Karen Koren: Building comedy Bridges in Melbourne

Kevin Bridges. Pic: Comp

Kevin Bridges. Pic: Comp

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BEEN in lovely Melbourne for a few days now, where the temperature is 26 degrees and I’m very busy, seeing an average of four shows a day. The variety is extraordinary.

The first show, a Comedy Gala, was recorded for television - a good way of seeing all the best acts in one go. It was a long show with more than 23 performers. Stephen K Amos was the compere, along with the talented New Zealand stand-up Cal Wilson. Bob Downe kicked off the proceedings and the Umbilical Brothers ended them, with the likes of Shappi Khorsandi, Sam Simmons, Hannah Gadsby, David O’Docherty, Sean Cullen, Wil Anderson and Kevin Bridges in between.

Kevin is here for the full festival and it is great to see him. It’s been a while since I have seen him live, as he performs in such big venues in the UK. I’ll be seeing his full show in the next day or so – looking forward to discovering how he is doing.

The first show I saw was Hannah Gadsby’s, entitled The Exhibitionist. An absolutely brilliant show, I won’t spoil it for you as it will be coming to the Fringe. The Umbilical Brothers’ show is amazing. Such talented performers, they too are definitely coming to the Gilded Balloon in August. It has been a few years since they have done a big show at the Festival and this one is really clever.

It is about them performing a kids show – but it is not a kids show it is a show for the inner child in all of us. Can’t wait to see the reaction.

Sarah Kendall’s show is also very clever and poignant. Not sure if she is coming to the Festival yet, but her husband Henry Naylor will be – he orginated from the Cambridge Footlights with Andy Parsons and the lovely Sue Perkins - they performed at the Gilded Balloon in 1990. There is so much to see and so little time, however. I will relish the last few days before my very long flight back to the Capital.