Karen Koren: Comedy Down Under

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THE deadline for shows participating in this year’s Fringe has past. We now have a total of 110 shows that will perform every day for 27 days. It makes for a pretty busy time, especially when you think that they all take place in one building.

That’s just under 3000 shows over the Festival, and that’s just at the Gilded Balloon. With all the other venues added in it is quite mind-boggling how big the Fringe has become, especially around the Bristo Square area of Edinburgh.

I am now on my way to Melbourne, Australia, to hopefully see some of the shows I have booked and find more for the future.

I can’t say I am looking forward to the very long flight. I am flying to Dubai, then on to Melbourne, it really does take approximately 24 hours. I have a stopover in Dubai of around two and half hours which is fine. I have found it quite easy to enjoy long flights. I like to think of it as a break and a bit of a holiday. I enjoy the preambles when first getting on the plane, the air hostesses getting everyone settled. Seeing who is sitting beside me and hoping they are not going to be a chatterbox. Then I decide on the films I am going to watch - it’s a good way to catch up on movies I meant to see at the cinema but never got round to seeing. I once watched 18 films on a long- haul flight.

Once there I will only have seven days before coming back via London. I’ll be judging the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s New Act competition entitled Raw, then at the end of the week their schools comedy competition to find the funniest pupil – the comedians of the future who, with a bit of luck, you might see at the Gilded Balloon in a few years time.