Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016: Catholic child sex abuse victim turns tragedy to comedy

By Shannon Deery
Herald Sun
March 22, 2016

Frank Hampster appears in “Cardinals Sins”.

IT’s no laughing matter, but a former altar boy has turned the “tragedy’’ of child sexual abuse into a comedy.

Born and bred in Ballarat, Frank Hampster was abused by a Catholic priest in the 1980s.

Until being summonsed to give evidence to the child abuse Royal Commission last year, he had never spoken publicly of his experiences.

Now he is drawing on them for his fourth Melbourne International Comedy Festival show called “Cardinal Sins”.

Hampster said he had witnessed first hand how abuse was covered up by senior priests.

“Some of the royal commission testimony was laughable, so I had to keep rewriting the show,” he said.

“There’s a fine line between tragedy and comedy. The way to turn tragedy into comedy is to a hold a mirror up to it.

Since being summonsed by the commission I thought this is a story that needs to be told, but in a funny way.

The show is playing at Club Voltaire in North Melbourne from tonight. It runs at 10pm every night of the festival, except Sundays and Mondays.



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