In the RAW

Photo courtesy Helen Shield, ABC Hobart

Four days later I’m struggling with the concept of success.

Last Thursday evening I was at the end of the bar at The Brisbane with Kate and Andrew, and Jen’s friend Stephen, and lots of people I didn’t even know. They had said, “You were fantastic, you deserve to win, you were brilliant”, and similar words. I was thinking – was I thinking at all? – something along the lines of, “I must have done OK then.”

The event was the Tasmanian finals of RAW Comedy, a national competition run by radio station Triple J.

I could hardly see the MC, Rob Braslin, when he came up on the stage, for the people surrounding me.

When Rob announced that the winner of RAW Comedy Tasmania 2018 was Jane New the whole room went crazy. Cheers and cat calls and whistles as well as applause. For me.

I didn’t know this at the time, as I was protected from most of it by a wall of people. I heard it the next day before my interview on the local ABC radio station. Helen Shield, the interviewer, had recorded it. She called me “the gran with long silver hair” and described my set as “brilliant and hilarious”.

“Brilliant” seemed to be used a lot that night.


Still getting used to it. The congratulations came in all Friday and well into the weekend.

Life begins, it seems, after 60. (I only ever admit to 58, although I have been 58 for quite some time now.)

All I set out to do was bring some joy into people’s lives. If I make them think a little too, that’s a bonus.


What happens next?

Jokers Comedy Club on Wednesday, 21st March. I’m the first act. The MC is (once again) Rob Braslin. The main event is Scots comedian Ro Campbell, supported by Kelly Fastuca. I’ll be doing similar material to my set at RAW last Thursday night.

On Thursday, 29th March, is CULT Comedy. The material performed at CULT cannot have been done before – a great chance to try out a new set I’ve been putting together. At the moment it has the working title of “The Kama Sutra for over 50s” or alternatively “101 Uses for a Walking Frame”. Will keep you posted on that one. Usually an amazing lineup of fabulous, original local comedy.

I’m at Pancho Villa, a restaurant in North Hobart, on Tuesday, 3rd April as one of many local women comedians.

Then there’s the Big Event – the RAW National Grand Finals in Melbourne on Sunday, 15th April! An audience of 1,500 people in the Town Hall. Finalists from all around the country. Trying not to think about that one, just yet.

And there’s a show at Kingsway in Launceston on 19th April after Melbourne. I don’t know the details, but I’ll keep you posted.


I forgot the most important part! At the risk of sounding like an Oscar winner, I want to thank the following people:

  • The very wonderful Amanda Bergman, who made sure I remembered to breathe all evening,
  • Gav Baskerville, whose comedy course was not only immensely entertaining and very helpful, but enabled me to meet a collection of people who will be, I suspect, life-long friends,
  • The organisers of RAW Comedy in Tasmania and the staff of The Brisbane Hotel,
  • The first class audience on the night, who laughed long and loudly at all my jokes – sometimes they laughed even when I hadn’t told a joke,
  • Anybody else who should be on this list who has slipped my mind, and
  • The Hobart City Council for firing up the Jane New Memorial Fountain expressly for the event!*

*A burst water main a block away. The water rose 25 metres into the air, and it was raining bricks and pieces of asphalt.

4 thoughts on “In the RAW

  1. Michael Adam-Smith

    Dear “Jane”
    You have always been a winner , maybe not ‘successful’ in worldly terms however the inspiring thing about you is that you have followed your heart, your instincts, the adventure of life… and now expressed your bountiful life into “comedy” which is actually more laughing at our foibles and misadventures with an insight into the sheer frail humaness of the ordinary along with the extraordinary !
    All the best – you have earned it 🙀
    Love 💖 Michael

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