Who is Mandy Nolan?
‘Mandy can make a rock laugh’ – Australian Stage
Comedian, Author, Journalist, MC, Keynote Speaker, Humour Therapist and Educator: Mandy Nolan is a true renaissance woman.
Her peers regularly declare her one of the strongest comedic talents in the country – with over 25 years of industry experience, the girl who kicked off her career supporting her heroes Whoopi Goldberg and Ertha Kitt recently spied Ruby Wax laughing in the front row of her country hall gig. Wax later congratulated Nolan on being ‘hysterically funny.’
Moving to Byron Bay in the mid 90’s Nolan pioneered a thriving comedy scene and heads up seven regular comedy rooms and two comedy festivals in the region. Building industry from the ground up, Mandy has taught over 2000 people stand up comedy…including the Emmy Award winning Hannah Gadsby!
Her love of innovation saw her create Stand UP for Dementia a peer reviewed humour therapy for people with Dementia, the subject of her TEDx talk. She has also created comedy programs for people with lived experience of mental illness, people with disabilities and children. She currently presents Authentic You with Dr George Catsi – a Masterclass that hones narrative and powerful presentation for people wanting to improve their speaking.
As a comedian, along with Ellen Briggs she is one half of the national touring show Women Like Us. The two have performed over 150 shows at Festivals, major cities and small towns across the country. Garnering 5 star reviews at Adelaide Fringe Festival, a spot at Melbourne Town Hall for the International Melbourne Comedy Festival Upfront Gala the comedy team released their memoir collaboration of the same name: Women Like Us and continue to break new ground with their well loved show.
Mandy’s latest collaboration is the Country Witches Association with Irish singer/songwriter Áine Tyrrell. Born from a spirit of disruption, the two pay humorous homage to the CWA by adopting their meeting format and going rogue. Comedy, music and conversation form the basis of this show that seems to have hit a nerve with women around the country, seeing the Country Witches invited to perform at Women of the World Festival, Cygnet Festival in Tasmania, Livid up Late in Sydney and a season at Edinburgh later this year. This follows hot on the heels of their season at Melbourne’s Butterfly Club and shows in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Mandy Nolan is as at home on the page as she is on the stage. In Byron Bay where she lives Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak - in fact Mandy was recently voted the 7th most influential personality in the region!
Her popular weekly column ‘Soapbox’ showcases polarising opinion pieces which are often the catalyst of conversation and debate, shining a fresh perspective on topical issues. Mandy’s columns like her comedy are a passionate voice for the unheard members of society and had her invited to appear as the fifth panelist on ABC TV’s Q&A.
Mandy is also the host of International Award winning podcast The Split - produced by Mamamia - she is also one of their most in demand writers.
Nolan’s background in journalism and comedic skills come to the fore as an event facilitator and panel chair, having fronted Brisbane’s Ideas Festival Panel on GDP and Economic Growth, one of the most popular chairs at Byron Writers Festival where she has chaired panels with feminist writer Clementine Ford, environmental scientist Tim Flannery, maths nerd Adam Spencer, Rock n Roll bad boy Tex Perkins and the legendary Jimmy Barnes.
This led her to create talk show hybrid Byron Live, interviewing guests like Delvene Delaney, Rick Fenn (10cc) and Damon Gameau.
Mandy is in demand as a corporate performer delighting The Conference for Women Parliamentarians with her wit, alongside Julia Guilard, Julie Bishop and speaker of the house Bronwyn Bishop just days before her infamous demotion via helicopter. Mandy’s offbeat charm also sees her as a regular guest on ABC Statewide’s Thank God It’s Friday with Richard Glover, on ABC’s Ask the Doctor with Caroline West and Jean Kitson and numerous episodes of SBS’s Mum’s the Word.
A published author Nolan’s titles include ‘What I Would Do If I Were You’ & ‘Boyfriend’s We’ve all Had and Shouldn’t have.’ Sydney Morning Herald’s Bruce Elder called Nolan ‘the country’s sharpest and wittiest comedic columnist’.
Oh, and by the way, Nolan is also the mother of 5 children, who she credits as the true source of her creativity. ‘When I had kids, everything else looked easy!’