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AUNTY DONNA TALK MUSIC: Mark Bonanno & Tom Armstrong Interview

Comedy trio Aunty Donna exploded onto the Melbourne comedy scene in 2012 with a unique brand of surreal, fast paced, alternative sketch. Having met throughout high-school and their time at the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, Aunty Donna are a collective of creative cats dedicated to bringing the funny across all mediums: actor / writers Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly and Zachary Ruane, writer / director Sam Lingham, film director / editor Max Miller and sound designer / composer Tom Armstrong all come together to bring Aunty Donna’s wildly entertaining style of comedy to life. In 2020 they debuted their Netflix series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun.

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips catches up with Aunty Donna’s Mark Samual Bonanno (writer/performer) and Tom Armstrong (sound/music design) to discuss the influence of music in their lives, their fave artists, best gigs ever, and we dissect the creation of the music in their Netflix Series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun.

Their debut show Aunty Donna in Pantsuits was nominated for the illustrious Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Golden Gibbo Award. Their award winning YouTube channel currently has over 371 thousand subscribers and 68 million views. Aunty Donna’s loud and energetic live shows have taken them around the world multiple times. They sold out their Australian and New Zealand Comedy Festivals seasons from 2016 to 2018 before hitting Edinburgh, London, Montreal  & Hong Kong. They have toured North America three times performing to sold out crowds in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco & Austin.

Aunty Donna  developed award winning ‘1999’, an original web series exclusively for YouTube thanks to Screen Australia and Google’s Skip Ahead funding before moving onto television with ‘Trendy’ the first piece of local content commissioned by Comedy Central Australia. You have also seen them on your screens with their live show being part of ABC’s Next Gen series as well appearance on Get Krackin’ and Mad As Hell.

2018 saw Aunty Donna branch out into the music industry and release an album, the self titled album debuted at number 30 on the Australian charts and received an ARIA nomination for Best Comedy Release.

In 2019 they released their biggest webseries to date, Glennridge Secondary College. A 16 part series which has garnered over 500K+ views on YouTube and went on to be nominated for an AACTA Award in the Best Online Drama or Comedy category… and of course in 2020 they gave us the hugely popular Netflix Series Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun.

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