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Bob Downe: Bob, Sweat and Tears at Melbourne Comedy Festival 2014

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by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne and happy to spread the love for funky town with the WeekendNotes readers.If the feeling is mutual you can subscribe to my articles or share them with your friends.Or visit my website at
Event: -
Bob's Ups and Downes - Meet the REAL Bob Downe

"He's been living a lie!" - Murwillumbah Irrigator

The term 'Sold Out' took on a whole new meaning at Bob, Sweat and Tears at Melbourne's Athenaeum Theatre. Audience members were left reeling after gay icon Bob Downe confessed to being gay for pay – a sort of 'workplace agreement' he had undertaken with his subconscious self and discovered only after recent psychiatric counselling.

In his 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival incarnation, Bob takes us on a musical journey through the repressed heterosexual memories buried deep in his psyche – the catalyst for the Irrigator's sensational headline. To the pumping strains of I'm the Leader of the Gang I am! Bob introduces testosterone into his act for the very first time, and the crowd laps it up. The Prince of Polyester is dead! Long live the King of the flannel trackie dacks!

His search for his inner metrosexual (or at the very least his inner Neil Diamond) is the excuse for a feast of popular hits of the late 60s/early 70s - Bob–style. Think Little River Band, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins. No wait - even the new straight Bob Downe "draws the line at Phil f***ing Collins."

Of course, it's not long before his macho façade starts to crack and the old Bob comes out of that closet once again. The audience reaction to his heartfelt rendition of 70s classic Me and Alan Jones (we've got a thing going on…) left this reviewer in no doubt that Melbourne audiences love Bob Downe whichever way he comes.

This year he had the support of backing band The Full Catastrophe, a trio of talented musicians who were clearly as entertained by Bob's antics as his audience. Bob, Sweat and Tears is that special combination of stand-up and singalong that is Bob Downe's signature style. The 59 minutes and 30 seconds of razzle dazzle, retro rhythms and repartee were vintage Bob. And as for those headlines? Don't believe everything you read in the media…unless it comes from Weekend Notes of course.
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Why? Find out the truth about Bob Downe - Australia's Prince of Polyester
When: March 28 to April 20
Phone: 03 9650 1500
Where: Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins St Melbourne
Cost: $28 to $34
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