This year, more than ever, we all need a laugh and Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is delighted to be able to share the laughs with even more women.

Let your staff know that you’re thinking of them during these difficult times, by buying them a virtual front seat.  Tickets can be pre-purchased by your organisation, and a promo code generated for staff to use to access their tickets and the exclusive link to the live streamed event.  To find out how email – whw@jeanhailes.org.au

Hosted by Claire Hooper, this one-night only comedy event Saturday 26th September at 7.30pm (AEST) will feature the impressive talents of Celia Pacquola, Cal Wilson, Zoe Coombs MarrJude Perl, Aditi Mittal, Joanne Kam, and Nikki Britton.

  • Note: the Comedy Gala was originally due to be broadcast on Saturday 5th September but has been postponed 3 weeks to 26th September because of strict stage four COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. For more details, see our News post.
  • We regret to announce that Steph Tisdell has had to cancel due to illness. We are delighted to announce Joanne Kam and Nikki Britton will now be joining the line up as late additions.

Claire Hooper

TV viewers know her as team captain on Good News Week, and as co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off (alongside fellow comedian Mel Buttle). Live comedy audiences know ‘Hoops’ for her hilariously inventive and wholly engaging live shows. Exuding warmth and intelligence, we are absolutely thrilled to have this wonderfully relatable and joyously entertaining host for our show.

‘Mistress of the deadpan straight-face, irony-laden punch line’ –Australian Stage.

Celia Pacquola

Celia first picked up a mic as a Raw Comedy contestant in 2006, and soon set about learning her craft and earning her stripes at pubs, clubs, and festivals across Australia and beyond. In 2008 she won Best Comedy award at Melbourne Fringe, and went on to pick up a swathe of nominations and awards in Australia and the UK including a gong for Best Comedy Performer at the 2018 Helpmann Awards. 2020 saw an especially glittery award hit Celia’s mantlepiece as she whirled into the hearts of the nation with a winning turn on Dancing With The Stars.

Probably best known for her role as Emma on ABC’s Rosehaven (which she writes alongside co-star Luke McGregor), Celia has well and truly cemented herself as one of the top tier actor/comedians in Australia.

“One of our most gifted stand-ups at the top of her game" The Age

Cal Wilson

You would have seen her lightning fast wit and improvisational genius on display on shows such as Have You Been Paying Attention?, Spicks and Specks, QI, and Thank God You’re Here. A gifted comedy writer and an absolute gem of a standup, Australia’s favourite New Zealander is a perennial favourite at festivals around the country. Some of you may know that Cal has written two children’s books (George And The Great Brain Swappery and George And The Great Bum Stampede), but did you know that she is also pretty handy with a glue gun? Well, now you do. Cal is a superstar of craft as well as a superstar of laughs.

‘There was often not a moment to rest, with long periods of the show where your face just hurt from non-stop laughter’ - Scenstr

Zoe Coombs-Marr

Zoe grew up in the New South Wales town of Grafton, where she and her best friend staged a musical instead of going to schoolies week. Thankfully, the comedy industry offers their own version of schoolies week in the form of festivals, at which Zoe has excelled. In 2016, her show Trigger Warning won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Most Outstanding Show award as well as the Golden Gibbo, and two Green Room Awards. It was also nominated for Best Show at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama. Known for her smart, darkly-layered writing and fearless physicality, Zoe delivers gut-busting laughs and mind-melting ideas in equal measure.

‘This delicious meta-lasagne of insanity is unclassifiable, impossible to explain and off-the-charts, wet-your-pants brilliant. Zoe Coombs Marr is a genius.’ - Herald Sun

★★★★ ‘Surprise is the foundation on which comedy is built – and Coombs Marr is a master of it’ - The Guardian

Jude Perl

Mixing spot-on observations with exceptionally catchy, clever, and funny song writing, this Texas-born musician-comedian has been compared to Tim Minchin more times than is countable. Jude has won 3 consecutive Green Room Awards for Best Original Songs, and her 5th solo show ‘I Have A Face' won the Best Cabaret award at Melbourne Fringe 2018. Plans to head to the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival may have been curtailed, but keep your eyes peeled for what happens next year. Then you get bragging rights to say “I saw her before she got mega-famous”.

★★★★★ ‘Talented, hilarious, genuine’ - The AU Review

Aditi Mittal

Aditi Mittal is one of India’s foremost stand-up comedians with two (yes, two!) Netflix specials to her name. As the first female comedian to emerge from the burgeoning Indian comedy scene, Aditi has proven herself to be a powerful and outspoken voice standing up for women across the country. She’s clever, loveable, and very, very funny - Aditi will be Zooming in live from Mumbai.

‘Makes some very thoughtful and timely points on issues few comedians would have the bravery or skill to tackle’ – Fest Mag (Edinburgh Fringe)

Joanne Kam

Joanne Kam is the “Queen of Malaysian Comedy” and one of the pioneers of the region.  An established and high-profile comedian, host, actor and broadcaster for nearly 20 years, Joanne is a whole lot of fun and will be bringing her unique style of humour live from Kuala Lumpur. 

Nikki Britton

Nikki started out as an actor and exploded onto the comedy scene in 2011 with a friendly, lightning-paced style. She has appeared on the Melbourne Comedy Festival Oxfam Gala, ABC’s Comedy Up Late and on The Comedy Channel as part of the Just For Laughs Festival. With her warm, personable demeanour and electrifying stage presence (even when the stage is in cyber space) Nikki Britton is one of Australia’s most in-demand comedy talents.

When: Saturday 26th September - 7.30pm (AEST)

Where: Streamed live on HD video

Producer: Janet a. McLeod

Tickets:  go.jeanhailes.org.au/comedy-gala-2020 

Special thanks to our partner in mental health, Liptember, who also believe in the power of a good laugh.