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Comic spells out his gripes
Comic spells out his gripes

If you've ever felt enraged by the cost of ink cartridges or wanted to get that last word in with someone but never got the chance, Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy knows how you feel.

In fact, he's designed an entire show around a series of letters he's written to companies, people and places, expressing exactly what he's always wanted to say.

"It's almost like a therapy couch but in letter format," he says of his latest show, Dear Epson, that he's about to tour in Australia.

"There are a whole lot of things that have annoyed me or been in my head for years that I'm trying to sort out and letter writing seemed the most cathartic way to solve these problems."

The show comprises Danny Bhoy's written correspondence interspersed with stand-up. The comic says the show's genesis came when he wrote an email to printer company Epson about the cost of its ink and CC'd a few of his friends. His mates promptly replied with praise for the witty email, begging him to write more.

"So I ended up just sitting down and writing a whole lot of letters to companies and people and places . . . I started writing letters to people in my past, old schoolteachers and stuff," he says.

Targets range from cosmetic companies to American politicians, which sometimes lands him in hot water with big multinationals.

"I don't want to name names because every time I say who they are, they turn up on some Google search and I get a very inquiring legal letter. I called the show Epson so they wrote three letters to me wanting to know what was in the show and that was quite frightening because I hadn't even written the show," he recalls.

"(Epson representatives) actually came to the show, so I tell the story about what happened. It's very funny. It's not what you'd expect either."

The successful, award-winning comedian says Dear Epson is an evolving animal, as he tries to make each show relevant to its setting. When he tours Australia, he aims to throw in letters to companies Australians have gripes with.

And the trick to writing good letters? Don't get too angry or aggressive. Danny Bhoy suggests you instead mask your rage with charm and eloquence. "If you get too angry then it's not funny so they're more very sarcastic and sort of tongue-in-cheek because that's where you get the best sort of humour, to be incredulous about the problem," he says.

Known for his sharp observational humour, often involving personal experiences as an international comedian, the 30-something Scot (born Danni Chaudhry) is probably better known over here than he is in his native UK. His routines often centre on experiences he's had in Australia, which he admits to having a "huge affection" for, first falling in love during his 2007 regional tour.

"I quite like the solitude of stand-up and I like the landscape, the beauty and rawness of nature of a place," he says. "I think Australians like a good yarn in the same way Scottish people do. It means in a show you don't feel forced to set up punchline after punchline. You can relax into a show, tell a story, and let people enjoy the building of a story.

"I think the best stories in life are when I'm sitting around with mates in the pub. The ones that start off giving you a bit of background, then build, and get funnier and funnier."