Theatre People talks with the stars of Bustco’s Comedy Festival Offering ‘PUNCHLINE’: Spencer Hadlow, Nick Rudich, Toby Pollock, Greta Georgiou, Claire Frost and Shane Savage.

TP: Why is the show called PUNCHLINE?

Spencer: The show is called PUNCHLINE because that is the name the director chose, and because if we didn’t agree we’d be locked in the linen closet, again.
Nick: Crap name, I agree. I’m still hoping for a last minute change to either "Nick & friends", "The Amazing Nickolachi" or even just "Nick".
Toby: The show’s called PUNCHLINE because it was the best thing we could come up with after Shane pitched "Shane Savage and the Magnificent 7." I also think it’s called PUNCHLINE due to Shane’s love of "A Chorus Line."
Greta: The show is called PUNCHLINE because it was the diamond in the rough amongst the other names Shane picked for this show.
Claire: It’s called PUNCHLINE because we’re like a line of pigeons on a wire cute and chubby but you want to punch one of them when they take a crap on stage.
Shane: After a gruelling 97 hour meeting decided that "Blue paint on my walls", "Shopping bag" and "The printer needs more paper" didn’t appeal to the general comedy festival public, PUNCHLINE was born.

TP: Have you ever punched anyone?

Shane: Yes. With line after line of comedy gold. *audience groans*
Claire: I believe in peace on earth, so I wait till they turn around, then ‘attack’!
Greta: I don’t think I’ve punched someone but I’ve had someone punched for me… That’s just how I work. People do for me…
Toby: I’d like to think that I’ve tried to punch people before but I’m not sure, I sometimes get punching confused with tickling.
Nick: No, although people don’t usually pick fights with me out of fear (I’m a black belt in Pilates).
Spencer: No, I’m more of a slapper.

TP: How do you feel on the subject of lines, what do they mean to you?

Spencer: I like lines: clotheslines, powerlines, airlines, guidelines, coastlines and of course PUNCHLINE!
Nick: Well, now that PUNCHLINE has launched me into celebrity status, I expect that I’ll never have to line up for anything ever again. Nando’s, I’m looking at YOU.
Toby: I don’t feel strongly about them one way or the other. I guess those coloured lines in hospitals that tell you where to go are pretty nifty. The lines in colouring books piss me off though.
Greta: Lines are good. They lead you places. They’re much better than circles because circles just mean you’re going round and round again and you get nowhere. So I’m glad the show isn’t called PUNCHCIRCLE.
Claire: When I drive I need to stop sticking my head of the window and counting the lines on the road.

Shane: Lines are one of the most versatile things in today’s society; they can be handy on paper yet sexy in a chorus.

TP: Why is being in a comedy show a serious business?

Shane: Comedy is definitely a serious business; it’s a lot harder to be funny on stage than people think. So much work goes into a show, and especially in a group devised show like PUNCHLINE, where we have to write our own material and then tweak and tweak and tweak until we find the perfect timing/character etc. So long answer short: Boobies.
Claire: I think the real question is: Business serious a show comedy a in being is why?
Greta: Being in a comedy show really isn’t "serious" at all. It’s a lot of fun… Well until you cop a shoulder in the head on preview night… SPENCER!
Toby: Because if people don’t laugh, how else are we to validate our own self-worth?
Nick: Because if you don’t laugh I’ll seriously kick you in the Pubics.
Spencer: Comedy shows are serious business…. because we’re seriously intent on making you wet your pants a little.