This relatively cheap ‘comedy sampler’ show is a good way to check out a broad range of comedians who have solo shows running elsewhere at the Fringe to see if their particular brand of ‘funny business’ appeals to you before investing your hard-earned on a ticket for a full dose. Apparently, the line-up changes regularly and you’re never sure who you are going to get to see.
The show I attended had seven comics on th bill who all presented a short burst of their full routine, and this cross-section of performers were drawn from all corners of the world.
MC Lindsay Webb, introduced us, in rapid succession, to a Greek comedian, George Zacharopoulos; Queenslander Luke Heggie; an English street busker called Robin; Australian comedienne Kat Davidson; Sri Lankan comic, Diruk Jayashina; an ex-pat local Salisbury-an who now lives in Britain, Thomas Greene; and, New Zealander magician/comic, Jarred Fell.
Each of these performers delivered, approximately, seven or so minutes of material for us to assess their respective styles and schtick.
Zachopoulos started us off with a rant about household white goods that struck a resonant chord with many in the audience. After this promising start, however, his routine drifted into some ho-hum jokes about oral sex and his momentum was lost.
Rating: 3 stars
Luke Heggie, on the other hand, had a seamless rant about his ongoing relationship with others in the community, such as the police. His brief stint was sharp and funny, playfully vicious at times, but full of spot-on social observations. I would suggest he is worth checking out if you get the chance.
Rating; 4 stars
Robin (last name not picked up in the intro!) was a street busker who does not have a show of his own at the Fringe this year. His performance revolved around rejigging a couple of popular songs, their impact reliant on ‘comic’ lyric changes.
He coughed through the familiar riff of The Knack’s biggest hit, before changing the words to ‘I’ve Corona’. This was a one-off gag, but he played through most of the tune anyway, basically just repeating the same line ad infinitum. He followed this up with a pretty sexist take on Eye Of The Tiger, altered to now be an uncomfortably crass rumination on him staring at the contours of a woman’s genitalia through her leotard. Forgettable.
Rating: 1 star
Kat Davidson gave us a sample of her show Love Hurts, which appears to be an investigation into the sexual habits of the typical Australian. Despite finding out that the strangest place an audience member had ever had sexual relations was amongst some Roman ruins in Turkey, and that elbow sex is more common than you would think, Davidson’s humour was a little bit predictable and unfunny.
Rating: 2 stars
Dilruk Jayashina spent much of his brief time on stage relating some fairly forced comic commentary about his short time on the reality television show, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, before he moved on to telling us all about his tribulations in keeping his pubic hair under control. Not the slickest of performances.
Rating: 1 1/2 stars
Thomas Greene, returning home briefly from his new home in the UK, discovered to his surprise, one of his ex-Salisbury sporting team-mates in the crowd at the outset of his brief time on stage. After a brief reunion, much of his following spiel was about his hero – his father – and how they had so little in common. That is, apart from a shared aversion to big spiders.
And, one of Tom’s Aussie spider jokes was exactly the same as one that ex-pat Brit Dan Willis had delivered during his stand-up routine at the same venue only a few nights before.
Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Last up on stage was New Zealander, Jarred Fell, who delivered a clever fast-paced routine, full of campy innuendo and quickly improvised one-liners, mostly at the expense of Stefan, a helpful German vet who is in Adelaide for a fortnight’s holiday. Fell’s magic was secondary to his comedy arts here and his act was probably much better off for it. This is another performer who warrants further investigation if you get the chance.
Rating: 4 stars
By: Ken Grady
Overall rating: 3 stars
Best Of Fringe: Early Show is being performed nightly at 6:15pm, upstairs at the Belgian Beer Cafe, 27/29 Ebenezer Place, Adelaide.
Tickets are available here: Best Of Fringe