over 3 years that Anna has been out as Trans and one of those years was barely a year, so it’s impressive that she can joke about it all with some perspective. There are a few dark moments but it’s not long before we are laughing again. I am in awe that she’s been able to create such a beautiful, emotionally satisfying and breathtakingly funny Festival show out of her experience. Anna is one of those people who is a born comedian. She can’t help it.

Anna Piper Scott performs Queer & Present Danger at The Butterfly Club til Apr 4

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards for 2018

This year instead of being presented in the middle of the night at the Festival Club as is traditional, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were instead presented at 1pm in the afternoon at Belleville. It was more relaxed and civilised with drinks and nibblies (and better lighting for photos) and it was great knowing that everyone in the room was involved and invested in the results, but sort of sad that it was restricted to invite only. I was very lucky to be invited, but other fans on the rim of the festival, but just as invested would have been sad (as I was when this happened once in the past) to not be a part of that middle of the night wild excitement and joy when a favourite, or someone you’ve discovered wins an award.

I can’t deny that there was some surprise as well as delight for Sam Campbell’s win. Although he has been performing in Sydney for a while and getting some TV work (you may have seen him on The Checkout), he’s still pretty much under the radar of the general public. We fell in love with his work when we saw Zanzoop! early in it’s run in 2016 and spent the rest of the Festival telling anyone who would listen that they should go and see the strange talk show hosted by a wise cracking alien in a back alley nightclub. This year we loved both shows he was involved with; his own, The Trough and Anne Edmond’s Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinnaker Lounge where he played Helen’s long suffering, very awkward son Connor.


Hannah Gadsby Presenting The Barry Award from New York

Barry Award, for the best show: Sam Campbell The Trough  

Nominees for The Barry Award:
Alex Edelman (USA)- Just for Us 
Anne Edmonds – as Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinaker Lounge
Tim Key (UK) – Megadate
Lano & Woodley (Colin Lane and Frank Woodley) – Fly!
Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Horndog!
Celia Pacquola – All Talk
Natalie Palamides (USA) – Laid


The Best Newcomer: Danielle Walker Bush Rat 

Danielle Walker

This award was presented by Sarah Dodds of Soho Theatre who will be bringing Danielle to London to make her Debut at The Soho Theatre.

Nominees for The Best Newcomer Award:
Paul Williams(NZ) – Summertime Love
Stephanie Tisdell – Identity Steft
Garry Starr – Performs Everything
Lewis Garnham – The Smartest Idiot You’ll Ever Meet
Nadia Collins – Virgin Bloody Mary


The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): 

Cam Venn

Cam Venn for 
Charles Horse Lays An Egg
The prize is a Bottle of Red Wine and was presented by Lynda Gibson’s Niece Emma Maye Gibson, also known as Betty Grumble

Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott  – Almost Lesbians
Garry Starr  – Performs Everything 
Julia Rorke & Elysia Hall – Not Another F***** B**** In India
Michelle Brasier & Laura Frew
(Double Denim) – Double Denim Adventure Show]

Lano & Woodley

People’s Choice Award:
Lano & Woodley – Fly!

This award signifies that Fly! sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.


The Directors’ Choice Award:
Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew for Double Denim Adventure Show



The Pinder Prize: Demi Lardner – I Love Skeleton 
This Award funds her trip to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival.



Heath Franklin

Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians):
Heath Franklin – Bogan Jesus 


Funny Tonne Winner: Alasdair Bryant (76 Shows)

Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Leon Filewood (QLD)

RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Bec Melrose (NSW)  
Bec has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?.
RAW Runners-Up: Gavin Sempel (VIC), Emma Holland (ACT)

Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Liam Adam, Carlin Carruth & Kyle Bennett (QLD) as ‘Awkward’!
Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Dusty Diddle (VIC),
Nina Cowley-Mousinho (QLD)
Shiloh Rea (QLD)
Nicholas Doring (NSW)

Almost Lesbians by Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott

By Lisa Clark 

Somehow, I’ve managed to see a lot more straight male comedy at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival than I usually do. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was like a cool drink of water on a hot day for me to experience Almost Lesbians at the Imperial Hotel. The delightful double act of Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott are here to share their stories, have a lot of fun with gendered politics and more importantly make you laugh.

The comedy duo of Sophie and Anna hail from Perth and have a fantastic best friend type rapport. They make a great double act of Anna as sarky straight man /woman, (Goodness, we need another less gendered term for this!) and Sophie as the wacky 2nd Banana constantly in danger of taking the show off the rails. Of course there’s a place in the show where these roles become reversed, proving that comedy like sexuality can be creatively fluid. The girls have thrown everything at this, costumes, wigs, characters, singing, dance, drag show inspired lip-synching, audio visual gags and all of it actually runs very smoothly.

Almost Lesbians is an early show with a late night vibe. They do a great job creating a gay nightclub atmosphere and show how the intrusion of even well-meaning straight people into this world can sometimes be annoying to downright offensive. The impression of a drunk cis straight young woman in a gay bar was one of the funniest I’ve seen.

There is a dark underbelly to Almost Lesbians, but never too dark, often it’s just downright silly and has a sweet and warm heart. This isn’t the most polished show in the Festival and could probably do with a bit of editing, but sometimes a show that’s a bit rough around the edges can be a refreshing experience, like it’s performers. Sophie and Anna are fairly new on the scene and I hope to see a lot more of them in the future.

Almost Lesbians is on at The Imperial until April 8