The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is just around the corner, and one of the acts we are particularly looking forward to is the Filipino-New Zealander comedian James Roque.
James is bringing his much-revered Badong show to the festival, and will be performing it from the 28th March until the 9th April.
‘Badong’ is a light-hearted yet personal show from a comedian who traverses the bridge between his Filipino heritage and New Zealand homeland. It tackles his journey in reclaiming his cultural identity in a western society.
Where does the name ‘Badong’ come from? James explains: “Filipino parents love to give their kids next level traditional baby nicknames that they use instead of their real name. Mine was Badong. My entire life since I was a kid I’ve been called Badong. Now that I’m 30, I’m wondering – is it time to retire that name?”
The show sheds light on fitting in as a migrant. Standing out as a minority as a kid, then slowly coming to the realisation that there is an appreciation later on, as James explains: “This show is all about reclaiming your culture and identity as a migrant. Something that a lot of brown migrant kids do when they move to a Western country is try to blend in and shed their old culture behind. Then in their 20’s and 30’s they realise that that part of yourself is actually something you should embrace – then go on a big soul searching journey to find that again. That’s what I did and this show is my love letter to anyone else who had to do the same thing to survive as a kid. The kids who went to school, had people say their food looked weird only to see those same people now love that your culture’s food now that it’s cool too.”
James has taken the show to the holy grail of comedy, Edinburgh. There’s no doubt his observations will strike a chord with local audiences, and he is keen to bring it to Australia, as he writes:
“I’m super excited to be taking this show to Melbourne for the first time. I toured New Zealand with this show, then took it to Edinburgh! My favourite thing about going on tour internationally is not only performing to new audiences, but also finding the little pockets of migrant communities that live in the areas. Especially Filipinos. I love seeing how our experiences all line up together.”
James Roque will be performing from March 28th – April 9th at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at Campari House in Melbourne. Tickets are further information is available HERE
You can keep up to date with James via his Website, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter