When Buttle, born and bred Queenslander, speaks with Beat she’s just finished the first night of her show at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. Alas, no one took the show title literally, but she hasn’t given up hope just yet.
“So I called the show that because I actually hope someone brings a plate. Like deep down I’ve gone, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool, one night someone will turn up with something’, because I’m always doing shows at dinnertime,” she says. In Melbourne or Sydney, this is never an issue, but when she’s performing in Brisbane, she says it’s impossible to find anywhere still open to eat when she comes off stage, so she secretly harboured a desire for an audience member to appear one night with a plate of sausage rolls.
Scoring a free feed from her audience wasn’t the only reason she called the show that. It also refers to the content. “It’s a nice title that summarises what I’ll be doing, you know when people bring a plate it’s like all different things on the table, for me, that’s what the stories are…but also this feeing of, when you bring a plate, and you’ve had two glasses of chardonnay, the kind of stories that come out, they’re the ones I’ll be telling,” says Buttle, who has appeared on TV shows such as This Week Live, The Project and Tractor Monkeys.
There’ll be stories from childhood, such as recollections of driving to Sydney every Christmas with her family. “My dad wouldn’t stop so you could wee, he would only stop at a petrol station for petrol to try and get there really quickly and if the petrol station didn’t have a toilet, well too bad, you just had to wee in this ice cream container,” she says.
She’ll also be talking about the time her dad lost a budgie (to this day, she says, the owner of that budgie still doesn’t know the truth) and the TV show Embarrassing Bodies “which is one of the greatest TV shows of our time”.
Then she’ll also be bringing her audience up to speed with the continuing adventures of her father, Barry Buttle. “It’s just like a catch-up, I’ve sort of picked up from where I left off at the end of last year’s show: ‘this is what my dad has done this year, this is what I’ve done’”. Buttle’s show for last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival won her the Director’s Choice award.
“It was a shock,” recalls Buttle, who was actually in the toilet at the time of the announcement. Not actually on the toilet, just having a “breather” in there to escape the crowded The Hi-Fi for a moment. “Then all of sudden my friend runs in the toilet, ‘You’ve won! Get out, you’ve won!’ and I thought it was a trick. ‘Oh this is very cruel to pretend I’ve won an award in the middle of my panic attack’ but no, I had. I had won an award. And it was amazing,” she says. Amaze her again by bringing a plate to Bring A Plate.
BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD