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Women in comedy make NO APOLOGIES

One of the hottest topics in the zeitgeist right now is women. Like never before, women’s voices are being heard loud and clear across the globe and Joanne Brookfield’s brand new book 'No Apologies: Women in Comedy Claiming their Space, Finding their Voices and Telling their Stories' is set to keep that conversation going.

Available in bookstores across New Zealand from April 1, the book features interviews with international Netflix stars Urzila Carlson and Cal Wilson; award-winning musical duo The Fan Brigade (Amanda Kennedy and Livi Reihana) and founder of Wellington’s Improv Festival, Merrilee McCoy. With the NZ festival season in full swing, No Apologies also includes touring acts Fringe Wives Club, Annie Louey and Victoria Falconer.

Author Joanne Brookfield is no stranger to New Zealand’s festivals, either, having covered the New Zealand International Comedy Festival as a journalist and performing stand-up as part of the NZICF, the Dunedin Fringe Festival and the Alexandra Blossom Festival. With her background in reporting and performing, Joanne has interviewed sixty women based around the world about their experiences in comedy – talking to trailblazers with decades worth of experience through to emerging artists, and also includes insights from women who work behind the scenes as well.

While the book talks specifically with women in comedy, the stories they tell are universal. Breaking down barriers, taking charge and creating change; permission, confidence, ambition; moving overseas, starting over, wanting to quit; money, motherhood and menopause; coming out, surviving cancer, mental health, No Apologies covers plenty of ground relevant to all women, as this diverse collection of fabulous and funny women share the ways they've lived the feminist mantra of 'nevertheless, she persisted' and the triumphs they've enjoyed as a result.
No Apologies by Joanne Brookfield
In bookstores Mon 1 April - Available to pre-order now – RRP$29.99
Published by Echo ISBN 9781760685782<more….

The other women included in the book are: stand ups Wendy Harmer, Rachel Berger, Judith Lucy, Denise Scott, Fiona O’Loughlin, Geraldine Hickey, Steph Tisdell, Anna Piper Scott, Zoe Coombs Marr, Melinda Buttle, Bev Killick, Rose Callaghan, Mandy Nolan, Lauren Bok, Claire Sullivan, Kelly Fastuca, Katrina Fleming, Cath Styles, Lana Schwarcz and Lisa-Skye. TV sketch comedian Roz Hammond; TV duo The Kates (Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney) and broadcaster Jo Stanley. UK-based Felicity Ward, Laura Davis, Alice Fraser, Sarah Bennetto and Ali McGregor; US-based Jackie Loeb; Singapore-based Sharul Channa; Berlin-based Amelia Jane Hunter and Canadian Ievy Stamatov. Improvisors Anna Renzenbrink, Laura Josephine, Sarah Kinsella. Feminist troupes Fringe Wives Club and Hot Brown Honey (Lisa Fa’alfi and Busty Beatz). Duos Miss Itchy (Linda Haggar and Fahey Younger) and Helen Thorn from Scummy Mummies (UK). Magician Cath Jamison, circus performer Debra Batton and The Guilty Feminist’s Deborah Frances White, plus producers Pieta Farrell, Laura Milke Garner, Linda Catalano, Carrie Hardie, Lorelei Mathias and ‘What She Said’ (Sophie Long, Naomi Mourra and Alex Potter).


Joanne Brookfield is a journalist and comedy writer. Her work usually appears in major dailies around Australia although she has also written for a variety of magazines as well. A lifelong comedy fan, she has always reported on the world of comedy, having covered the three biggest festivals in the world – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal Just For Laughs – plus other comedy and fringe festivals.

She’s also been a stand up herself, having performed multiple seasons of her shows around Australia and New Zealand, which were described as being: “must see” (The Melbourne Age); “has the audience in fits of laughter” (The Adelaide Advertiser) and “a cleverly constructed, very funny story as much about being a strong woman as it is about her dog” (The Canberra Times) and “She is a born storyteller with an innate sense of comic timing and a delivery that alternates between razor sharp cynicism and endearing optimism" (InPress).

When she toured her show ‘Princess Pissy Pants The Greedy Cheese Eating Bitch and Other Naughty Dog Tales’ to the South Island of New Zealand, performing at the Alexandra Blossom Festival, the Dunedin Fringe Festival and finishing with a night in Christchurch, The Otago Daily Times noted the show’s popularity with local audiences, saying “Australian comedian Joanne Brookfield has been raising the roof of the Fringe Town tent with her funny show about her dead dog, Murphy.” Their reviewer said “Princess Pissy Pants will appeal not only to people who know and love dogs, but also to people who don’t really ‘get’ dogs, thanks to Brookfield’s knack for anchoring her anecdotes with universal themes. Most of the anecdotes are about her beloved late dog which means there is pathos underlying much of the wit.” The buzz around the show in Dunedin – which attracted Members of Parliament, NZ TV icons and even real, live dogs to it – was such that the Festival invited Joanne to extend the season, although was unable to due to other touring commitments back in Australia.

No Apologies is her first book. “Turns out, writing a book is much harder than I anticipated and I had many moments fantasising about faking my own death to go and start a new life behind some bins in an alleyway,” she says. “However, what got me through was that in every interview I was hearing things that inspired, soothed, amused, challenged, excited and uplifted me, which constantly reminded me just how brilliant women are. Given the powerful effect their stories had on me as I was writing this, I’m so excited to think that No Apologies will encourage more women to find and use their voices so we can keep working together to create the change we want to see in the world. As Hot Brown Honey say #makenoise!”

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