Perth International Comedy Festival – Opening Gala

Perth International Comedy Festival
Image – Craig Dalglish

Perth’s 2013 International Comedy Festival has attracted some of the best acts from around Australia and the world and if the Gala Opening is anything to go by Perth is in for a hilarious three weeks.

The evening offered a smorgasbord of what is in store for audiences over the coming weeks, with Diggy Bones comparing the evening and warming up the audience for the acts to follow.

Local acts included Xavier Susai with his tales of being mistaken as an Indian despite being born in Australia; movie reviewer Justin Hamilton expressing his frustration at having complete strangers feel the need to interrupt conversations to read him their reviews; and past children’s entertainer John Robertson who appeared on stage dressed in high cut sequined pants and black corset.

Comedians from around the world tried imitations of the Australian accent with varied success. Highlights included Scotland’s David Sloss’ tales of teenage sexual encounters; Paul Foot’s 15 minute absurdist dialogue about vans which had the audience in fits of helpless laughter; and Eddie Ifft (yes that’s his real name and yes he is fully aware it sounds like a slow fart) beer in hand letting out all his frustrations about religion, gun control and politics, in ways that would have had him arrested in his native United States. His plea for Australia to pass the same sex marriage bill received a round of applause and ended in a very funny joke about our neighbour New Zealand.

The only woman comedian on the bill was Gina Yashere whose jokes about older couples in new relationships, scary Australian animals, and racism in Australia had me doubled over in my seat.

But, for me, the comedian who stole the show was the kilt wearing, sporran thrusting Craig Hill. With his wind mill arms, gyrating opening dance, and obvious love of AFL (Absolutley F***ing Lovely), Hill had me in tears of laughter which didn’t stop until he left the stage.

After many years of reliance on the touring Highlights from the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Perth finally has a International Comedy Festival that includes some of the funniest people from Perth, Australia and the world.

Perth International Comedy Festival – 1 May to 19 June

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