It’s a case of better late than never for Ferny Hills comedian Jenny Wynter and her sister Angeline, who are making their childhood dreams of being popstars come true.
They’re hitting the stage at the Brisbane Comedy Festival belting out a setlist of 1980s-inspired tunes they wrote themselves in their show The Wynter of our Disco Tent.
They describe the show as an energetic romp through teenage nostalgia, diary entries and joyful escapism.
Award-winning comedian Jenny says putting the show together has been a hoot as she and accomplished singer, pianist, composer and music teacher Angeline take a trip down memory lane trawling through childhood diaries.
“We’ve been wetting ourselves laughing – it’s perfect pop song fodder,” she says.
While Jenny kept a diary until she was about 19, she says the comedy gold can be found in those written when she was aged 11-15.
“After that I was a bit less naïve – there was all this pining and having absolutely no clue.”
Music has always played a role in the sisters’ lives – their mum, who died suddenly when they were very young – was a singer-songwriter and their grandmother, who raised them, also loved to sing.
“My grandmother was raised in the 1930s and lived through the Depression.
“Music was a big part of her life – she used to teach us all the war songs they sang to lift their spirits.
“That’s what it was like for us in the ’80s.
“We had lost mum and music used to lift our spirits.”
Jenny says the girls spent countless hours elaborately choreographing their renditions of Martika, The Bangles and Kylie Minogue songs.
“They were our happiness gurus,” she explains.
Angeline says after they lost their mum, among the only physical things they had of hers were a couple of old microphone stands.
“We didn’t have microphones so instead we’d put our skipping rope handles in them, with the ropes hanging down like mic cords, and we’d sing into those,” Angeline says.
“It’s actually really bittersweet, looking back on it.”
The sisters say an impetus for the show was reaching their 40s.
“One of the great privileges of getting older is that you don’t take things so seriously,” Jenny says.
“I mean, why wouldn’t we put on a crazy show where we get to dress up and sing like we did when we were kids?
“We wanted to be popstars. So why don’t we just be popstars?”
Jenny was five and Angeline two when their mother died and they went to live with their grandmother in Toowoomba
“It was a grief-riddled childhood and when I had my kids I had so much sadness for my Mum that she didn’t get to see us grow up.
“On the good side, it’s part of us doing the show – life is so short.
“We’re middle-aged and finally living our dream and there’s something really beautiful about that.”
The Wynter of Our Disco Tent debuts at the Brisbane Comedy Festival, with performances on April 29 and 30 and May 1.
It’s on at the Brisbane Powerhouse, Lamington St, New Farm and tickets are $35-42.
Buy tickets here.
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