Tug Dumbly is a satirist/poet/writer/singer/comic who is confused about all the slashes in his job description. Suffice to say he barbecues all manner of sacred cows and undermines pop culture from the inside.
Tug is arguably Australia's most highly broadcast and recognised performance poet, and has gained an audience through his radio performances on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC RADIO) stations Triple-J and Sydney 702, where he can currently be heard doing his weekly news and current affairs round-up The Tug Report.
As well as hosting Australia's longest standing spoken-word night, Bardflys, at Sydney’s Friend in Hand Hotel for seven years, Tug has performed at numerous festivals, nationally and abroad, including London, Montreal, Edinburgh and New York, where he competed with an Australian Slam team at the legendary Nyuorican Poets’ Café.
He has released two Cd's through the ABC - Junk Culture Lullabies and Idiom Savant - and twice won the Banjo Paterson Prize for comic verse, once for his 8000 word epic ode to meat Barbeque Bill and the Roadkill Cafe. His work also features in both print and audio versions in ‘SHORT FUSE: A Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry’ (Rattapallax, New York,2002).
Tug’s “one-man musical-tragedy” Deadstar has had seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. He is currently writing a new one-man show, Dumbly Does the Bible, in which he will attempt to perform the entire Bible in one hour. He is also collaborating on a screenplay with playwright, poet and journalist Benito Di Fonzo.
Given a little perseverance he believes he would make a fine game-show host, religious mystic and Shakespearian Actor.
"Tug Dumbly is a phenomenon. He is a masterful performer and an excellent communicator with a vigour for spoken word that electrifies the room." The Scotsman (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)
‘Dumbly writes with a muscular and rhythmic prosody that’s easy on the ear … there’s some beautifully astringent satire in this work.’ ¾The Sydney Herald
‘This show is brilliant. [Deadstar, May 2003] Dumbly’s talent shines. His energy weeps from his pores and his wit draws laughter from dangerous places – Sunday Times, Perth
‘Dumbly takes on pop culture – icon by icon – and dissects it with the sharp, merciless instrument of the English language [Deadstar, May 2003] – The West Australian
‘A decade of endeavours has given [Dumbly] a wide range of talents to exploit as he caricatures Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison, John Laws, Sigmund Freud and a warmongering preacher … It’s rare to see such a successful combination of honesty and black comedy … Dumbly doesn’t care whether the audience are laughing with him or at him, as long as they’re laughing.’ ¾ The City Hub, Sydney
‘This is arguably the most accessible and witty album of performance poetry released in Australia. You don’t have to understand what poetry is to enjoy this CD … you just have to have at least one ear, a brain, and healthy sense of the black comedy of life.’ ¾Revolver
‘It’d be a poorer world without folks like Tug Dumbly in it. The man’s a consummate wordsmith, a superb mimic, and a hopeless romantic … ‘Deadstar’ is a hysterical romp through some of our most ridiculous cultural excesses … a healthy hit of cynical humour.’ ¾ Drum Media