Tom Ballard. Photo: Richard Hedger

Posted by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Comedy, Theatre & Performance.

Tom Ballard will explore an issue close to his heart in comedy lecture Boundless Plains to Share at Belvoir. The comedian and broadcaster, who won the 2016 Helpmann award for best comedy performer, will tackle Australia’s asylum seeker and immigration policies, examining the history, cost and future of ‘border protection’.

“I think you can joke about anything in the whole world, as long as you’re coming from the right place,” Ballard told City Hub. “The fundamental challenge of the show is figuring out how to make it an entertaining and funny comedy show, while tackling an issue that may upset people. It’s a grim part of Australian life.”

Ballard has been exploring Australia’s issues with immigration for some time now. In 2015, he interviewed controversial former Immigration Minister Peter Reith, as part of an exploration of Australia’s White Australia Policy.

He said the 70 minute duration of Boundless Plains to Share gave him more creative license: “Hopefully I’m hilarious for about an hour, which will allow me to tell some pretty stark stories about real people who are still in detention.”

“Because this is such a huge topic that is so complicated you really need to dedicate a whole show to it, I then thought, why not me? I also wanted the opportunity to sit down and research the history of Australia’s treatment of refugees. Hopefully I’ll make people feel things, it did take work.” (GF)

Jan 13–15; Fri + Sat 9.30pm, Sun 2pm + 7pm. Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $37-$72. Tickets & info: www.belvoir.com.au

BY GEORGIA FULLERTON