Canberra comedian Frankie McNair is one of five top-line female Canberra stand-up comics set to take the Canberra Theatre’s Link Bar stage as part of the sold-out comedy showcase That’s What She Said this Friday 11 September.
McNair told Canberra Weekly performing as part of an all-female Canberra line-up is something of a full circle experience for her.
“The reason I started was because I saw a showcase of Canberra female comics at Melbourne comedy festival called Act Like a Lady,” she said.
Chris Ryan, Sue Stanic, Tanya Losanno and Laura Campbell all accompany McNair on the bill.
“It’s great to get us front to centre and show people you can have a showcase of all female comics and it’s not any different to any other,” she said.
McNair performed her first gig since February back in August to kick start the Canberra Theatre Link Bar Series as part of the live season finale of Chris Endrey’s The World From Here.
“Everyone was just so excited to be at something again.”
While having that downtime over lockdown was tough for her – and certainly a shared experience for many in the arts – McNair said she’s found a new appreciation for her craft coming out the other side.
“When the first lockdown happened that was around (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) time, me and a bunch of other comedians had the next few months of our lives planned out.
“It was really hard because we didn’t know when we’d be able to perform again, we’d been working toward it for so long.
“To have it put on an indefinite pause, it was a pretty big hit for my mental health … I felt very directionless and flat,” she said.
“Now I’m having so much more fun than I was while lockdown happened, I’m enjoying being on stage way more.
Since going on sale last week, tickets for That’s What She Said have sold out two shows, a reflection of Canberra’s veracious appetite for live performance.
With local artists currently getting more opportunities to perform at premiere venues like the Canberra Theatre, McNair said she hopes that audiences keep seeking out local artists once more established interstate and international acts are able to tour again.
“Canberra has such a broad artistic community … I hope people remember to go and see local comedians and artists because there are so many great ones here.
“Usually we see people when they have success, which comes after 15 or so years of performing … It’s kind of exciting to see people before they hit that point because you get to see them grow and evolve.”
Alongside That’s What She Said, McNair, Ryan, Campbell, and fellow comic Agata Nabagło have started a new open mic room at sideway Bar in Civic that runs every second Thursday.
“We’re focused on being more inclusive open mic room where people from all walks of life can get up and come along,” she said.
For more information visit Sideway’s Comedy on Facebook.