Review by Carly Fisher
A keyboard. A projector screen. A comedian wearing odd socks.
It’s a simple stage but that’s really the only thing simple that this show has going for it.
Because from this so-called simple stage, bursts one of the rising stars of the Aussie comedy scene.
Giving early Tim Minchin vibes, Gabbi Bolt has quickly established herself as one of the young comedians (in her mid-20s) to watch as she intelligently fuses comedy with, what I have to imagine was her first love, music. Sat behind her keyboard, despite telling us of her anxiety and how nervous she is, really you otherwise wouldn’t tell. Bolt has received much praise of late for her work, deservedly so, and I hope that this encouragement is part of the reason she seems so settled behind her keyboard.
Many a comedian has come out on stage and explained their journey with mental health, often using these experiences and stories to explain their nerves or anxious presence on stage. Gabbi Bolt wrote a song instead. Where there may be an awkward silent moment whilst she takes a drink of water, instead there is a cute, catchy and perfectly silly silence breaker song played through the speakers. Little touches like this, for me, separate Bolt from the other comedians I’ve seen this comedy festival. She has taken the time to really consider her performance, her comfortability, her quirks, her successes and work out how to enhance the experience of her show based on what she has learnt. For this, she is to be commended.
Of course, a song about drinking water is a strange piece to stand out (but I do love a good transition!) when considered amongst the rest of the show’s repertoire. And it really is an impressive set list. From a love to Andrew Garfield, to an in-depth consideration of the life of a retail worker, to a hilarious but still poignant conversation about the Australian police force training, Bolt has written it all.
Packed with wit and impressively unique in her choice of topics, Bolt has written some fantastic songs and proves through each of them just how rare of a talent she is. The comedy is on point but the musical quality matches it easily. Mixed in with a clever use of graphics on the screen behind her, Bolt really offers up an excellent Sydney Comedy Festival set.
There is so much I’d love to share about the things that I found so funny through the songs…but there’s nothing worse than someone who tells you the jokes that you’re going to hear in the show before you see the show so, get tickets whenever Gabbi Bolt is in a city near you.
I’m excited to see this performer continue to evolve and develop. It’s easy to see that this is just the beginning for her and that she is absolutely set to go far.
And when she does, let the record show, I noted the clear Tim Minchin vibes here in just her second show!
I’m already looking forward to Bolt's 2024 show!