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Future Funny Folks

For many, public speaking is one of the most nerve-racking things a human can do. Add to that the pressure of trying to make an audience laugh? Nightmare fuel.

This month, a bunch of the Territory’s bravest teens take to the stage for the Darwin heat of Class Clowns, Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s (MICF) national secondary school comedy competition.

By Kate Conway

Part workshop, part competition, the program is designed to encourage teens with a talent for or interest in comedy to develop their craft and gain confidence in the art form. Luckily for prospective jokers, they’re supported prior to the event by experienced facilitators, Sarah Reuben and Brent Watkinson.

“We run a two-hour workshop with the participants, helping to polish up their set and give them a few tips on stagecraft and presentation, to make sure they feel comfortable and confident before the actual performance,” says Reuben.

“We’re here to make them shine the brightest that they possibly can.”

Personally involved with MICF for over 15 years, Reuben says Class Clowns is an integral part of the Australian comedy landscape.

“An industry or festival doesn’t exist unless you have new artists coming in, bolstering the ranks, and making people who have been in the industry for a long time – and audiences who have seen a lot of comedy – think outside of what they’ve seen before,” she says.

“You’re never going to get that without young people who have the confidence and the know-how to do that. Class Clowns is the perfect way to make the industry that I love the best it possibly can be right now, but also for future generations of comedy lovers.”

With a chance to represent the NT at the national grand final up for grabs, held during this year’s MICF, the stakes are high. But Reuben says the event is about having fun and showcasing young talent.

“The whole event is geared towards really highlighting these young people, their amazing achievements, and their awesome brains, performance skills and their comedy chops,” she says.

Head along to see the next generation of Territory comics flex their comedic muscles. You never know, you could be witnessing the next big thing!

Class Clowns
COST $15

Thumbnail & Header: Shayla Keane, photo: Jim Lee MICF
Header: Hardy Croucher, photo: Jim Lee MICF

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