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  • Mandy Plumb


Two surprising additions fuelled a fire at the Bris Funny Fest on Friday night. ‘Surprising’ because anyone who saw Keith on Fire at Five Sisters Café would have expected a one-man comedy show by Keith Cheng. Yet the audience were warmed with Jennifer Burke, a Triple J RAW grand finalist, and MJ Wong.

Jennifer’s effortless jokes and down-to-earth style was refreshing, particularly in a male-dominated industry where many female artists are unable to disguise the fact they are trying very hard to be funny.

Describing himself ‘about as Asian as an Asian tattoo on a white guy’, MJ Wong changed the pace, injecting an enormous amount of energy into the room. MJ’s stage presence alone proves he was born to be on stage; and combined with his ability to work the crowd and make laugh-a-minute jokes, he is definitely a strong prediction for the next big name in stand-up comedy.

Headlining the show, Keith Cheng put on an eclectic performance, integrating one-liners with wacky sketches, audience interaction, and multi-media. The first half of his show included demonstrations of conventional and unconventional activities he has been investing in to meet women. One such activity was an online conversation in which the audience were invited to ask an attractive blonde from a dating site some questions on Keith’s behalf.

The second half of the final act went into a deep, dark well of self-deprecation that would perhaps be fitting dialogue for a sombrely pensive autobiographical cabaret show. Light bulb moment: if singing is, in fact, one of Keith’s talents, repurposing the second-half material for a cabaret might be a hit.

The Bris Funny Fest finishes on Sunday, 20 August 2017 and there are seven shows from which to choose on the last day. Click here to see what they are.


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