REVIEW: What If There Is No Toilet? Felicity Ward (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 28, 2016

[Shits and Giggles] It’s no small challenge basing your show around the premise of irritable bowel syndrome without devolving completely into the realm of toilet humour. But in Australian comedian Felicity Ward’s What If There Is No Toilet?, she avoids the cheap and obvious jokes of the topic on hand. And while she’s never afraid to be a little crass, […]

REVIEW: Matt Okine (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 28, 2016

[More than Ok] Matt Okine has an impressive comedic résumé. A multi-award winning comedian with international tours, and openings for Aziz Ansari and Dave Chappelle, since 2012 Okine has been making a name for himself both at home in Australia and overseas. As a relatively new comic, Okine has a well-defined stage persona and an excellent economy of words, and […]

REVIEW: Funny as Cancer: Beth Vyse (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 27, 2016

[Continue the conversation] I firmly believe that there is nothing you cannot joke about; it is simply a question of the victim of the joke. Beth Vyse is one of the 78% of women in the United Kingdom who have survived breast cancer, but she is not a victim. She is, however, a comedian, and she’s here for the 2016 […]

REVIEW: Food for Thought: Natasha Hoyland (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 27, 2016

[More Thought, Less Food] It’s not easy, and also not entirely necessary, to provide a thematic narrative structure to a comedy show, and the food component in Natasha Hoyland’s title feels like a catalyst to certain jokes that haven’t been fully considered in the context of a 50-minute performance, as opposed to a motif upon which the material could naturally […]

REVIEW: G.O.A.T: Frickin Dangerous Bro (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 26, 2016

[Get them on our Screens] Pax Assadi, James Roque, and Jamaine Ross want to create the greatest sketch show of all time. It’s a ludicrous premise, especially when pitting yourself against the likes of Saturday Night Live, Key & Peele, and, of course, Monty Python, but it’s this ridiculousness presented with loose, informal, direct to audience banter, that make it […]

REVIEW: Back With a New Show: Nish Kumar (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 25, 2016

[Return couldn’t come sooner] My only regret in seeing Nish Kumar’s debut performance at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival last year was that it was his final night, because I would have paid to have seen him again. Fortunately, this year, not only does Kumar have a longer run, he’s been elevated to The Classic mainstage as opposed to […]

REVIEW: Reset: James Acaster (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 25, 2016

[No Do-Over] Since his first show in New Zealand, James Acaster has had an acclaimed presence in our comedy scene. From the New Zealand Comedy Guild’s Best International Act Award in 2013 (Prompt) to the New Zealand International Comedy Festival’s Best International Show Award in 2014 (Bread), his risible observations, delivered in a dulcet and placid cadence, have been readily […]

REVIEW: Camping: Parker and Sainsbury (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 25, 2016

[Fantastic Foursome] Set in a holiday home where two couples double-book for a honeymoon and an anniversary, the drawing room comedy becomes the primary target for parody in Chris Parker and Thomas Sainsbury’s Camping. It’s like a raunchier version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with the serious drama cut out. Even the characters feel like grotesque Kiwi versions of […]

REVIEW: Moon Baby: Hamish Parkinson (NZ International Comedy Festival)

April 25, 2016

[Awkward Absurdity] Before we begin, as the pre-show announcement by Ricky Gervais is played, Hamish Parkinson seizes the opportunity to apply comedy in the most unexpected ways. It’s a perfect example of his willingness to push boundaries and conventions that makes his shows unpredictable and exciting to watch. Moon Baby is arguably a natural progression from Parkinson’s previous one-man comedy […]

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