Big props to Danny Bhoy, a comedian who can take curve balls in his stride.
This is his eighth tour of Australia, but tonight (21 March) is his first performance at the Brisbane City Hall. It is not, according to Mr. Bhoy, an ideal venue. Laughter disappears into the cavernous high ceilings instead of bouncing back onto the audience.
The stage is too big, giving him less time between punchlines to get to his water glass; and don’t get him started on the massive organ looming overhead. The spot-light guy had trouble following him around stage, and an hour in all the house lights came up; for no particular reason.
Then there was the audience, also problematic. Half seemed to have gone to the Powerhouse instead, creeping in to their seats late and quickly becoming targets for a little good-natured ribbing. Bhoy’s relationship with the crowd quickly became, in his words, “hit and run”. Audience members would call out comments to a joke, but then would retreat into silence when Danny tried to follow up.
For example, when asking Scottish people in the audience what they were doing in Australia, crickets were his only reply. This happened repeatedly. And it was hilarious.
Danny Bhoy turned each and every awkward moment into raucous laughter. He has a gift of elevating what was already great material by riffing off the slightly disastrous moments the evening provided. He seemed to be thrown a little off his game – asking frequently what he had been talking about, getting slightly lost within his own stories – but in a very open, good natured and fun way. If anything, it made him even more appealing.
The night’s topics ranged from Trump (of course), Australia’s own political merry-go-round, birds in the park, religion, the Scottish referendum and Princess Diana.
Note to other comics, it is apparently still too soon to joke about the princess. Danny made a show of jotting this down for his next tour down under, hopefully for next year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival.
Danny Bhoy continues at the Brisbane Comedy Festival at the Brisbane City Hall 22, 23 March
Danny Bhoy Tour Dates
29-30 Mar - IPAC (Wollongong)31 Mar - Civic Theatre (Newcastle)2 Apr - Costa Hall (Geelong)3-9 Apr - Hamer Hall (Melbourne)