Rowsthorn’s career on the fringe

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Australian comedian Pete Rowsthorn will perform his stand up act to help open Bunbury's first Fringe Festival on February 3.
Camera IconAustralian comedian Pete Rowsthorn will perform his stand up act to help open Bunbury's first Fringe Festival on February 3.

Beloved Australian comedian Peter Rowsthorn is ready to kick off Bunbury’s first Fringe Festival with a gaggle of laughs at the opening night party tonight at the Fringe Festival Hub.

For more than three decades Rowsthorn has regularly appeared on stages and screens across Australia and is most recognisable as the long-suffering character Brett Craig on the hit series Kath and Kim.

Speaking to the South Western Times on his career and upcoming performance, the professional comedian used the opportunity to poke fun at his usual target – himself.

“I’ve been performing for 34 years now – how old is that?” he said.

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Though Rowsthorn has enjoyed an illustrious career, he did not always believe he would be destined for fame.

“I am a teacher by trade and was at a teacher’s college when I started doing comedy at night and I thought I was going to be famous, so I dropped out halfway through and then realised I wasn’t so I went back and finished it,” he said.

“I thought ‘I have to get a real job, this is hard’.”

Speaking about his time on Kath and Kim, Rowsthorn remembers how the iconic Australian show almost didn’t happen.

“The ABC never thought it would work and that it wouldn’t be funny enough,” he said.

“If there’s no mojo it doesn’t work and we had a good mojo, it was a great set to be on.”

Rowsthorn said he was thankful the show wasn’t remembered for being “so bad”.

Despite his extensive experience entertaining big crowds, Rowsthorn admits he still gets “a little nervous”.

“It’s a very concentrated skill and the audience can tell when you are off,” he said.

“When you are up there it gets your mind spinning, you have to stay vibrant and mentally in the game.

“I’m just an adrenaline junkie really, when you can generate that laughter it’s pretty raw.”

Rowsthorn reaffirmed his love for his job and said he planned to continue to perform for many years to come.

“I love doing it, it’s so connective and immediate and the bottom line is to get them laughing,” he said.

Rowsthorn is excited to once again dip his toes in festival shows and will be performing twice in Bunbury on Saturday in addition to the opening party gig.

“If you perform with a bit of heart, the comedy seems like you are making it up on the spot which is what I find the audience loves,” he said.

“The show will be relaxed and have a lot of improv, I’ll hopefully be all loosey goosey and bounce off the audience. I like Bunbury, I’ve been there quite a lot.”

Tickets to the shows can be purchased through Bunbury Fringe’s official website.

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