The Prince of Polyester
Bob Downe, one of Australia's most loved and enduring comedy characters, is the creation of Mark Trevorrow.
Born in Melbourne in 1959, Mark was co-founder of the cabaret comedy group The Globos, who released two Australian Top 20 hit singles Tintarella di Luna (1982) and The Beat Goes On (1983). In 1984 he formed a comedy duo with Cathy Armstrong, in which Bob Downe was born.
In 1988 Mark took Bob Downe to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where he was an instant success. Throughout the 1990s Mark commuted between London and Sydney, touring nationally in both countries. In 2002 Bob made his 12th Edinburgh Fringe appearance.
In Australia, Bob's first album titled Greatest Hits was released in 1996, with his second album Jazzy! (1997) being nominated for a Best Comedy Album ARIA music award. In 2001 Bob released his third album Huge Hits to great success.
In 1998 Bob published his first book All Bob Downe! (Penguin). The same year he hosted the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade broadcast (Network Ten). In 1999 and 2000, he again hosted the Mardi Gras Parade, and in 2000 hosted his own comedy/chat series The Bob Downe Show (Foxtel/TV1).>
Bob Downe's Australian tours, Million Sellers (1999), Whiter! Brighter! (2000), Cold August Night (2002) were sellouts everywhere, including performances at the Sydney Opera House and the State Theatre. In 2008, his show Bob Downe - 20 Golden Greats toured Sydney clubs to huge success.
In the UK, Bob's numerous television credits include: Bob Downe Under (LWT, 1992); Barrymore, Des O'Connor Tonight, Surprise! Surprise! and The 1995 Royal Variety Performance (all for ITV). The 1996 ITV New Year's Eve spectacular, The Bob Downe Special, the UK series Bob Downe All Over Britain (UKPlay/BBC, 1998) and Spicks and Specks (2009). In 1999 Mark was awarded Cabaret Artiste of the Year at the Green Room Awards and received the honour again in 2000.
In 2001 Bob played a successful three-night showcase at New York's Westbeth Theatre. The same year Mark debuted a new cabaret show, singing as himself for the first time with a jazz trio at the Black Cat Cabaret in Melbourne. In 2003 he presented the same show at the Sydney Opera House Studio to sell out audiences and a studio album, It's About Time, featuring these songs was released in February 2004 by ABC Music/Universal. Following sellout seasons at Australia's home of cabaret, The Butterfly Club in Melbourne, and sellout shows at the 2007 Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June, his show Live & Swingin' headlined in a three week season at The Spiegeltent at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Later that year, he performed a Christmas Show, Ding Dong Downe with TV legend Denise Drysdale.
In 2003 following the success of his ABC documentary The Way We Were: Sinatra in Australia (2002), Mark recorded more such specials for the ABC and also appeared as the voice of Spalding in the outrageous animated Australian/Canadian sitcom Quads (SBS 2002). In 2006 Bob performed in Melbourne, Las Vegas, Mauritius, and at the Edinburgh Festival.
Mark Trevorrow has been regularly presenting for ABC Radio in Sydney since February 2006, including a warmly received five-week run of Summer Evenings on national local radio.
Bob Downe performs as:
Bob Downe - The Prince of Polyester, Murwillumbah's original perfect party animal, always makes a function swing! Guests literally squeal with delight at a surprise appearance by Bob Downe, Australia's greatest emcee - cheeky and irreverent, yet warm and funny.
Quite simply, Bob Downe never fails to deliver a light-hearted yet totally professional focus to an evening. He's just as good with his self-contained solo set: 20 to 40 tailored minutes of high-energy disco classics and hilarious standup. He's one of Australia's most-loved comic characters - guaranteed, gilt-edged fun. "And If your guests don't hit the dance floor, then I'll go and get 'em!" promises Bob.
Mark Treverrow with the John Thorn Trio - The man behind Bob Downe comes out to sing! Mark Trevorrow adds a new string to his bow with "an impeccably chosen set of pop and show standards, backed by an equally impeccable jazz trio" (Sun-Herald).
After all the years of comic hysteria, can Mark seriously sing? Here's the Sydney Morning Herald's jazz critic: "Trevorrow in exceptional voice... completely convincing... even moving" (John Shand).
A new ABC TV series, 'The Way We Were' and an album, 'It's About Time', is further proof, if any was needed. Direct from the Sydney Opera House Studio and the Famous Spiegeltent, a tasteful and stylish musical set running from 20 minutes to an hour and more, with Mark and his music director and pianist John Thorn (plus locally-based bassist & drummer).
The Entertainer (Mark) ad-libbed jokes, audience interaction, belting vocals, zany dance steps, tender ballads and name-dropping anecdotes all jostled each other, hustling away any chance of a dull moment …..Whether serious or madcap, almost every line was delivered direct to the eyes of an audience member, yet Trevorrow's innate likeability allowed him to do this without any sense of confrontation.