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Swedish comics set to storm Edinburgh Festival

14 Mar 2012, 17:06

Published: 14 Mar 2012 17:06 GMT+01:00

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Two-time Swedish comedian of the year Magnus Betnér will be there, and is looking forward to telling jokes to Swedes in English as a warm-up.

“It’s always weird to the audience when a Swede speaks English. Swedes find it awkward, for sure, but I’m really looking forward to it,” he told The Local.

Stockholm's show will be at the Raw Comedy Club, and will be headlined by Scottish funnyman and TV presenter Craig Hill, and will feature Swedish comedian Mårten Andersson. Both will be performing in Edinburgh in August, as will Swedish comedian Tobias Persson.

But with the gig in Stockholm just around the corner, Betnér confesses that there’s still a lot of work to do before he is ready to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Regarded as the world's largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe features hundreds of performing arts acts, many of which subsequently fade into oblivion, but some of which achieve lasting notoriety.

“I haven’t written the routine yet. I usually write in Swedish, and I don’t intend to translate all my old jokes. I’ll write some new stuff in English, and try it out in Stockholm,” he said.

Betnér will also be touring in England and Canada before the show and says he is looking forward to performing in Scotland with an entourage of “friends from home” by his side.

Betnér has made a name for himself as a comedian unafraid of dabbling in the taboo, and consequently has even received death threats in the past from crazed spectators. However, he claims that it takes more than just a bad review to stop him from doing what he loves.

“You learn not to listen to the reviews. I’ve been doing comedy for 14 years now; I don’t care about what people say. Unfortunately, this means I miss any of the good reviews too, but that’s life,” he told The Local.

Also performing in Stockholm will be occasional contributor to The Local and Sweden’s only Swenglish comedian Ben Kersley.

Kersley, who is performing for the first time at the Comedy Club, is excited about the opportunity to share the microphone with such a stellar Swedish cast.

“This is the next big step for me and it’ll be great to perform with such an interesting and funny international cast, especially in English,” he told The Local, adding that the time was right to make a bigger splash than his regular comedy nights in his hometown of Linköping, eastern Sweden.

“I’ve become a bit of a big fish in a small pond in Linköping, and this is a great opportunity to break into the national comedy circuit. I can’t wait to share the stage with such a great lineup,” he said.

In the meantime, both Betnér and Kersley are going on tour to Finland and Estonia between April 18th and 20th, and Kersley's Tuesday Chinwag in Stockholm is continuing to prove a monthly success.

Story continues below…

The Raw Comedy Club shows will be on May 4th and 5th.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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Your comments about this article

18:15 March 14, 2012 by philster61
This is going to be interesting. The Edinburgh Fringe has had history of great comedians.....
19:05 March 14, 2012 by OUIJA
God saves the Queen! Swedish jokes at The Fringe. It is a black joke.

@Oliver Gee: The name of the festival is "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe"
19:38 March 14, 2012 by gpafledthis
swedish humor is an "oxymoron" !!!
22:54 March 14, 2012 by J Jack
I think it will be funny .. listening to all of the silent pauses in the audience :-)
23:05 March 14, 2012 by Cephalectomy
swedish have comedians ? im sure theyre not funny anyways
07:09 March 15, 2012 by skogsbo
The Fringe can be a tough audience and tougher critics, it all depends on which venue he is at and the time of day. Not to mention the quality of his material!!
08:19 March 15, 2012 by OUIJA
@ #5 Cephalectomy

Yes, Sweden has comedians. Your problem is that you have never visit the parliament.

@ & Skogsbo

If you talk about quality of his material, you can be sure that he will be a total flop.

@ J.Jack

The silent pauses are always funnier than Swedish comedians jokes. They are pathetic. I believe that the only ones cheering at them are their relatives and friends.
10:58 March 15, 2012 by skogsbo
I'll take a punt and guess that the total number of Swedish comics you've seen is zero and you've never been to the Fringe?
13:34 March 15, 2012 by johan rebel
"It's always weird to the audience when a Swede speaks English"

You can say that again!

"Betnér has made a name for himself as a comedian unafraid of dabbling in the taboo"

I wonder how many jokes he as cracked about muslims, their prophet and their god?

The answer will tell us how unafraid he really is!
08:38 March 17, 2012 by OUIJA
Some days ago, my wife and I tried to watch a program with Swedish comedians. Pathetic. Simply pathetic. I hope they do not commit suicide after the flop in Edinburgh.
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