Two up-and-coming comedians from Australia are currently in London to perform their shows. Having been named joint winners of the prestigious Best Newcomer title at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017, Angus Gordon and Aaron Chen are now in the UK to demonstrate why they were picked by the judges. The duo are performing their shows at the Soho Theatre back-to-back (see both for one ticket), before then heading on to Edinburgh.
Angus Gordon's Sad Boy Comedy Hour is billed as "the best of his stand-up, often focusing on the violent contradictions that constitute ordinary experience, and a series of little parables he wrote in a diary while going through depression." It's worth emphasising that, despite the word 'depression' cropping up there, it's a funny show, featuring punchy one-liners amongst some anti-humour.
Meanwhile Aaron Chen's "wacky silly and non-violent" show, which also features support from Jon Lo, is titled The Infinite Faces of Chenny Baby. Revealing his funny side, Chen submitted this write-up to Soho Theatre's brochure: "I don't know what geezer means, but they are welcome to the show, as I know it's a popular concept in the UK. Also Lily Allen and Skepta please come to the show, and Boris Johnson (in Australia Boris means taking a shit. So his name is 'shit dick' haha... that's not the type of humour in the show)."
Angus and Aaron have been hanging out together in London since the New Year, so we're guessing they're not just performer colleagues now but firm friends too. Aaron confirms: "I know Angus really well. I have watched him grow and become such a guy... look at him, he is cute. He is strong. He is pretty. He is small."
We're not entirely sure we believe Angus though when he adds: "I know Aaron and I know his hopes and dreams. This is his first trip out of the country and at night he gets home sick. He makes me carry him to bed and sing Waltzing Matilda while he drifts to sleep. I am so proud of him."
Clearly, they do get on though. However, their trip to the UK is perhaps not all positive. They're currently missing the Australian summer to be here in the rain and storms, and it sounds like their health may be suffering too. Chen reveals: "My sidekick opener and best friend Jon Lo likes to eat a full English breakfast every morning and claims it to give him vitality, and that the ongoing health issues are from something else."
Angus, meanwhile, has been preparing for the health hazards that the capital city presents for a while now, in his own unique way. "I heard that riding the Tube is the equivalent to smoking two cigarettes, and that after a few weeks of doping it, you start to cough up black phlegm. After a while though your body gets use to it and it only makes you sick in ways you can't see. I took up smoking a few weeks in advance of the trip so that I would be acclimatised the minute I got here. Also I'm keeping an eye out for Jack the Ripper."
Aaron also points out another unexpected negative of the UK: "I am considered 20% more ugly here."
But getting to perform comedy in Britain makes up for the negatives. We're chatting to the duo after they've completed their first few nights at the Soho Theatre. Have they found the comedy culture here any different? "I have not learnt anything since I have been here. But, watching UK comedians, I have a lot to teach them" says Angus, before admitting that the comedy scene in London is tough.
Aaron jokingly adds: "It is such a big scene here you cannot trust anyone. There is always someone around the corner who is trying to bash you for an open mic spot. I wish the comedians would look me in the eye but instead they just spit in my eyes and look at the spit."