Barry Humphries once recounted an incident at one of his shows where, as Edna, he had been mocking a woman in the front row all evening for wearing dark glasses throughout. Invited up, it was only as the woman came to the stage that Edna, and indeed the entire audience, became aware of the woman’s white cane. Humphries said that in that moment he was faced with a choice – apologise profusely or as one should do on an icy road – “Drive into the skid”.
So, Edna doubled down and said, “Well at least you didn’t bring the dog!”
Reuben Kaye has had two shows at this year’s Comedy Festival, Live and Intimidating at Arts Centre Melbourne and two late night Saturdays at the Forum hosting The Kaye Hole. This show is what the Comedy Festival Gala would (should) be like if Reuben assembled the line-up. Perth and Brisbane Comedy festival goers might care to note that The Kaye Hole understandably sold out in Melbourne because it was arguably the best and best value late night show of the festival.
With Kaye as Ringmaster, (so many jokes) each night delivers something different that is most definitely NOT for all the family. Kaye’s first entrance not only set the tone of the evening but it was quite possibly, one of the kinkiest and most outrageous arrivals onto a stage imaginable. No spoilers, but let's collectively hope the ‘tail’ of Naked Satan is still functional! In its final Melbourne iteration, the show sported a fabulous live band, a fire eater (Jac Fury), an aerialist (Leo Pentland), a naked popcorn making hula hoop girl (Tara Boom), a lesbian stand up with cerebral palsy (Rosie Jones), another with autism and a great singing voice (Em Rusciano), another with a short arm (Maddie Stewart) and an indigenous fella from Wagga Wagga who delivered the one of the evening’s most memorable lines and wedding vows (Dane Simpson). Fun, irreverent spontaneous, outrageous, and so incredibly slick for a show that screams of anything could happen.
Reuben Kaye is ridiculously talented, astonishingly funny, and fabulously filthy.
He is also unbelievably fearless for continuing to stand so vulnerably and so defiantly on stage in the wake of a threatening and relentless campaign waged against him over remarks he recently made on live on television.
Reuben Kaye may not have known of Barry Humphries passing as he prepared to go on stage for his final Melbourne ‘Kaye Hole’. For the tone and good of the show, he may have reasonably decided not to mention that Melbourne’s most iconic and greatest comedy export had died. It might also be the case that a hat tip to Barry Humphries was refused over remarks and assertions HE once made.
Whether or not this genuine and heartfelt comparison is welcome, Reuben Kaye, like Barry Humphries before him, possesses that very same, utterly recognisable menacing wit and gift for social interrogation and commentary. There’s an evident trajectory for this unbelievably talented artist so let’s all hope he follows it because very few are brave enough, smart enough, strong enough and talented enough to ‘Drive into the Skid’.
The Kaye Hole
Venue: Forum Downstairs | 154 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 15 & 22 April 2023
Tickets: $42 – $39