LAUGHTER is the best medicine according to Tim Bradford.
Tim is the owner of Roll About Comedy and is spearheading a new comedy tour aimed at raising awareness and funds for mental health issues.
The Wander Beyond Blue Yonder show is travelling to eight rural towns across south west Queensland and northern New South Wales, beginning with Warwick and Stanthorpe next week.
"I have been doing shows in Brisbane and the Gold Coast for a couple of years now, just booking acts and performing in pubs and things like that,” Tim said.
"It occurred to me that while Brisbane has heaps of comedy, not a lot of stand-up acts actually go bush.
"We know a lot of rural towns are doing it tough and this show is supporting beyondblue so we hope we can come and give everyone a good laugh and hopefully raise a bit of money in the process.”
A group of home-grown Australian stand-ups will be heading out on the road for the tour.
"We'll have Lindsay Webb who has been around for nearly 20 years and has had a lot of TV and radio appearances, as well as taking his act to Melbourne, Montreal and Edinburgh comedy festivals,” Tim said.
"He'll be doing most of the show and then we'll have Matt Ford and Stephanie Tisdell who have had experience with Aboriginal All Stars as well as overseas, and fresh-faced Toowoomba comic Nick Carr.
"I perform under the name TJ McKay and I'll be the host for the evening.”
"We're really excited to come out to Warwick as the theatre in the Town Hall is a great location for us.”
It might be a cliche, but Tim said there was truth to comedians having mental health issues of their own.
He said the comics on the tour, including himself, also had some connection to rural communities.
"I have bipolar myself and my mother also had bipolar and spent much of my teen years in mental hospitals,” Tim said.
"Some of funniest things happened there and the ability to laugh through that experience was so healing and I think it's a unique forum to be able to talk about it in this way.
"For me also, the ability to have this manic character that gets to act up on stage and provides some sort release.
"Nick is connected to the Darling Downs and has experienced mental issues in his family while Steph has extreme anxiety so this road trip is a pretty big deal for her.
"I had a farm out near Dalby for almost seven years and Matt hails from Murwillumbah where we'll be heading right after Warwick and Stanthorpe.”
Tim said after the hard work of locking in the performance venues, he was excited to get the show on the road.
"It's been really stressful trying to put it all together but we're so looking forward to coming to Warwick,” he said.
"From the visits I've had in the past couple of weeks I've had the impression the town's doing it tough so we hope we can bring some joy to town and hope to see a lot of people there supporting the cause.
"We're going to be filming as part of the show with the hopes of screening it on TV or releasing it as a documentary.”
The Wander Beyond Blue Yonder show is coming to Warwick Town Hall from 7pm on Thursday and the Stanthorpe International Club, Funkers Gap Rd, from 7.30pm on Friday.
For more information and to book tickets ($25 plus booking fee), go to rollaboutcomedy.com.au