As the line-up is never announced prior to the show, a "Gala" can sometimes be a bit of a hit and miss affair. I am happy to report this show was a cracker!
A close to capacity crowd was out for a good time and responded warmly to Tahir. He is a charmingly engaging host with a nice line in self-deprecating humour. It was a packed show with 12 comedians contributing value for money in very different ways and styles. Something for everyone really!
First up was Sean McGloughlin (UK) who worked the "When am I an adult? What constitutes a grown-up?" theme well. It's always hard to be first cab off the rank.
Mike Goldstein (USA) was delightful. I admit to being a sucker for Jewish humour. His commentary on Australian racism was hilarious. The burger house menu including the "Ching Chong Burger" in a low-rent suburb was excellent. Simone Springer (Perth) spoke about being a single mum and out on the second-time round post-divorce dating scene. She hit some comedic nerves with the audience.
Colin Ebbsworth (Perth), oiled comb-back, nifty track suit, was a slick, smooth act. He bounced onto the stage and gave us a polished set with a younger vibe and references which went down with the audience. Likeable. Hope he goes far!
Aaron Gocs was a master class in how to seduce an audience. Plumply-clad in baggy grey pants, t-shirt and mullet hair he introduced us into the life of a loser who unexpectedly gets custody of the kids in a divorce. This was followed by an excruciatingly funny analysis of drive-through food services.
The first half finished with a blisteringly clever set by extraordinarily funny and blithely gay Scotsman Craig Hill. He can sing, dance and work an audience to perfection. What a treat!
Tahir opened the second act by dissecting some crudely inappropriate overheard comments about "Not approaching an ugly woman with a 6 foot pole." Brilliant!
Cassie Workman is a trans-sexual and in the process of transitioning from a man into a woman. Some clever, pithy, interesting material here especially with reference to concerns about lack of pockets in female tailoring. Craig Quartermaine used his Aboriginality to subtly exploit some amazing information about white people purchasing land and the then resident Aboriginals instantly having to adopt the name of the landowner ie Quartermaine. All the while providing some wonderful gentle comic asides.
Lawrence Leung was his disarmingly vague (I think an assumed persona. He is frightentenly clever.) He is very sweet as he speaks about his mixed partnership and parent-hood with a Swedish woman and their recently born child. I love his gentle, witty manner, but even more wondrous when he throws in his magic tricks.
Jimmy McGhie was an absolute delight as he roamed through early mid-life crisis, and turning into a lycra-clad cyclist as well as a grumpy old man. Slick and smart – a marvellous turn.
The show closed with television personality (I'm a Celebrity get me out of Here) Nazeem Hussein. A lovely exercise on new fatherhood and explaining to busybodies about raising his new son as a Muslim. The obvious solution; choose a new religion/calling/race every day of the week and give him a taste of it all. Ridiculously amusing.
An invigorating cocktail menu of some of the best to offer in their solo shows in the Perth Comedy Festival.
There is a second Comedy Festival Gala – 7.30pm Wednesday 8 May.
Perth Comedy Festival Presents
Perth Comedy Festival Gala
Venue: Regal Theatre | 474 Hay St, Subiaco WA
Dates: 1 & 8 May 2019
Tickets: $69.90 - $89.90