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About The Event

The Royal Oak Balmain - 36 College St
Balmain, NSW 2041 Australia
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

James Colley in conversation with Alexei Toliopoulos plus a stellar line up of comedians


The Next Big Thing is a quirky, feel-good love story about the courage to find your own happiness, the joy in finding your purpose and the magic that happens when you start championing big dreams.

The Next Big Thing confirms James Colley as the next big thing in Australian comedy writing.’
Wil Anderson

On Wednesday 13 March at The Royal Oak, Balmain, join James Colley in conversation with Alexei Toliopoulos plus a stellar line up of comedians including Gen Fricker, Concetta Caristo, Deirdre Fidge and Michael Hing.

Copies of ‘The Next Big Thing‘ will be available for purchase  at the venue through Roaring Stories, with James signing copies after the discussion.

About the author and guest appearance line up

James Colley: James Colley is a comedy writer and producer who has worked on a plethora of popular TV shows including Gruen, Gruen Nation, Question Everything, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Summer Love, Tomorrow Tonight, Tonightly with Tom Ballard, A Rational Fear, Recovery: The Music & The Mayhem; as well as live events such as FireAid and the ARIAs 2019 and 2020. His writing has also been featured in The Guardian, Frankie, Crikey, The Big Issue, Junkee and Sydney Morning Herald.

James is the creator of SBS Comedy’s The Backburner, live podcast Nailed It and he has performed at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Splendour in the Grass, the Sydney Comedy Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and others.


Alexei Toliopoulos: Alexei Toliopoulos is a writer, filmmaker, comedian, podcaster, film critic and technically, an internationally acclaimed investigative documentarian.

Alongside creative partner Cameron James, Alexei created and stars in the investigative-comedy YouTube docuseries Finding Yeezus. The cult series is a follow-up to their deeply beloved and obsessively listened to ABC podcasts Finding Drago and Finding Desperado. The ‘Finding’ series is cherished for its artisanal blend of goofy comedy, heartfelt emotional resonance and bedevilling procedural style.


Deirdre Fidge: Deirdre Fidge is a writer and social worker who has written for ABC’s Get Krackin’, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, and for the BBC. Her work has appeared in ABC News, SBS, the Sydney Morning Herald and Frankie magazine among others.



Gen Fricker: Sardonic, unique, and downright weird – Gen Fricker has quickly become one of the nation’s  brightest stars on the national comedy circuit, with her unique blend of sassy and dark stand up delivered with a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth smile.

Since making her comedy debut in 2011 as a national finalist in the triple j Raw Comedy  competition, Fricker is known as a “must-see” act across Aus & NZ comedy festivals, as well as appearing by invitation at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, Falls Festival and Splendour in The Grass for multiple years.


Concetta Caristo: Concetta Caristo is a Sydney-based comedian, improviser, and podcaster. She can be heard weekdays on triple j where she co-hosts their national Breakfast show, Bryce and Concetta. Her TV screen credits include Network Ten’s The Cheap Seats and Would I Lie To You?, SBS’s Celebrity Letters and Numbers, ABC’s Question Everything and The Weekly, and Seven Network’s Australia: Then and Now.

Concetta’s stand up comedy has earned her a Moosehead Award, Semi-Finalist in the 2022 Funny Women Awards and selections by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival’s for their Comedy Up Late and Break Out Comedy showcases.


Michael Hing is a comedian, broadcaster, actor, improviser and podcaster. He is a co-host on The ProjectCelebrity Letters & Numbers, and a former host of Triple J’s  Drive Show. He has performed stand up comedy around Australia, and internationally, studied improv at UCB in Los Angeles and New York, and if you can believe it has both a Dungeons and Dragons podcast, and also a comedy podcast about classifieds. His latest comedy special is Long Live the Hing.

About the Venue

Attendees are asked to arrive at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Seating is unallocated – another reason to arrive early to secure an optimal spot. Why not make a full evening of it, too, by ordering a meal at the Royal Oak before or after the event? One of Balmain’s oldest and most loved pubs, it serves a delicious range of food and beverages.

If you miss out on a ticket, you can still watch the event as it is livestreamed from the Roaring Stories Facebook page (accessible on the Home page and from the Live tab). A recording will also be available to view later as an upload on the Roaring Stories YouTube channel.