Class clowns take to the stage

TEENAGERS have a reputation for being moody, angsty and miserable but they are sometimes surprisingly funny.

That’s according to Melbourne Comedy Festival’s educational development programs producer Karin Farrell, who joined a group of Ballarat’s budding young comedians at the Mining Exchange yesterday for the Ballarat heat of Class Clowns.

The national comedy competition for teenagers looks to unearth talented secondary school students.

Ms Farrell said 12 teenagers registered for the heat, which involved performing an original routine of up to five minutes before a panel of judges.

“I think teenagers are surprisingly funny,” Ms Farrell said.

“We are encouraging the next round of comedians by giving them the opportunities and grounding for this type of path.”

She said students who participated in comedy developed public speaking skills and general confidence that would serve them well into their adult and professional lives.

“It helps with just surviving being a teenager – it says ‘I’ve got to have a sense of humour about it and the confidence to be who I want to be’,” she said.

Maddy Veal rehearsing her act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Maddy Veal rehearsing her act. PIC: KATE HEALY

The group warming up before rehearsals. PIC: KATE HEALY

The group warming up before rehearsals. PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly instructing the group during warm-ups. PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly instructing the group during warm-ups. PIC: KATE HEALY

Callum Chapman and Isaac Jones PIC: KATE HEALY

Callum Chapman and Isaac Jones PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly and  Lachlan Eades. PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly and Lachlan Eades. PIC: KATE HEALY

Brad Richards PIC: KATE HEALY

Brad Richards PIC: KATE HEALY

The group warming up before rehearsals. PIC: KATE HEALY

The group warming up before rehearsals. PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly, Isaac Jones and Lachlan Spittle. PIC: KATE HEALY

Broden Kelly, Isaac Jones and Lachlan Spittle. PIC: KATE HEALY

Jesse Muller rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Jesse Muller rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Mark Samual Bonanno and Zachary Ruane PIC: KATE HEALY

Mark Samual Bonanno and Zachary Ruane PIC: KATE HEALY

Duke Howard rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Duke Howard rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Ethan Cavanagh rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Ethan Cavanagh rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Jesse Muller rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Jesse Muller rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

John Reardon rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

John Reardon rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Callum Chapman rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Callum Chapman rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Unlocked including Cobey Jolley, Lachlan Eades and Lachlan Spittle rehearsing their act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Unlocked including Cobey Jolley, Lachlan Eades and Lachlan Spittle rehearsing their act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Cam Ward rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Cam Ward rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Isaac Jones rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Isaac Jones rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Isaac Jones rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Isaac Jones rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Liam Saunders rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Liam Saunders rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Brad Richards rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Brad Richards rehearsing his act. PIC: KATE HEALY

Before their auditions, the teens had the opportunity to warm up and workshop their acts with professional comedians from Melbourne sketch group Aunty Donna.

Now in its 17th year, Class Clowns culminates in a national grand final at the Melbourne Town Hall during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.