A few curses at the Comedy Festival

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Rhonda Dredge

Behind the scenes of the Comedy Festival there’s quite a different story going on to the stony faces waiting in the audience for a laugh.

Ross Noble is on a four-month tour of Victoria and New South Wales so he has to eke out his humour.

He began his stand-up piece On the Go slowly and the audience was quite difficult to warm up.

Some had chosen the show because they’d seen Noble on English TV and perhaps they were jaded.

No-one laughed when he focused on a latecomer and told her to sit in the front seat.

Quite frankly, his target, a primary school teacher from Ringwood who couldn’t find a park wasn’t that funny.

Stand-up comedians make up the bulk of the Comedy Festival and they like to feed off the audience.

Their aim is to get a bit of repartee going which must be easier in some venues than others.

At the Athenaeum the audience was expecting a show and when Noble used his own material he was far more successful.

As an Englishman he has special insight into the Royal family and its foibles, and he was great at impersonating a donkey.

Perhaps Australian audiences are shyer than those in the UK where a colonial mentality has ruled for generations.

The British have raided many countries and are still paying the price. Witness the cursed sand Noble offered patrons at $5 a pop after the show.

“In 1922 archeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. The discovery bought him and financial backer Lord Carnarvon nothing but trouble,” Noble warned.

“The two men and everyone involved in the discovery are now all dead, proving that the curse is real.”

In a lane out the back of the theatre patrons were offered envelopes of the cursed sand by faux Red Cross collectors.

“The sand enclosed in this envelope is from that very tomb. When scattered in the vicinity of your enemies it will release an evil elemental spirit that will rain back upon them and their pets.”

Quite a few fell for his ploy, proving that the British are still having the last laugh at our expense •

 

Caption: Red Cross helpers selling cursed sand.

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