Review: Jan Van De Stool in Parting the Red Curtains at the Brisbane Comedy Festival

by Josie Montano & Robert McLachlan


When we read that this one-woman show by Jan Van De Stool would invite us to ‘Come inside a legend and journey back to her Netherlands!’, we gathered up some Dutch Courage with a small detour to the bar before entering the darkened auditorium.


Queenie Van De Zandt’s alter-ego and her character’s ego were all jostling each other on stage - as an international Musical Therapist from Woy Woy as well as a very rare Medium-rare Psychic. Jan started the hour by introducing her humble beginnings from a village in Holland - its name longer than her knee high stockings. As well as Jan performing live on stage there was a large screen on which photos were displayed, and a clever and funny pre-filmed skit. The mysterious ‘Helen’ supposedly behind the red curtain played piano as Jan sang out of tune, until her disgruntled dead ex-student channelled through and knocked our socks off with the cabaret voice.


Presented by Neil Gooding Productions & Amazon Woman Enterprises, this entertaining show provided laugh out loud comedy interspersed with hilarious musical interludes. The comedic timing in this show was paced perfectly with the pauses and delivery needed to ensure this was well worth watching. Although Jan has apparently helped ‘literally, tens of people’, there were more than ten times that at her show held in the Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall for the Brisbane Comedy Festival.


Queenie van de Zandt, the master comedian behind Jan Van De Stool is a talented Australian theatre actress, singer and writer. Queenie made her Jan Van De Stool character even more famous when she appeared as a contestant on Australia’s Got Talent, but unfortunately didn’t make the grand final.


If you are now a fan-de-stool and curious about her Netherlands area, apparently you can visit Jan’s ‘spacebook’ and ‘myface’, and she’s even on the ‘TubeYou’, or you won’t be disappointed if you just go along to one of her shows to see the true Dutch legend unfold.

Image Supplied

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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