Charity Werk: Community Service at Sydney Comedy Festival

Melbourne drag diva Charity Werk fuses stand-up and song with the magic of drag in her acclaimed debut solo show, Community Service.

Carly spoke with Charity about this exciting new work that tackles love, pop culture and life as a twenty-something homosexual clad in lace.

Read the full interview below:

Charity Werk

Community Service is your debut solo show. What inspired you to create this piece?


For my debut, I knew I wanted to write a show that was as much an introduction to me as it was a love letter to the LGBT+ community. Throughout my life I’ve been supported and inspired by so many incredible people from the queer community, and I wanted a theme that paid homage to that. Also, as you can tell by my name, I love a good pun – and so ‘Community Service’ was born!


What can audiences expect from this show?


Audiences can expect to be floored by my natural beauty. I’m often compared to a young Nicole Kidman, which I object to, of course. I’m much funnier than Nicole. Audiences can also expect to laugh, feel and have a boogie – because yes, I do actually sing live! No lipsyncing here, honey! They can also rest assured that there will be no heterosexual content in this piece.


How did you go about creating the show?


My writing process involves doing gigs at comedy rooms around Melbourne and swearing at myself in the mirror. Sometimes there’s alcohol involved.


What was your process and what is the part you enjoy the most in putting together any new performance?


I’ve always loved telling stories, so I tend to think of standup as an extension of that. I journal a lot when something funny or bizarre happens to me, so a lot of that ends up becoming material for shows.


We’re told from the show synopsis to expect a fuse of music, stand up and drag – why should audiences make sure that they don’t miss this show?


Audiences should definitely not miss my show because that would be a hate crime.

What can Sydney expect to love about Charity Werk?


I like to think I bring something fresh and exciting to the comedy scene, and I think Sydney will feel the same!

Who has inspired you artistically? Will we see influences of any of your creative heroes in this show?


I draw a lot of comedy inspiration from cabaret comics like Tim Minchin, Dolly Diamond and Jude Perl. I love how good comedians (and musicians) can take an everyday moment from their lives and make it poignant and hilarious. I strive to balance out the glitz and glam of my show with some good ol’ fashion heart. Also sequins. Lots of sequins.


As this is the debut performance, what does the future hold for Charity Werk?


I hope my future includes a lot of wine and ugg boots. I have a lot of new projects in the works which I am excited to get up and running. I also hope to continue my undercover work for the gay agenda.



Favourite production you have ever seen?

I watched a bootleg of Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton on Broadway. It was incredible. Don’t tell the police.


You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?

Japan. I did an exchange there over 10 years ago and would love to see my host family again.


Dream show to perform in?

Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Goddam, I love that show.


Plays or musicals?

Musicals! Is that a question?


A hobby you have beyond the theatre?

Being gorgeous, making the world a better place etc.


What’s next for you after this show?

When my Sydney run is finished, my boyfriend and I are keen to feature as naked tourists on Bondi Rescue.

Community Service opens at the Factory Theatre on May 16 as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival. You can get your tickets here.

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