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The AntiChris at the Powerhouse

Home > Brisbane > Shows | Performing Arts | Comedy | Theatre
by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
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Chris Wainhouse Brings Devilishly Funny Show to Brisbane
chris, wainhouse, comedy, comedian, stand up, powerhouse, brisbane, festival
Comedian Chris Wainhouse

It wasn't until he finished high-school that Chris Wainhouse realised almost everything he knew was wrong. It wasn't a sudden epiphany upon waking one morning after a fitful sleep, but more a slow realisation that the teachings of his parents and school were at odds with the rest of the world. Now a successful stand-up comedian, young Chris was educated by, "Really nutty creationists."

New Zealand born Wainhouse was raised among what he confesses to me was, "Very much the American, evangelical, faith healing, speaking in tongues type of Christians that believe the literal interpretation of the bible."

His family immigrated to Australia when he was a kid and Chris spent his teen years in Brisbane learning things like 'the earth is six thousand years old' at a school where students gave themselves their own grades and, "The bible was considered a book of historical records," he says.

"It worked on the honour system so I thrived! I was a straight A student," he laughs, "and I actually thought I was academically gifted by the time I left school."

"The show's about coming out of that and realising that everyone I met had a completely different idea of where the world came from than I did," he admits,"So I almost had to learn again so to speak," and learn again he did.

Wainhouse put himself through night school and finished his senior certificate when he was 22. Naturally that led to a career in stand-up comedy.

Wainhouse on Rove circa 2006

"Comedy was the only thing not asking for my school certificate or references," he says, without a hint of sarcasm, "I started comedy in Brisbane at a really good time."

It was 1999 when I first saw a then 28 year old Chris perform stand-up. We were both competitors in the Queensland heats of the Raw Comedy competition. He went on to win the state and national final that year and never looked back.

You could see from the start this was a guy with a future in comedy. He was edgy and fearless, natural on stage, brutally honest, and loved to push the audience's buttons and make them think. The AntiChris is a show that is sure to continue that tradition.

"It's not so much a bag on Christianity," he explains, "It's a bag on my parents' weird view on it and the type of Christianity we had – like we didn't believe in doctors – it was kind of like a cross between Westboro Baptist and the Amish if you can get your head around that."

The content of the show has grown and evolved as the now Sydney based comedian has toured it around the country.

"I did it at Perth, Sydney, and Adelaide last year," he recalls, "Perth, it was in its infancy so I was just sort of writing it and that was the same with Adelaide. I had about half of it written by Perth and then a little bit more written by Adelaide – taking things out and putting things in – I had it fairly much going on at Sydney and then just fine tuned it from there. So Brisbane's going to get the more refined show."

When I ask if he's copped much aggression from audiences he admits crowds have been friendly, but adds, "I've had a few of my posters covered up with anti-atheist posters in Adelaide. Posters saying, 'Atheist wanted, must be non-thinker and unreasonable' and I was like, 'What? That's the opposite of atheism!'"

Audiences attending The AntiChris at Brisbane Comedy Festival this year should prepare themselves for comedy that delves into truth, hypocrisy and faith, sometimes travels to darker territory, that may push your buttons, make you empathise or even sypmathise, but ultimately will make you laugh.

"I find it very difficult to sell my own show," he says, when pushed, "But I'm very proud of it. There's none of my old stand-up in it. It's the first time I've sat down and written a complete show and I couldn't be happier. It's by far the best show I've ever written."

If you'd like to learn more about Chris Wainhouse before The AntiChris comes to town, you can follow him on Twitter or Facebook, where you can also see some videos of him in action.

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Why? You Want to See the Light... Side of Religion
When: 24 - 28 February at 7.15 PM and 1st March at 5.15 PM
Phone: 07 3358 8600
Where: Turbine Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse
Cost: Tue / Preview $14, Wed, Thu Sun / Full $20, Concession $17, Fri Sat / Full $25, Concession $20
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