In this week's podcast we say Welcome to Fundaberg, and are treated to a sneak peek at the upcoming comedy show at the Moncrieff.
Local comedian Ashley Walmsley talks about his inspiration and what it is about Bundaberg that makes it so unique. There's also a special appearance by one of Ashley's many alter egos who star in Welcome to Fundaberg.
We then get an overview of the shows on throughout May at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre to make sure you don't miss anything!
Gennavieve Lyons 00:05
Hello and welcome to the Bundaberg Now podcast brought to you by the Bundaberg Regional Council. I'm your host Genevieve Lyons and on today's show we are treated to a special appearance by Ashley Walmsley and one of his alter egos. Ash is a local comedian and has an upcoming show on May 14 at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre. Now, I've already got my ticket, and you can grab yours as well at artsbundaberg.com.au. Adele More sat down with Ash to talk about what people can expect from the show and figure out what Fundaberg is all about.
Adele More 00:40
Thanks so much for joining me today.
Ashley Walmsley 00:42
Thank you, Adele. Good to be here.
Adele More 00:44
So your show's been described as a hyper local comedy. What does that mean?
Ashley Walmsley 00:49
So I think my thinking was that there's a lot of other comedians and stuff around today and it probably biggest city sort of stuff. And it's, it's almost and without having a jab at them. It's almost become a bit cliche, to just to do the checklist of topics. Just to do relationships and share housing and, you know, the commute to work and unemployment and COVID that's become the new topic. I just thought it was a great opportunity to, to central in on Bundaberg and its quirkiness and its idiosyncrasies and its character and characters that make it what it is. So yeah, I'm not sure if it's ever sort of been done before, to be honest, whereby, especially in a regional area where it is just focused on that to a region. So the whole thing, it's not a total, you know, there's bits and pieces about other bits and pieces in there in the show. But yeah, largely a fair bit of Bundaberg material which obviously Bundaberg residents will get or if you lived in Bundaberg or even visited Bundaberg, I'm sure you'll understand so the idea is that we are we're all in on it. We're all in on it and we're not you know, chucking off at Bundy. It's just that I think it's such rich, fertile ground that we can have a bit of a chuckle at ourselves, I suppose.
Yeah. So it's not so much a dig at Bundaberg. It's more of an exploration of our quirkiness?
That's exactly right. Yeah, yeah. So and I think that works too because people and Bundaberg is so laid back that we can have a bit of a laugh at ourselves. And it's not about you know, being too stiff so we can you know, we all acknowledge that the old bridge is closed every second Sunday for painting and we know that when you go to Bargara, we've got low phosphorus lights for the turtles, and we love the turtles hard to cook a steak house under those lights. You know, it's really is it cooked is it not? So anyway, those sort of things. I think they sort of resonate with people on and hopefully there'll be a few aha moments throughout. Like yeah that's right. Yeah, I know I've had Hungry Tum chips and gravy and they are the best on the planet and we acknowledge that. So yeah, those sort of things. I think it's just good fun. And that comes back to the whole theme of it. Welcome to Fundaberg and that's we have a good time and Bundaberg that's what we do.
Adele More 03:09
Great. So you're a Bundy local from way back. So you'd be calling a lot of your own experiences for inspiration?
Ashley Walmsley 03:16
Yeah that's right. I grew up in Bundaberg and have lived elsewhere but have almost come full circle really, so we my wife and I, live in Bundaberg with three kids and it is a great place to raise a family and part of that is you know encompassing that in the show. So yeah and I think the nostalgia bit is fertile ground as well to draw on and you can you know pick and choose probably my generation I suppose and bit older like you miss things about Bundaberg and I think it's fun to recollect like the Modern Milly's theme. It was It's been a while since I've heard the Modern Milly's theme. There used to be a crocodile at the free zoo, meaning how many, you know, towns had a free public council run crocodile in their zoo, so that that sort of thing. It'd be great to see Oz Rock Arcade come back up the Main Street, I think slim hopes of that and those sort of things. But I'll probably still got a Bus and Turner voucher there that I've never cashed in. But I'd say it's probably too late for that to go. So, you know, there's plenty of history there to draw on as well. And yeah people sort of hopefully go, Oh, yeah, I remember.
Adele More 03:32
That might also be great for people new to towns, like me that might not get some of the old references.
Ashley Walmsley 04:33
And that's the thing, how you've got to strike that balance of, of the Bundaberg stuff, but also a bit of just general humour, which is the idea. So you have tried to make that bit of a balance. So even if you've, you know, you just come to town and you come to the show, you still have a laugh, and maybe walk away and you know, explore a few things a bit more. Yeah, the idea is to probably almost a promo for Bundaberg in some way so people come along and think, ‘Yeah, what are the mystery craters all about? Are they mysterious? I better go find out of it this sort of thing.' You know, how do you pronounce South Kolan? It's not South Colon. So, you know, you've got to go and explore those sorts of things. So I think that you have two way purpose there.
Adele More 05:18
Yeah. Great. Awesome. So is this your first time doing comedy?
Ashley Walmsley 05:22
I've been doing it for a while. So I had to go with the Triple J royal comedy competition in 2009. So you know, it's over 10 years ago now, and eventually ended up coming runner up at the national competition that was held in Melbourne. And that was, yeah, really motivating, I suppose. So since then, I've done a fair bit of corporate stuff. And I'm an ag journalist by trade. So in the agriculture conference field, there's been a few different things. And that's really great. Because similarly, you can do niche sort of agriculture humour, if you want to call it that. And so just on bits and pieces, and a few silly videos online from time to time, and the internet's great, you can sort of have an outlet there. So I do really enjoy it, and enjoy the process of, of developing it. But certainly, welcome to Fundaberg would be the biggest show I've done, have not done an hour before. So there's been a fair bit of refining and culling and adding and swapping around and getting advice. So yeah, should be good.
