Set in the insta-worthy sprawling hills of South Gippsland, The Hills Are Alive has been a home away from home for music and comedy lovers alike for over a decade. Though this March marks its final soiree for a while, to bid farewell in true THAA style the festival has just added a bunch of Australia’s best up and coming music acts to the 2019 lineup, alongside some of the country’s finest comedians.
With some of the most Hill-arious, notorious and down-right legendary comedians in Australia will be having punters LOLing around all weekend, we are most excited for award-winning comedian Marcus Ryan, who was in fact born and bred in the town of Wonthaggi, making this trip to THAA festival extra special.
“I think every gig’s interesting, and music festivals are a different sort of their own,” Marcus says with a massive smile. “I’ve done a few before but I’ve never actually been at The Hills Are Alive festival.
“I’m not sure what the crowd will be like as it’s a music festival; people are there having a good time, so you have to just treat it for what it is, have fun, get the crowd interactive and make some noise… and hopefully make a few laughs,” he continues.
“I’m from Gippsland and I assume there’s going to be a lot of Gippsland people there, so I’ll do a bunch of jokes about the local area as well, and there’ll be people from elsewhere so I’ll try and belt it out and just cater to the crowd on the day.”
While you can expect some serious laughs at THAA, it will be his performance at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival that will have audiences in stitches, featuring a one hour story telling stand-up of the true, untold stories from his travels that his mum won’t like, but you’ll love (check out the full deets here).
“I’m surprised I haven’t been murdered yet… that’s what this year’s comedy festival show is all about, it’s about just pushing yourself and getting into trouble and having fun along the way,” he laughs.
Well-known as a perennial globetrotter, touring around 42 countries across six continents with his critically acclaimed one-man shows Love Me Tinder, ¿Hablas Inglés? and Walk This Qué, we’re not sure if he’s just really unlucky while travelling, or looking to do stupid things for laugh, but at least he’s come out of it all with a few good stories to tell.
“I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble finds me I swear,” he laughs, “I think I accidentally end up in situations. I mean things happen to everyone, but not everyone is in a job where they can tell stories about it or make it entertaining; in South America I was robbed and nearly died. All these fun things that happen and you manage to get some good travel stories.
“some of the best stories I’ve heard are from people who have never been on stage. Everyone’s got a story to tell, it’s just that not everyone makes a job out of it. I love hearing people’s stories, I’m like wow that’d be a great story, wish it happened to me,” he laughs.
With his comedy resonant of a breath of fresh air, Marcus is continually carving his own path with his show around the world, even bringing English speaking comedy to communities, cities and even countries that have never had it before.
“I don’t want to live in hostels my whole life and that kind of thing but I like the freedom of picking up and just being somewhere else. I find a lot of experiences happen when you’re by yourself, you’re more open to it,” he continues, reflecting on his love of touring the world.
“Maybe I’ll get over it at some point, but at this stage of my life I feel pretty good with it… and I want to get to 100 countries. Not just to visit, but also to perform so that’s a little challenge of mine.”
With 100 countries, we can bet that Marcus will come back with a brand new collection of unfortunate but hilarious tales from the road.
Catch Marcus at The Hills Are Alive from March 29-31 & MICF from April 9-21.