1986, Ben Elton, Letters, Meeting Rik, Seeing Rik, Stand Up, Your Stories

In 1986 Rik Mayall and Ben Elton Toured Australia

April and May of 1986 saw Rik Mayall and Ben Elton tour Australia with their show called ‘A Night of Stand Up Comedy’. Their support act booked for this tour was an all girl group called The Jam Tarts, and part of that group was bass player Sophie Gare (which was how Ben met his future wife).

Photos taken by Karen Freedman

Whilst in Australia, Rik and Ben appeared on the music show Countdown and also presented an award at their annual music and video awards evening.

Karen Freedman was a young fan in 1986, she saw them on tour and got to meet Rik and Ben, here’s some amazing photos she took and a great memory from her:

“It was 1986, and Rik Mayall was touring Australia, doing theatres with Ben Elton, up and down the country.

Rik, Ben and the Jam Tarts

My sister and I went to every Melbourne show. By the final night, we had learnt all the gags. I managed to convince a friend that it would be fun to shout out the punchline to one.

So she yelled out “Thatcher!!” at the top of her lungs.

Rik, without missing a beat, retorted, “Does it say on the poster outside, appearing tonight, Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, The Jam Tarts, AND SOME FUCKING CUNT WHO’S ALREADY SEEN THE SHOW???!!!”

It was very funny, We never told Rik (who was the most darling man) it was us though…

One of Karen’s most loved and treasured autographs


Did you see them on this tour? Get in touch with your memories, I’d love to hear from you.

“Wacky, Zany, Crazy, Anarchic, Establishment-Shattering, Mind-Numbing, Bum-Biting, Bed-Wettingly Brilliant.”

Rik Mayall and Ben Elton

An Evening of Stand Up Comedy, 19th April – 17th May 1986

Big thank you to trashdiscoradio on Instagram who has found the Melbourne version ad for this tour. They were also lucky enough to see the show at The Athenaeum Theatre in 1986.

Rik Mayall and Ben Elton ‘An Evening of Stand Up Comedy’ 1986

  • 19th April 1986 – Princess Theatre, Melbourne
  • 20th April 1986 – Countdown Awards, Melbourne – Rik & Ben present an award
  • 21st April 1986 – Sports Centre, Melbourne
  • 23rd April 1986 – Canberra Theatre, Canberra
  • 24th April 1986 – The Batton Theatre, Adelaide
  • 25th April 1986 – Ocean Groove Hotel, Ocean Groove
  • 26th April – 2nd May 1986 – Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne
  • 3rd -5th May 1986 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
  • 6th May 1986 – Port Kembla
  • 7th May 1986 – Castle Hill
  • 8th – 10th May 1986 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
  • 11th May 1986 – Arts Factory, Byron Bay
  • 12th May 1986 – Festival Hall, Brisbane
  • 13th -17th May 1986 – Leederville Hotel, Perth

Please let me know if you think I have got any of these dates and places wrong or have any souvenirs from the tour too.



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2 thoughts on “In 1986 Rik Mayall and Ben Elton Toured Australia”

  1. I’m currently researching a book on gigs at The Collendina Hotel Ocean Grove. I’m looking for posters photos etc from concerts and tours at this hotel. RIK and Ben performed here on the 25/04/86 did you go to this gig?

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