British comedian Bob Slayer has been thrown out of his second Australian festival because of his unruly behaviour.
Last month, he lived up to the title of his show, Bob Slayer Will Outdrink Australia, when he was banned from Fringe World in Perth for being ‘drunk and inappropriate’ at a late-night chat show.
Now he has had his run of gigs at the Adelaide Fringe pulled, too, after repeatedly breaking the rules of the venue where he was performing.
The last straw came following one typically chaotic show at The Austral, when Slayer was faced with three drunk girls, who claimed to work for the Fringe, who fell off their chairs, unplugged his microphone lead and spilled their drinks. In a blog, he described how he got one of them up on stage and wrapped her in gaffer tape for an ad hoc escapologist act, which he says she willingly took part in, before they all left – to apparently complain loudly about the gig from the comfort of the bar.
However, after the blog appeared, Scottish promoter Alan Anderson, who booked shows for the venue, kicked him out for bringing the fringe into disrepute.
In a statement issued on behalf of the entire programming team, Anderson said: ' It was with regret that the programming team deemed it necessary to expel Bob. His onstage performance can be very erratic, but very exciting, sadly his offstage persona is just as erratic and just as exciting... but for all the wrong reasons.
' Sadly Bob became not only in financial breach of contract with The Austral, but he also broke the venue's code of conduct on three separate occasions, one of which included being found in dubious circumstances in the venue's female toilets.'
However Slayer – real name James Hay – says those 'dubious circumstances' were simply to pop his head around the door to hand out flyers those waiting to use the cubicles. Anderson said: 'We have nothing further to add beyond the prepared statement.'
Slayer admitted to Chortle that he had broken some of the rules imposed on him for his Adelaide run following his behaviour in Perth, saying: 'Alan is a lovely man, but he loves his rules,' he said.
In another blog entry, Slayer wrote: 'I am an irresponsible idiot and a drunk who aims to push and provoke at every opportunity in order to create mayhem, events and stories.
'My shows are regularly adversely (and often positively) effected [sic] by audience members and indeed myself – I encourage this because although the wheels can fall off it is also where some truly unique and wonderful experiences can be found. But it seems that my attempts at creative risk-taking have taken too many of these risks with other people's money.'
Slayer's problems in Australia started last month, at a late-night show in Perth, hosted by Marcel Lucont – the French character created by British comic Alexis Dubus. Slayer took to the stage very drunk, and a stunt in which he puts deely-bobbers on an audience member and wraps them in a sleeping bag with to recreate The Hungry Caterpillar went awry. He was thrown out by bouncers, and banned from all festival venues.
While in Perth, Slayer was also arrested for assault, and admits he 'pinched a lady's bottom'. The bail money for that incident was covered by Alex Petty, promoter of the Laughing Horse venues in the UK and also part the programming team at The Austral, alongside British comic Nik Coppin and Sam Thomas from the venue.
However, it is not all bad news for Slayer – who estimates he has lost £5,000 over his Australian trip – as Adelaide's Tuxedo Cat venue learned of his misadventures, and offered him space to perform a farewell gig tomorrow night. Slayer called the venue: 'The home of alternative comedy and cabaret at Adelaide Fringe and the defender of idiots'.