Australians are a happy and an extremely funny bunch, as was proven to anyone who was at Opus for the recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) Roadshow, a part of the ongoing ‘Oz Fest’.
Having been Australia’s largest ticketed cultural event and the biggest comedy festival in the world after Edinburgh, it was well received even in Bangalore, much to the relief of the performing troupe.
MC Dave Callan started off the evening with a hilarious dance to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ after cracking a joke on it. More than the dance itself, it was a pleasure see someone so comfortable in his skin and the respect for the comedian was instantly created.
“Indian people are like ninjas at crossing the road. If crossing the road was an Olympics event sport, you guys would be winning gold,” jokes Dave, after which he introduced the first comedy act – a musical duo called Smart Casual.
Smart Casual, comprising Nick and Ben Mattick, was a humourous mixture of melody and sexual innuendo, which the audience seemed to enjoy more than expected. There were songs on a fat person trying to be seductive, a teenager’s thirteenth birthday being ruined because of pointless gifts and other amusing topics.
This was followed by Matt Okine’s act, and he turned out to be the most affable comedian of the night. He spoke about seafood being too angry-looking, made racist jokes at his own expense and even took digs at Vijay Mallya, saying that he drinks his own beer, flies his own planes, crashes them, and then goes to his own hospitals for treatment.
“It was awesome and really entertaining. We need more such comedy nights in Bangalore – something that’s truly different but still ensures a nice evening spent,” says Madhu, an audience member.
Comedian and MICF board member Cal Wilson seemed intrigued by India and shared a lot of her experiences like being cheated by auto drivers and finding camels on the roads. For the only female comedian there, she was quite impressive.
The last comedian was Harley Breen, who innocently mocked gyms, drunk wives and witnessing childbirth. There were a lot of cultural references, which he made in context of the Indian audience, closing the night with a perfect ending.
“The crowd was fantastic and it was a wonderful experience performing here. Bangalore’s been a sensory overload and it’s amazing because this is the most foreign place I’ve ever visited compared to the way I grew up. In all the Indian cities we’ve performed at, this has been the most relaxed for us,” concludes comedian Harley Breen.