Arts / Holding up the moon with laughter

Chris Marlton… “We want people to know that there are a lot of talented comedians living here in Canberra.”

HERE’S something different – a comedy festival that comes with the “official endorsement” of the ANU Physics Society and the Science Society ANU.

“Yes, it’s 100 per cent true,” Canberra comedian Chris Marlton says of the coming night of local stand-up comedy, “Floating Moon”, quickly adding that it’s “just a comedic idea – the moon is going to crash into earth if we don’t hold it up with laughter.”

Ever vigilant in astronomical matters, “CityNews” found that two days after the festival, on August 26, there will be a full moon, but alas, Marlton reveals, what they’re billing as a lunar ritual is only “faux science”.

“We want people to know that there are a lot of talented comedians living here in Canberra,” Marlton says.

He and his nano-tech mate Rafael Florez wanted to put together an event featuring short comedy interludes and music with the aim of doing weirder and edgier material while creating a unique ambience.

With local comedian Frances McNair as MC, they’ve managed to snare some top comic talent, including former Canberra Comedy Festival headliner Anthony Tomic. Marlton himself joins comedians Maddy Weeks, Nick Schuller, Taylor Coughtrie, James McMahon, Al Thorne and Laura Emerson on stage.

First up will be five, short, comic segments and in the second half, two longer ones. The short films will relate to the lunar theme to give the event some kind of street cred, while local sound artist and “vibrational high-priest” Benjamin Harb will provide live soundscapes “beamed directly from the lunar surface” (you can take that with a grain of salt) during the intermission.

Scientifically inclined readers can safely ignore the billing as “part gravitational proof… open to all lovers of theoretical physics and space-time logic”. Nonetheless, the organisers say, all who attend will leave with certificates of accreditation.

“Floating Moon” ANU Pop Up Club, 7.30pm, Friday, August 24. Bookings to


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