Aunty Donna are an Australian absurdist comedy group from Melbourne. The group consists of Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly and Zachary Ruane as writers and performers, director/writer Sam Lingham, filmmaker Max Miller, and composer Tom Armstrong. Adrian Dean and Joe Kosky were also former performing members who left to pursue careers in law and musical theatre respectively. The group has performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival. As of July 18 2020, they have amassed over 308,000 subscribers and over 58,000,000 views on their YouTube channel.
Aunty Donna (Bonanno, Ruane, and Kelly) performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014
|Medium||Internet, theatre, television|
|Genres||Surreal humour, parody|
|Total views||58 million|
Aunty Donna was originally formed in 2011 after its members met at University of Ballarat's Arts Academy.
In 2012, their debut show, Aunty Donna in Pantsuits, was nominated for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Golden Gibbo Award, and their second show, Aunty Donna and the Fax Machine Shop, debuted at the 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival winning the People's Choice Award.
In December 2012, Aunty Donna created Aunty Donna's Rumpus Room, a seven-part web series which originally aired on C31 Melbourne and then on its YouTube channel.
2014 saw third live show, World's Greatest Showbag, debut at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as well as a Best Of live show that debuted the group internationally at both SF Sketchfest and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In 2015, Aunty Donna's self-titled live show toured around Australia at Adelaide Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and in Sydney as well as the UK at Edinburgh, Soho Theatre and in Dartmouth. The group created Aunty Donna, a half-hour television pilot for the ABC and Screen Australia as part of the inaugural Fresh Blood Pilot Season comedy initiative, as well as 1999, a ten-part web series exclusively for YouTube as part of Screen Australia and Google’s Skip Ahead funding, which was released in early 2016.
The group began a podcast midway through 2016. The podcast involved random riffing and improvised segments, and occasionally included special guests such as comedians Ben Russell, Tim Minchin, Bob Saget, Demi Lardner, Michelle Brasier, Rove McManus, and others.
In 2017, Aunty Donna debuted its new seven-part web series, Aunty Donna's Ripper Aussie Summer. It also announced a half-hour pilot, Chaperones, which was created with Australian online streaming service Stan. This year also saw their 6th live show, Big Boys, which toured across Australia, New Zealand the UK and North America.
In 2018, Aunty Donna announced they would be releasing their debut album Aunty Donna – The Album on 6 April 2018. On 9 February 2018, Aunty Donna released the first single from the album, "Chuffed (Dad Song)", and accompanying video. On 14 April 2018, the album debuted at number 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Also in 2018, Aunty Donna's 7th live show, Glennridge Secondary College (GSC), toured across Australia and New Zealand, winning Best of the Fest at the Sydney Comedy Festival.
In 2019, the group adapted GSC into a new 16-part webseries entitled Glennridge Secondary College, with funding and support from Screen Australia. It was released on YouTube weekly from 20 February 2019. Their accompanying tour Glennridge Secondary College: Graduation Party started in July 2019
|2012||Aunty Donna in Pantsuits||Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2012||Aunty Donna and the Fax Machine Shop (A Murder Mystery)||Melbourne Fringe Festival|
|2013||Aunty Donna and the Fax Machine Shop||Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2013||Aunty Donna (Best Of)||Sydney (Factory Theatre)|
|2014||Aunty Donna's World's Greatest Showbag||Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2014||Aunty Donna (Best Of)||Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2015||Aunty Donna (Self Titled)||Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London (Soho Theatre), regional UK tour|
|2016||Aunty Donna: New Show||Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Brisbane Comedy Festival, Perth Fringe, New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London (Soho Theatre), North America|
|2017||Aunty Donna: Big Boys||Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Canberra Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, Brisbane Comedy Festival, Perth Fringe, New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London (Leicester Square Theatre), North America|
|2018||Aunty Donna: Glennridge Secondary College||Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Canberra Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival, New Zealand International Comedy Festival|
|2018||Aunty Donna: The Album Tour||Australian tour|
|2019||Aunty Donna: Glennridge Graduation Party||Australian tour|
- The Album (2018)
- Brookfield, Joanne (17 September 2015). "A comedian's life is not all fun and games". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Royall, Ian (1 April 2012). "Review: Aunty Donna In Pant Suits". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Humphreys, Nicole (8 October 2012). "Review: Aunty Donna and the Fax Machine Shop". Crikey. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Walker, Lynette (14 April 2014). "Review: Aunty Donna's World's Greatest Showbag". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "The Dana Gould Hour / Aunty Donna Review". SF Sketchfest. 5 February 2014. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Boyd, Milo (1 January 1970). "Review: Aunty Donna". Broadway Baby. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Nelligan, Katelin (23 February 2015). "Review: Aunty Donna". The Advertiser (Adelaide). Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Schnabel, Ali (1 April 2015). "Review: Aunty Donna". The Music. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Griffin, Steve (20 August 2015). "Review: Aunty Donna". Edinburgh 49. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "5 Australian Youtubers To Share $500,000 In Google And Screen Australia's Talent Development Initiative, Skip Ahead". Screen Australia. 3 April 2015. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.