Matt Baker’s back with highlights from week one of the Comedy Festival and his picks for week two
Week one of the 2019 NZ International Comedy Fest saw winner of the 2018 Auckland Theatre Excellence Award-winner Leon Wadham follow up his debut hit Giddy, with Funk, an absurd literal and metaphorical journey of self-discovery, which once again blew audiences away. While comparatively new to the comedy world, Wadham is fast proving himself as a unique performer with incredible craft.
A celebrity-attended opening night was everything you’d expect from Two Hearts – The Winery Tour, as musical comedy duo Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore took millennials and baby boomers alike on a non-stop, tongue-in-cheek extravaganza of buttery Chards and comedy beats.
UK comedian Ian Smith, with his endearingly affable nature, still has one more week left of his show Craft at The Classic. From a simply letter in the mail to a live wish-granting, it’s a simple yet exciting premise that Smith cleverly layers, building to an unforeseeable twist that is expertly executed.
New Zealand favourites Eli Matthewson and Guy Montgomery are playing at Basement and Q Theatre respectively, while Lynette Parkinson makes her comedy debut with son Hamish in the highly anticipated Me ‘n’ Ma.
Fred Award nominated sketch group Frickin Dangerous Bro are back to cement their Legacy at Basement Theatre this week, but make sure you check out their solo shows as well. Self-proclaimed Filipino step-son of New Zealand Comedy, James Roque, unpacks some baggage in Boy Mestizo, Pax Assadi continues to refuse pulling his comedic punches in Raised by Refugees, and the ever-jovial Jamaine Ross puts his best foot-forward with The Good Life.
If group comedy and line-ups are your preferred way of covering acts throughout the festival, there’s also Another Very Notorious*, Very Late Night Show at Basement Theatre, which includes David Correos and Ben MacGougan, Justine Smith, Rhys Mathewson, and The Fan Brigade, as well as The Big Show at Q Theatre, and Comedy All Stars at the Bruce Mason Centre.
Live comedy chat is also an option, with Tim Batt and Disasteradio in Space Couch.
Ivan Aristeguieta is back to share with us his mid-life crisis with Venezuelan charm in The Fourth Floor, while Wellington’s Alice May Connolly and Maria Williams bring your favourite Netflix and podcast documentaries to life, or is it death, with The Mournmoor Murders.
Follow Matt Baker’s coverage of the Comedy Festival at Up Your Arts.