Comedians from all over
There’s nothing worse than trying to understand jokes in a language that’s not your own. Hearing laughter without catching the punchline often creates some sort of paranoia that the joke is on us. But at the Copenhagen Anglo Comedy Festival, you can laugh without fear. Presumably, your biggest worry will be arriving late, being forced to sit in the front row, and having mocking gibes thrown at your tardy-self by top comedians from around the globe.
This four-day festival promises a gaggle of laughs in a language you do understand. Comedy in English is becoming more and more popular in Denmark, attracting both native-English speakers and Danes alike. The impressive Copenhagen Anglo Comedy Festival line-up features a mixture of big local names and international guests like Mark Little (Aus), Al Pitcher (NZ), Christian Schulte-Loh (Ger), and Addy van der Borgh (UK).
Little is probably more well-known in Britain than Australia for his role as Joe Mangel in the soap opera Neighbours. Pitcher, who is known for his quirky, self-effacing, rambling comedic style, has been previously described as a kid who has drunk too much lemonade. Pitcher will unleash his freewheeling, sugar-high performance on the festival’s opening night. While the UK’s Van der Borgh will draw on his physical theatre and clowning training to portray a range of humorous voices and characters.
One of the festival’s organisers, Canada’s Joe Eagan, who is a comedian in his own right, says Schulte-Loh is one to look out for on May 3. Yes, it does sound bizarre endorsing a German stand-up comic when Germany is generally considered as somewhat lacking in the funny gene. But Schulte-Loh seems to be an exception, or a freak of biological nature, highlighted by both his height and preposterous sense of humour. “Don’t judge a book by its cover – unless it’s a German passport,” he urges. The extremely tall comedian has toured several successful shows including “Stop Laughing, I am German” and “I am German, I should not be here!” The Swedish-based Eagan, meanwhile, will play host on May 4 and bring out his famous PowerPoint presentation that makes light of living in Scandinavia. Any foreigners living here will get some gratification from this segment.
Danish headliners Brian Mørk, Carsten Bang, Thomas Hartmann and Anders Stjernholm, who are all well-known comedians with backgrounds in television, will also perform their routines in English – as the name of the festival suggests. Some of the other Danish acts spend a lot of their time touring English venues so they can spread their brand of comedy to a wider audience. Morten Sørensen and Claus Reiss are regulars in Edinburgh and Leicester.
Eagan says the comedy scene is more cutthroat overseas, whereas in Denmark, there is a greater onus on having a good time – and that laid-back attitude will be on show at the upcoming festival. “The comedians pretty much say: ‘Give me my train money and a beer and I’ll be fine,’” he laughs.
After all the comedians have done their bit and drained the beer, there is an open mic session every night from 10:30pm until late. At this stage of the night, it’s likely the comedians are a few beers deep and ready to let loose on stage for an additional seven minutes. Admission is free for the open mic segment so the laughs come cheap.
CPH Anglo Comedy Festival
Lygten Station, Lygten 2, Cph NV;
Starts Wed, ends May 5, opens daily at 20:00;
Tickets: 50kr, available after 19:00 on the door or www.billetlugen.dk;