Best of Midsumma 2017: Ash Flanders: Playing To Win

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Best of Midsumma 2017: Ash Flanders: Playing To Win


Where did the inspiration for your show come from?

Playing to Win is inspired by my search to attain even the slightest level of success,  only to reach my thirties and realise I have no idea what success means. It’s stand-up comedy, live music and storytelling blended together as only I can, with rage, humour and a lot of critical thinking behind even the stupidest of jokes.

How does your show comment on popular culture?

I’m obsessed with pop culture and see it as a way to examine what we actually value in the world at large. I mean, what do you think of a world where Casey Donovan is an Uber driver and Kyle Sandilands just signed a $20 million dollar contract?

What hits harder: comedy or tragedy?

Well it’s like The Veronicas – you can’t have one without the other. I love both. I love making people laugh while slowly eroding their faith in the world. I think it was Caligula who famously said great comedy comes from great pain. My god, The Veronicas and Caligula in the one paragraph… welcome to my world-view.

How does your show engage with queer culture?

My show is essentially about trying to find your place in a world that doesn’t always make sense, and I think every queer can relate to that. It uses disposable pop culture to make a larger statement – I think that’s all part of a queer tradition where we get to decide for ourselves who or what has value.