Pitch2Punchline to train Mumbrella readers for stand-up challenge – at the Opera House

A new charity initiative from the creators of Pitch2Punch will train Mumbrella readers to perform stand-up comedy – at the Sydney Opera House.

Pitch2Punchline takes place on Monday 3 June, the week of Mumbrella360, and will raise funds for mental health charity Batyr.

TV comedian and presenter Cam Knight will mentor the 20 brave applicants for six weeks before they perform at the gala event in front of up to 300 of their industry peers.

The contestants will perform on this Opera House stage; picture: Daniel Boud

To register your interest to get on stage, buy tickets or sponsor the event, fill out the form at the bottom of this article or visit

The event is the brainchild of Shambles Communications founder Gareth Eden-Styche, who told Mumbrella: “We thought what could we do that’s more daunting than boxing? And we realised stand-up was the obvious next step.

“But it also ties in perfectly with our mental health message: you should talk about how you feel. After all, many comedians’ jokes are based on their own experiences. Good and bad.

“Plus, the skills you’ll hone will be invaluable. Pitching your work can be a terrifying thing, but if you can stand on stage and crack up a peer, those feelings of fear should disappear.”

Morever, Batyr – named after an infamous talking elephant in Kazakstan – is unique as it aims to pro-actively prevent depression and anxiety by encouraging sufferers to reach out for support despite the stigma of doing so.

The charity sends trained speakers into schools, universities and workplaces to share their experiences of living with, and overcoming, the illness.

It estimates that of every 30 young people in Australia, seven will be dealing with depression or anxiety – but only two will seek help.

Organiser Gareth Eden-Styche

Mumbrella’s CEO Martin Lane, who will also be performing on stage, said: “The more young people are empowered to talk about depression and anxiety, the less stigma is attached to it. To raise awareness in a fun way like Pitch2Punchline is a great idea and something the Mumbrella team feels passionate about.”

Successful candidates won’t be thrown in at the deep end but instead receive training by actor, presenter and comedian Cam Knight, who has performed at the Opera House himself.

Knight’s stellar CV has seen him appear on Seven, Nine, Ten and the ABC. In 2008, he was nominated for an AACTA for Best Male Presenter.

“Learning to write and perform comedy builds confidence, presentation and communication skills,” said Knight. “It helps you think and react quickly and coherently and is a fantastic tool for creative thinking. Working with Pitch2Punchline is also an innovative way for me to steal material for my own shows so, you know, it’s a real win-win.”

“Cam will get everyone to share their script ideas and perfect their performance,” added Eden-Styche. “Then they’ll try out material at a smaller open-mic night before the finale in June.

Applications close on 28 March, and you’ll perform at the 300-seater venue The Studio within the Opera House, which has also hosted singers Marcia Hines, Courtney Act and Matthew Herbert. The iconic venue itself has hosted legendary comedians Barry Humphries, Kitty Flanagan, Tim Minchin and Wil Anderson.

The training is set to begin on 15 April.  Details on ticket pricing will be released soon, but if you would like to register your interest to perform, watch or become a sponsor and support the cause, fill out the form below.

“The event is open to anyone in the media and marketing industry who likes a laugh and wants to support a worthwhile cause,” said Lane. “It’s also a fun way to kick off Mumbrella360 week.

Mumbrella CEO Martin Lane is planning to use the event to launch a lucrative showbiz career

“For sponsors, it’s a great cause, it’s great fun and it’s a room full of industry influencers. Plus you get to be part of Mumbrella360, the biggest media and marketing conference in AsiaPac.

“I’m terrified but excited about going on stage. I see this as merely a stepping stone to my future career in stand-up and fully expect to be presenting the Oscars within the next five years.”

To register your interest, fill out the form below. For sponsorship opportunities, email sales director Victoria Seymour on

Register your interest for Pitch2Punchline



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