Thursday, 29 August 2019

COMEDY REVIEW: Kevin Fraser: Leave The World Behind - The Frog And Bucket, Manchester.


I’d never heard of Kevin Fraser before tonight so I duly did a little googling to discover his background. Kevin hails from Durban, South Africa and was a successful DJ before moving to Australia in 2014 where his lively persona and engagement with audiences was gaining him acclaim as a comedian . He is very popular on YouTube with a rising following of his blogging style, comedy commentaries on life and his experiences. He is sharp, engaged and has a very positive vibe whilst poking fun at himself .

Manchester is part of his foray into mainstream, live , stand-up comedy and what better place to start your UK tour than Manchester’s Frog and Bucket? He had a very full and receptive audience with some friends, possibly family and South Africans in the audience who rallied the mood and set a good buzz in the venue.

Initially, I struggled with Kevin’s thick South African accent and did miss some punch lines but mostly I could decipher through his strong physical comedy and facial expressions even though I may have missed a few words. Some of the audience completely got it and whooped and cheered and applauded some of the content, heartily. I struggled more than I should have.

Kevin’s set is a cornucopia of social commentary and some anecdotal memoires. It jumped around a little but for the most part was very enjoyable. His sharp asides and momentary ascerbic looks and occasional camp wit made me laugh out loud. He is clearly a great dancer and the portions where he was dancing in a club as part of the story were amazingly good. His tale of seeing a very attractive lady and dancing - African style, below the waist - was highly impressive. ‘And then I looked and she’d gone!‘

He told us that when he moved to Australia they wouldn’t accept him in the country as an immigrant DJ and he ended up in hospitality where he was ‘far too sassy’. So, he moved to Noosa in Queensland and ended up working in a fish factory complete with Grey’s Anatomy outfit and gum boots. He lasted a day when he couldn’t kill a crab that batted its eyelashes at him. A similar career in scallop shucking ended when he decimated the shells rather than removing the perfect scallop intact, thus reducing the profits. A very funny guy when he acts out his stories.

The funniest and longest story Kevin retold was of flying Emirates in economy and the social commentary of walking through the aspirational and unattainable first and business class cabins until you reach the chaos of economy and economy plus (which he wittily renamed ‘peasant plus’). A flight attendant had spotted and recognised him and was serving him first; to the envy of the other cattle class passengers and even gifted him a business class toiletry bag which he mistook as a fast pass to business class upgrade. Wrong! As he sashayed through the cabin, he had the interconnecting curtains demonstratively closed before him, blocking his access. Forced with the choice of turning and facing a whole cabin audience who had watched this - he decided to perform his first, live, mid air comedy show. I was howling laughing at this. 

We watched a funny, entertaining up-and-coming comedian tonight. The set ran at an hour without a break, and we’d expected two shorter sets. I’m sure with his online following, Fraser’s popularity as a live act will continue to grow.

Reviewer - Kathryn Gorton
on - 28/8/19

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