Two years ago, Gabbi Bolt started making political comedy videos on TikTok amidst the global pandemic. Now, she’s performing her satirical songs live to a sold-out crowd in Marrickville’s retro-industrial Factory Theatre.
I Hope My Keyboard Doesn’t Break is a one-woman powerhouse of a musical comedy show, programmed as part of this year’s Sydney Comedy Festival. Bolt, a former ‘serious’ musician from Bathurst, combines her talented voice with an unapologetic streak of sarcastic, witty and quirky observational comedy.
She is a great composer, and her lyrics take on anything and everything about the bizarre experience of being a young person in Australia in 2022. Rich Sydney homeowners, single mums, toxic men on Twitter and inner city snobs are all targets for Bolt, but the show never feels mean-spirited. Instead, we are invited to laugh with Bolt and enjoy her quirky energy in a playful, knowing way. In fact, she is herself often the butt of self-deprecating humour.
Bolt is truly a brilliant up-and-comer in the Australian comedy scene. For the duration of the 60-minute show, she belts out musical number after musical number, delivers strings of punchlines and even dances, all with a tinge of the burlesque. She is a performer who aims to entertain.
The final song of I Hope My Keyboard Doesn’t Break was a highlight. Bolt spends the bulk of the show providing a diagnosis of the chaos of modern life, touching on topics including political tension, climate change and war, but ends with a heartfelt ballad dedicated to her hometown, Bathurst. City life is not all it seemed, and now her soul cries out for the regional city where everyone knows everyone and life moves at a more gentle pace. The sincerity of the song is touching, and acts as an antidote to the mind-numbing existence of the world in which we live.
I Hope My Keyboard Doesn’t Break was performed at the Factory Theatre on April 28 and 29 as part of the 2022 Sydney Comedy Festival.
Read our interview with Gabbi Bolt here.