A wave of comedians from Poland, Hungary, Latvia and Romania are helping to tackle stereotypes about EU immigrants in the UK
It’s not easy being a Polish comedian in Brexit Britain. “I haven’t heard anyone actually say the words, ‘Go back to your country,’” says Mike Topolski, a standup and actor originally from Wrocław in western Poland who moved here seven years ago and is now proudly engaged to “a Geordie lass”. “But I did a gig a couple of months ago in south London and the jokes were not well received at all. I was the only foreigner there and it felt like it was a Brexit crowd. They were just staring at me and I could see them thinking: ‘How are you still here? Should we build a wall or what?’” His signature opener? “Yes, a comedian. But also builder, plumber, electrician and gardener.”
Topolski is one of more than 80 comics in the lineup of the UK’s first Eastern European comedy festival (EEComFest), which opens on Wednesday with 19 shows at venues across London. It features acts from 15 countries, from Bosnia and Moldova to Malta and Slovenia. The festival’s mission statement jokes that this is “another try from immigrants to get control over the United Kingdom and end the British way of life. It will be in London, as it’s the UK city with the biggest immigration problem.” But clearly the aim is the opposite: to use humour to try to improve mutual understanding. It’s like Eurovision, only intentionally funny.
If I say I’m 31 and I live with my parents, in Romania, that is very funny. It’s too late to be living with your parents
Link : Polski sklep-stick – is Brexit Britain ready for eastern European standup?