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Asian Comedy Invasion seeking laughs at Perth's Fringe World Festival

Four men pose for a photo on a stage with their arms around one another.
Group members Ro Campbell, Kavin Jay, Jinx Yeo and Subdeep Rao will perform eight shows.

ABC News: Courtney Bembridge

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Asian nations may already be some of Australia's largest trading partners, but a small group of performers now wants to add another commodity to the list — laughter.

A group of rising Asian comedy stars has arrived in Perth for a series of shows as part of the Fringe World Festival.

Australian comedian Ro Campbell has imported the stand-up comedians from India, Malaysia and Singapore for the festival, after a number of emerging Asian artists caught his attention.

Many of them come from conservative backgrounds and use comedy to play up the differences between the east and west.

"What more Australian way to get to know your neighbours than having a laugh with them?" Mr Campbell said.

The comedian has noticed a booming comedy scene in Asia over the past few years.

"It's almost the the point where they don't need so many western comics travelling there now, because there's just so much really good homegrown talent, and I was like 'wow, I think Australian audiences would like to see these guys as well'."

Jinx Yeo from Singapore said comedy bridged the gap between cultures.

However, there are differences between the Asian and Australian comedy scenes.

Comedians face challenges at home

Malaysian comic Kavin Jay said certain topics were off limits in his country, and there were consequences if a performer criticised the government or religion.

"Religion is, I believe, taboo. You don't speak about religion because people are very religious in Malaysia," he said.

"Politics is one thing where you really have to be clever to do it.

Stand-up comedy remains very new in India, where Sundeep Rao hails from.

"Stand up was almost unheard of," he said.

"So when I was approaching venues saying 'I want to do stand-up comedy evenings at your venue', you had to convince them and make them understand what stand up was.

"Because they were like, 'what do you mean a guy holds a mic and makes people laugh? That's ridiculous'."

The group will perform eight shows as part of the festival.