UK comic uses English to get laughs in Gothenburg

UK comic uses English to get laughs in Gothenburg
The Local chats with British comedian Paul B. Edwards about Swedish humour, the problems with anti-comedy, and the launch of his new English-language comedy show in Gothenburg.

So, why Gothenburg?

You know what? I’ve always wanted to come to Sweden but could never find a reason to do it. Then a bizarre twist of fate left me running a monthly comedy gig in Oslo. It’s been a great success and once I discovered I could get to Gothenburg on the bus for less than 200 kronor ($31), I thought to myself, “I can’t not try and do something here.”

What can crowds expect?

My gigs in the UK all feature two well-established acts performing 30 minute “extended sets” with me as the MC. I’m effectively recreating these shows in Scandinavia.

This month we’ve got two great English comics called Silky and Kevin Shepherd performing full sets and a shorter set from a nutty Welshman called Simon Emanuel who’s just passing through and offered his services. We may also have a Swede. I don’t know yet – it’s nice to have a surprise though, isn’t it?

So these Swedes… are you worried their humour won’t translate?

Haha it already hasn’t! We’ve created room in the show for a “guest spot” from a Swede, but our first-ever Swedish comic decided to try something “experimental” and I think most of the audience wished he hadn’t – and no – I’m not giving names…

What do you mean “experimental”?

This guy who’d apparently been on TV showed up wanting to do some “anti-comedy”. He sat on the stage, didn’t say a word, and played a “teach yourself Chinese” tape over the PA for 15 minutes. He just sat there.

No one was laughing, and I ended up having to drag him off. He’s not coming down again on pain of execution.

Does he reflect Swedish people’s humour in general?

No. Swedes definitely have a good sense of humour. Everyone in Källarn Bar keeps calling me Roger Pontare and falling about laughing. I obviously have no idea what they’re talking about. I also know some terrific Swedish comics who I’ve worked with in England.

Lastly, how did the first show go and what are the plans for the future?

Our first show was at the end of February and although problematic, it was great fun. We had sound issues, lighting issues, the man with the Chinese tapes, and then somebody forgot to bring a mic stand.

It was a shambles, really but a glorious one.

Everyone I spoke to afterwards said they had a great time and would be back for the show this Sunday. The plan is to be monthly and we’ve already got April, May and June’s gigs booked in.

But we need to be supported. Gigs like this only flourish if people show up. I promise to always put absolutely the best show together that I possibly can.

Now I just need Gothenburg comedy fans to come and see it!

Where: The Gothenburg Comedy Club, Källarn Bar, Vasagatan 8

When: Sunday, March 24. Doors open 7.30pm, show starts 8.30pm

Cost: 150 kronor/100 kronor (members)

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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