Last week I did my first 3 gigs in the Balkans. Well, except when I went to entertain the swedish troops in Kosovo. But that was, of course, in swedish. I flew down early wednesday morning after 3 hours of sleep and landed in Ljubljana tired and with my winter boots on. It was snowing in Stockholm when I left and I just hadn’t checked the weather forecast for Slovenia. I should have. It was swedish summer down there. After a couple of hours we set off for Zagreb to do an english night in The Movie Pub.
Standup is a really new art form in the Balkans. Some countries doesn’t have a scene at all and in Slovenia and Croatia it’s been around for 6-7 years so I had no idea what to expect from comedians or audience. It turned out to be a great first gig though with all comedians doing nice sets even though you could se some of them struggling a bit in their second, third or even forth language.
It’s always enjoyable when topics are hot. For real. And as it turned out, most of what I talk about are hot topics down there. You got a lot of gasps amid the laughter and a couple of awkward moments of silence, especially when I talked about the army and about abortions. Just the way I like my shows.
I didn’t get to see much of Zagreb as the club is on the outskirts of town and I was really tired. We headed back to Ljubljana for a gig at a theatre there that turned out to be a lot of fun too. Everything was really well organized and my host Tin Vodopivec (who is also a comedian) really took great care of me. After the gig in Slovenia they took me to a pizzeria type of place about 30 km from Ljubljana and on the way there was many jokes about them bringing me to the countryside to kill me for joking about sensitive stuff. They didn’t kill me. Sadly, we did kill a cat. Or, rather Mitja Okorn did. To his defence there was not much he could do. Mitja turned out tobe a real crazy guy and there was a lot of talk about him putting me in his next movie. Now all I have to do is get a hold of swedish commercial star “Jerry” and porn actress “Bella Donna” and I might be on my way to fa
me and fortune in Poland where the movie is supposed to be released. It was just one of those crazy nights that will stick in your memory for ever. Well, the entire trip was memorable.
After Ljubljana it was time to hit the small town Brezice near the croatian border where I did a gig at a youth center that was probably the best gig of the trip. Sadly the other comedians didn’t do their stuff in english more than at Movie Pub, so I didn’t get so see much of what the balkan comedians are up to, but I think they’re on the right track. 3 gigs in as many days and all of them packed. They also have a comedy festival in august and another one i january that I hope to attend. There was also talk about getting me on stage in Belgrade which would be great fun. I really want to back down there as soon as I can to visit all the great clubs and great people again.