The Schapelle Corby musical began as a joke inspired by a running Seinfeld gag, but soon became more complex and developed into a stage show set to debut at the Sydney Comedy Festival.

Writer and director Abby Gallaway says Schappelle’s story is both a comedy and something much more serious. The musical is a satirical exploration of Australia’s weakness for media sensationalism told through the eyes of Corby during her 2005 arrest in Bali for drug smuggling.

“It lends itself to comedy, but we also discovered it’s also a familiar tale of a woman in the media and how we can vilify them or how we can raise them up as heroes,” says Gallaway.

“Her story has such an arc and such a journey. When you start looking into it and you look at her family and these characters, we all know a Roseleigh Rose Corby, or a Mercedes Corby, they’re so recognisable as part of our identity.”

For those wondering, the Corby’s have heard of the musical. “They’re aware that the musical exists, and they made the very fair point that what happened to their family wasn’t funny, but we’re also up for making fun of ourselves.” Says Abby.

“They said they would love to see the show but it’s in Sydney and it’s too far away.”

Abby Gallaway and her team at Piano Room Productions have enjoyed the creative and producing freedom of the Sydney Comedy Festival and are “…excited to be a part of the festival because it’s such an amazing festival and the artists that are a part of it are top comedians. We feel really honoured and privileged to be part of such an illustrious festival.”

Other highlights from this year’s Sydney Comedy Festival include performances from Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss (who has received a travel exemption for the Festival), Effie, Gen Fricker, Geraldine Hickey, Tom Gleeson and The Bear Pack.

The Sydney Comedy Festival will run from Monday April 19 – Sunday May 16, at the State Theatre, Enmore Theatre, The Concourse Chatswood and Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, amongst others.

 To book tickets to Schapelle Schapelle: The Musical and to check out the full list of shows head to