Adele More 06:27
So become your characters on stage?
Ashley Walmsley 06:31
Yeah, I think probably a bit more of a character comment than just the the stand up dead pan. And I do enjoy that because you can have a bit of fun with that. So we'll watch, on the night there'll be a few videos as well that have played. So, not that they're sort of well known characters, but I suppose is the Ringer is one guy. A bushy sort of blow in who's tried a bit of everything, and you know, probably not overly politically correct, but he's very nice, honourable sort of a guy, so he'll probably share a few thoughts. There's Australia's least qualified gardening celebrity Gerkin Jarvis. He's who I think on a video might make an appearance. And yeah, maybe even someone sort of doing a live demonstration from one of the larger big box hardware stores, shall we say? Where lowest prices are just the beginning. So those sort of things. I think that really resonate and people can, you know, relate to a character.
Adele More 07:34
So it's obviously something that you are not afraid to sit with in the audience with the kids or your parents?
Ashley Walmsley 07:42
No, no, it's all clean. I do pride myself on that fairly as a thing, that it is clean. And, yeah, look, you can I say, bring the kids along, whether they're gonna get it or not, I'm not sure you know, people think you bring that you bring the 12 year old or the seven year old along and they're probably gonna ask where is Electro Breweries? I've never heard of that sort of thing. So feel free, that's fine. But interestingly, there's a bit of a conundrum going on from people I've heard just friends and that booking tickets, they want to go along and palm the kids off to the grandparents, but the grandparents are coming along as well. So there's this dearth of, or shortage of babysitters.
Adele More 08:26
Maybe that could be another skit?
Ashley Walmsley 08:27
They're very, very much Well, I should have opened a crèche on the night as a side hustle, you know? So yeah, but yeah, no, very, very clean. And, and yeah, no, no blue language or anything like that, which is a bit of a bit more of a challenging comedy. I reckon. It's easy to be crass and funny, but to try and squeeze humour out of you know, and do it in a good clean fun. Yeah, good. Clean. Fundaberg. Oh, see what I did there. That's Yeah.
Adele More 08:57
All right. So this Ringer character sounds pretty interesting. Can you tell me a bit more about him?
Ashley Walmsley 09:01
Would you like to meet him? Hang on hang on just a minute. Adele is it?
Adele More 09:10
Yes, it is.
Ashley Walmsley 09:12
Good. They call me the Ringer. Been around a bit, seen a few things in my time. Old mate, old funny boy out the front there reckons should ever chat to you. Look I think I better stick my head in on the show he's trying to do you know he's given it a red hot guy probably you know, funny as a shark attack really, but we'll have a bit of a crack. But yeah, look. I guess if I'm gonna do anything out there, it's gonna be a little bit it's got to be a bit Bundaberg centric hasn’t it. So I have been finding, and any cane growers out there will know this, that I'm trying to support the sugar industry the best I can and so my way I do that is I relate how many or correlate how many teaspoons of sugar. I'm putting in my tea to the world sugar price, right? Yeah, I don't have a graph but I probably should so if it drops down to that eight to 10 cents a pound on the world market, I'm putting four in. Four sugars in my tea. So that sort of thing. So I'm pretty jazzed for most of the day. But other things yeah, look it's I guess I'll be doing a snake show there. Yeah, I don't want to give too much about that away. Not a great deal of a snake fan but I think they you know, we can do that. And just other bits and pieces I suppose me share a few thoughts. Roundabout, say yeah, that's what I'll be doing. I'd reckon. Oh, we're looking forward to it. Oh, that's how you're gonna go. My horse is parked in the loading zone. Okay, so I'm just gonna go.
Adele More 10:39
No worries, thanks for stopping by. What a character.
Ashley Walmsley 10:48
What in depth characterisation, man! I should do a show. Wow. Or not, not sure. Well, we shall see.
Adele More 10:57
We shall. Yes. Well, thank you so much for stopping by Ash is great to have you talk to us today and the Ringer, obviously.
Ashley Walmsley 11:04
No worries. No, thanks Adele, has been great.
Adele More 11:06
And anyone out there listening your can still get tickets to a show on the 14th of May. It's at 7:30pm at the Moncrieff.
Gennavieve Lyons 11:14
There's an exciting lineup of shows at the Moncrieff this May so here's Kylie Lane with some more information.
Kylie Lane 11:19
Crossing over genres now to a project assisted through the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Indigenous Languages and Arts program to search for cultural identity. Jessie Lloyd's mission songs will take the audience on a musical journey across Australia through intimate storytelling, moving harmonies and historical insights, exploring the day to day life on missions and settlements. With COVID restrictions now having eased throughout the state, we've all been waiting to be able to get our toes tapping again. And on the 19th of May you can do just that, with A Taste of Ireland performing live on stage. This Irish music and dance sensation starring dancers from Lord of the Dance and River Dance will have you jigging into the night with their energetic tap battles and folk music mashups. And we still have some great seats available for that one. At the end of May, we're excited to welcome John Butler to Bundaberg for his rescheduled show. For fans of John they'll be pleased to know his concert will now be on the eve of the Bundaberg Show holiday so they'll be able to enjoy a fabulous night out and not have to work the next day. Whether your interest lies in comedy, live music, dance or drama. We have something for everyone here at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre search artsbundaberg.com.au to see all of our upcoming events or pop into the box office to collect a copy of our latest program the Winter Edition.
Gennavieve Lyons 12:46
That's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this week's comedic special. Join me again next week for more stories from across the region. Bye for now.