Charlie Ranger and Nicholas Waxman in A Sunburnt History, by Australian Classical Theatre

“… one tightly scripted, high energy, and highly entertaining, sweat-soaked hour” — Joe Calleri, Herald Sun

Read more reviews …

A Sunburnt History - Citizenship

A Sunburnt History was conceived for three reasons: to provide audiences a chance to hold a mirror up to society past and present; to learn more about Australian history; and to offer a fresh perspective and get Aussies doing what they do best—have a good laugh at themselves.

A Sunburnt History

The Story

50,000 years ago the first immigrants arrived on Australian shores, they also happened to be the first Australians. Following a solid 49,774 year hiatus, there’s been a steady influx of migrants from all around the world.

A Sunburnt History is getting back to doing what it does best, busting myths and shaking Aussie history ’til the truth falls out. Looking at Queensland’s slavery, the Mabo Decision, and the biggest gaffe of all, The White Australia policy, we find out what it really means to be an Australian.

As with previous incarnations, audiences can expect a fast-paced, entertaining, funny and informative tale that will analyse how all of our differences actually bring us closer together. Be constantly surprised and intrigued by Australia’s complicated and unique approach to immigration.

This is history, direct from your past!

Charlie and Nick on stage

A Sunburnt History


In 2014, Charlie Ranger and Nicholas Waxman—creators of the sellout shows A Sunburnt History - The true story of Burke and Wills and A Sunburnt History - The First Fleet—are returning to the Melbourne International Commedy Festival with their new production of A Sunburnt History - Citizenship.

Production by Charlie Ranger and Nicholas Waxman, with additional direction by Stewart Morritt.

Upcoming Performances

Performing at the Melbourne International Commedy Festival, March–April, 2014:

  • Dates: 27 March – 6 April, 2014
    Venue: Trades Hall, Music Room
    Tickets: $22 full, $18 concession, $16 Tightarse Tuesday, $18 Group 5+, $18 Laugh Pack
    Times: 8:15pm Tues-Sat, 7:15pm Sun Bookings: Ticketmaster; At the door.

For more information about further performances, please contact us.

A Sunburnt History - the first fleet - ship


Joe Calleri, Herald Sun

Wanna see two, young, hardworking Aussie comedians shoehorn 226 years of Australian history into one tightly scripted, high energy, and highly entertaining, sweat-soaked hour?

Then go see Charlie Ranger and Nick Waxman’s A Sunburnt History: Citizenship.

These guys easily earn their 4-star rating for accomplishing comedy’s equivalent of climbing Mount Everest in an hour.

Part satirical history lesson, part reflection piece, these two blokes impressively and hilariously re-enact some important persons and events from Australia’s relatively short history.

This show is a welcome break from the self-absorbed rantings of most modern stand-ups.

After a beautifully written introduction containing only words ending in “ation” (nation, elucidation, eradication), the duo enthusiastically put their personal spin on events including John Batman trying to acquire tracts of land from the native indigenous owners with mere trinkets, and the hero worship of the Eureka Stockade’s Peter Lalor.

Discussions regarding the absurdist White Australia policy, all too pervasive racism, ridiculous border security policies, the risks presented by “boat people”, and how badly we continue to treat our indigenous population, made me pause and wonder once more whether as a nation we have advanced in our attitudes as far as we believe.

Some of the show’s many highlights include a hilarious cameo from our esteemed Prime Minister Abbott (clad only in little red Speedos), and the lovely Brynne Edelsten (compete with visible G-string, and five o’clock shadow) hosting the Dictation Test Challenge. Warning: It’s not as easy as it looks.

In my view, Charlie and Nick represent the exciting next wave of Australian comedy. They deserve your patronage during the 2014 comedy festival.

Jim Schembri, The Herald-Sun

Oh, if only all history lessons were as flat-out entertaining …

The Pun

Excellent … Brilliant … Comedy gold …

More reviews to come!

Charlie Ranger Nicholas Waxman

About the Creators

Charlie Ranger

For several years, Charlie Ranger has been writing, directing, performing in and producing shows for the Melbourne Commedy Festival, Melbourne’s biggest festival.

As a performer he trained at UBAA, achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. Professionally he has worked alongside such companies as the Australian Shakespeare Company, Two Straws Productions and Burberry Productions for TV. In recent years, he created Long Range Theatre, a company committed to producing independent Melbourne theatre.

A Sunburnt History was the second production presented at the Commedy Festival, following It’s all fun and games … (until someone gets hurt).

Nicholas Waxman

Nicholas Waxman teamed up with Charlie in A Sunburnt History and It’s all fun and games … (until someone gets hurt) at the Melbourne Commedy Festival.

Working as the Artistic Director of Wax Acts Theatre Company has seen Waxman write, produce, direct and perform more than ten independent shows. These shows have helped build Wax Acts Theatre Company into a local brand that communicates directly with its audience.

His devotion to comedy has been public knowledge for years having written and directed shows for Witches in Britches theatre restaurant, Flim Flams entertainment, Co-Hosting and producing Weird Wonderful World for SYN radio to mention but a few.

In recent years, Nick has turned his talents to teaching drama to young children, giving him the perfect basis to develop A Sunburnt History’s educational components.