Words by Paul Maland
The Adelaide Fringe Comedy Gala is without a doubt one of the hottest tickets of Fringe season.
The Gala is a showcase of a seemingly never-ending roster of comedians big on stages across the country and the world, all of which giving you a small taste of what they have to offer should you want to see them this season.
Much like its Melbourne counterpart, the Gala is delivered with such refined polish through the on-stage acumen of its performers that its presentation rivals that of a shiny, nationally aired television production.
Peter Helliar's role as an established national personality is solidified in his confidence on stage, his material when he's working, and his interactions with the audience. Helliar helped keep the sense of professionalism that ties the Gala and its huge line-up together in a neatly wrapped package of ready for T.V., piss-yourself comedy.
Joining Helliar on stage was an endless stream of funny men and women (and some who prefer you don't identify them at all), all set out to poke fun and make us question different aspects and occurrences that make up the collective experience of our lives.
Tom Gleeson, Sammy J, Akmal Saleh, Dave Hughes and Lawrence Mooney are just a few of the bigger names to grace the stage, as well as countless other small-hitters from both Australia and abroad.
Although listing each comedian and their strengths and weaknesses would be nice, it wouldn't be doing the style of presentation justice. The benefit to showcases like the Adelaide Fringe Comedy Gala is that you are given a pre-assembled set with little intricacies to figure out: what you see is what you get, and what you get is laughter. The standard of comedians is high, and the crowd reactions and cumulative atmosphere is even higher thanks to the fittingly verbose surroundings of the Royalty Theatre.
Catching the Comedy Gala over its extremely limited run is like seeing a shooting star. It's rare, you're lucky, and sometimes you're not even sure which star you just saw, but you're grateful. A must for comedy fans of all ages.