Bob Downe: 20 Greatest Hits – Perth International Comedy Festival

Bob Downe
Bob Downe

Bob Downe, aka Mark Trevorrow, Australia’s clown Prince of Polyester certainly has lost none of his elan in the 12 years it has taken him to return to Perth. A veteran of stand up for 25 years, his high camp style had the audience in stitches from the word go.

He is possessed of a remarkably good singing voice which he uses to fabulous effect to mangle all or part of the “golden greats” to which we were treated.

I would have thought his act was an acquired taste but the 700 strength audience proved me wrong. They were an amazingly varied lot. All ages from teens to a couple who took out the record for the longest marriage in the house – 49 years! The audience lapped up the show; applauding at every turn and joining in the singing with huge enthusiasm.

Clad in dazzling white flares and a jacket “with lapels so wide you can see them in your peripheral vision”, Bob dazzled us with his indefatigable mincing dance moves.

All the songs were what is often referred to as “classics”, that is, contemporary tunes to which everyone knew the lyrics, such as ‘Pretty Woman’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ and ‘Love Is In the Air’. This of course enabled everyone to sing along. It was a well constructed show and certainly value for money running at an hour and a half with no interval.

In between the golden greats Bob worked the room mercilessly, chatting to members of the audience and running a competition to win hand held masks featuring his face.

His delighted cry of “Look stairs!”, as he descended to join the crowd drew a resounding response, with none of the nervousness some other comedians provoke.

There were lots of references to it being Mother’s Day, and the gaining of permission to be in Perth from his mother, Ida Downe (get it?). He also threw in his sister Di Downe (a nurse) and his brother Mark Downe, “He’s in retail”. Delivery was at a cracking pace.

The Olympics and a new national anthem led to a re-working of ‘Land Down Under’ with hilarious use of the microphone for the flute solos.

Frequently the audience was reminded of Bob’s penchant for sartorial splendour and invited to admire his new hairstyle, “A Bob Beiber”, as he struck poses for our pleasure.

There was some risqué humour in the hilarious Australian ‘poem’ “Be A Can Man”, after which he rebuked us for being so vulgar: “Frankly I would have expected better!”

Bob’s own line of greeting cards complete with doggerel verse provided wonderful comic fodder.

After “Daydream Believer” he left the stage and was wooed back by enormous (encouraged) audience applause; this time in a dove grey suit with burgundy accessories and glittering diamante buttons. As usual, a snug fitting outfit to showcase his clever physical moves.

Discoing his way through ‘Xanadu’, Bob closed with ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head’ and promises to return next year.

A large proportion of the crowd gave him a standing ovation. It was a remarkable display of showmanship

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