The Illest: Yasemin Sabuncu’s chronically funny perspective on illness

As the saying goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Yasemin Sabuncu takes this advice to heart and stages it in The Illest. The innovative, one-woman show explores Yasemin’s life as a second generation Muslim Australian, impacts of multiple near-death moments, healing in Byron Bay, and studying in Los Angeles.

Yasmin Sabuncu stars in The Illest | image supplied

This heart-warming, hard-hitting, glitter-filled comedy presents a painfully poignant look at illness, unexpected hurdles and the approaches we can take. Sabuncu created the show with a view to advocate for the illest people, including herself. 

 “There’s still too much stigma, lack of support and misinformation about things like endometriosis, mental health, disability and ADHD. It’s my aim to entertain, make people laugh and create dialogue about these issues that affect millions of Australians.” she says.

Having a near death experience in the back of an ambulance was the catalyst moment which prompted her to follow her dreams of performing.

 “I was gasping for air, having a seizure; and I thought ‘I don’t want to die without fully expressing myself’. I still had so much to do. I promised myself to step up my life and return to comedy even though it didn’t seem sensible”

This off-the-wall comedic journey takes you through Sabuncu’s experiences with; ayahuasca and shamans, near death experiences, looking for healing in Byron Bay, surviving her own Ground day, and her lust for (an authentic) life set against the backdrop of a lifelong battle with chronic illness.

I like to dance between the fine line of tragedy and comedy in subversive ways. My work is a celebration of life, even when things don’t work out how you planned or wanted. It’s about how I turned adversity into alchemy and a life with meaning.” she says.

The Illest will run at The Howling Owl 6pm, 6 – 9 March 2021, and the Rhino Room
9.30pm, 16 – 20 March 2021. Parental Guidance Recommended (PG). Tickets are limited, on sale now at

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