Brianna is a stand-up comedian. This is her life: an unfortunate name, a boring childhood, slow self-realisation, a late coming-out. Drink. Standing in smelly rooms with strange men who all tell the same jokes. Vomiting on stage. Carrying on anyway. Is there a reason? Probably not. Just a way of coping with your own mediocrity. Whose life is this anyway?

Zoë Coombs Marr’s brilliant new play is a portrait of a life in a comedy routine. Well, five overlapping comedy routines, from five Briannas at different ages, performed by five foolhardy actresses. It is funny. And it is not funny. It is about being funny when funny is all you have.

Is This Thing On? is a kind of Don Quixote for the female comic – a magnificent and stupid quest for one shining moment of specialness which may have already happened.


Madeleine Benson
Genevieve Giuffre
Fiona Press
Susan Prior
Nat Randall


By Zoë Coombs Marr
Directors Kit Brookman & Zoë Coombs Marr
Set & Costume Designer Ralph Myers
Lighting Designer Verity Hampson
Composer & Sound Designer Steve Toulmin
Stage Manager Mel Dyer




laugh-out-loud funny…

Jason Blake | The Sydney Morning Herald

The script itself is hilarious…

Ben Neutze | Daily Review

Staged as a stand up routine, Is This Thing On? is nevertheless a tightly scripted play telling one woman’s life and the way that and the comedy routine are meshed makes some of the best writing of this year.

Diana Simmonds | Stage Noise

Like all great comedy it is all instantly recognisable but also splendidly new.

John McCallum

Is This Thing On? is exuberant, celebratory theatre

Dee Jefferson | Time Out