– by Anna Oldham
Have you ever felt like you’re being watched… in the shower… by me? You will now. – Cory John Rist
Amateur Perth comedians took to the stage at His Majesty’s Theatre (or “the Maj”) on the 14th of March to compete in the RAW Comedy 2015 WA State Finals. Established in 1996 and hailed as Australia’s biggest comedy event, this annual battle of wits has been the starting point for many famous comedians, including Chris Lilley, Josh Thomas, Chris Franklin, Hannah Gadsby, and Matt Okine. Running from January until April, heats are held all over Australia with each comedian performing original five minute acts of stand-up, sketch, and/or music.
The theatre was packed with people eager to laugh with (and of course, on occasion at) the performers and they were not disappointed. MC Damian Clark kept the audience in high spirits between sets with seemingly effortless ease, and the cynical observations of Michael Workman were a perfect end to the night.
Receiving the greatest laughs and applause of the night, Cory John Rist unsurprisingly took out the winning title for delivering a deadpan act that would give the likes of Dave Hughes a run for his money. Other noteworthy performances included the musically comedic Ben Ebsworth, who demonstrated the effort that goes into the creation of club music and Hayden Stevens, who told amusing tales of life in a wheelchair and how he keeps getting targeted by parking inspectors.
As the winner of the WA State Final, Cory John Rist will go on to represent WA at the RAW Comedy Grand Final in Melbourne on the 12th of April. This will be broadcast on ABC2 and the winner will get the chance to enter the Edinburgh Fringe Festival—the world’s largest annual comedy event—for the chance to compete in ‘So you Think You’re Funny.’
Photo credits: RAW Comedy