Austen Tayshus and Mandy Nolan: 2020 Vision

2020 Vision is coming to Northern NSW this summer and a is must-see on the comedy calendar.

Two of Australia’s wittiest comedians, Austen Tayshus and Mandy Nolan, will have you laughing about all sorts of issues as they go back to back on Australian politics and race, through to more daily topics like nappies, children and hormones. They will summarise the first two decades of the millennia and share their vision on what lies ahead in 2020. WARNING: This show is not for the faint-hearted.

“Stand up comedy is immediate so you get instant feedback,” says the erudite Austen Tayshus. Austen is infamous for his 1980s satirical piece ‘Australiana’, but says that has since become the platform for him to deliver his best work.

After studying film and directing at AFTRS in the 1970s alongside the likes of Phillip Noyce and Gillian Armstrong, he confesses to loving movies.

“My shows are about ideas that occur to me while watching cinema, art and literature,” he says. “At the moment I’m watching ‘Marriage Story’. Why would anyone get married?”

No stranger to taboo subjects like religion, race and politics, in 2010 Austen Tayshus (aka Sandy Gutman) ran for parliament against Tony Abbott, representing the Australian Sex Party which challenged the influence of religion in Australian politics. He didn’t win the seat but the party’s push did result in a Royal Commission inquest into sexual abuse of children in religious institutions which did provide him with some satisfaction.

Austen Tayshus has been described as the Great White Shark of Australian comedy and is certainly polarising and incisive. By his own omission he involves people in the crowd and messes with them. “I pick on people but always leave them laughing a lot,” he says. He particularly loves performing in the Northern Rivers. “The audiences have everyone from hippies, to yobbos, to eclectics, to professors! You can’t get a better audience than Byron.”

Mandy Nolan is (slightly) less confrontational than Austen Tayshus, and says her material is about everyday life and funny moments. Her gift in comedy is distilling down an everyday issue so that is hilarious but still stings. Austen describes her as “Sharp and proud,” while Mandy say about Austen that “his humour is how he sees the world, satirical soup, about race, religion and is very Australian.” Together, they make one fantastic Vision 2020.

Vision 2020 is a whirlwind tour, with five shows in seven nights. Locals can catch them on 6 Jan at Byron Services Club and 8 Jan at The Regent Theatre Murwillumbah. For full tour dates and tickets (priced at an amazing $30), pop on over to Austen Tayshus also has another show on 24 January at Melbas on the Park.

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