Alexis Dubus ‘Verses The World’ in brilliant new show

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Alexis Dubus ‘Verses The World’ in brilliant new show


UK comedian Alexis Dubus doesn’t just follow the classic stand-up formula; he likes to add the challenge of performing his whole show in carefully crafted prose. That’s right – if you hadn’t already picked up on it from the witty wordplay of the title, Verses The World is an hour filled with hilarious poetic verse.

“I’ve not been to Melbourne for four years, and the last time I came the show was a bit of an epic fifty-minute poem, and this year it’s not epic in any way,” says Dubus. “It’s just silly, it’s just lots of silly poems and a few songs thrown in, some stories, and some ridiculous one-liners.”

Verses The World is a collection of weird stories from Dubus’ last few years living on the road and touring the world. In fact, he admits that he’s one of the lucky ones who never really had a ‘proper job’, falling straight from university into full time comedy.

“I went straight into it after being a student. I did the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards, which is our UK version of Raw, and I mainly did sketch comedy.”

That background in sketches has inspired a second stream of shows from Dubus’ overactive brain. He also plays a character called Marcel Lucont – his French alter ego. Dubus likes to keep the gigs he performs as a poet and the gigs he performs as Lucont completely separate, as they draw utterly different crowds and inhabit completely different comedic spirits.

“The two shows is just something I’ve always done, I guess I don’t like an easy life. They both get such different audiences, it’s really interesting.”

Dubus trialled Marcel for the first time at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and found that cross-promoting the Frenchman with his usual stand up confused audiences, as some came to see Marcel’s debut expecting the epic poetry of Dubus’ first show.

“I remember I was doing a show about the history of swearing, and then I said at the end ‘Oh I’m doing this character show afterwards, come along if you fancy it’, and a lot of people did and I remember I could hear backstage someone saying ‘Oh god, it’s almost like he was a completely different person’. Well yeah, that’s what character comedy is.”

The point then, is crystal clear – to enjoy Dubus’ hilarity in full, make sure you think of Lucont and Dubus as two separate entities, albeit formed in the one creative brain. The poetic gig is slightly more highbrow, whereas Dubus intriguingly describes Lucont as a “Shakespearean arsehole.”

There’s a heavy musical element to Verses The World that also sets it apart, and although Dubus himself is not a musician, he’s hired Doc Brown’s rap writer, Mikis, to create some backing track magic for his spoken word poetry.

“It’s like watching magic when he puts a track together for me, I’m entirely un-musical myself, it just boosts the poems and the full-on songs that I do in the show – a guy singing acapella at a comedy gig, now that’d be odd.”

So what’ll it be: comedic poetry or French slapstick?