Global Greening [by Matt Baker]
Brendon Green is changing the world, one show and one problem at a time – or trying to at least. The show is structured on a familiar television format which has proved popular to New Zealand audiences via 7 Days. But the format also has the potential for not quite hitting the mark, as New Zealand’s version of Would I Lie To You proved. This potential is based on two components: the host and the panellists.
Green is an incredibly affable on (and off) stage personality, so as a comedian with a solo show in the comedy festival, he can afford to take more time warming-up the crowd and advertising his own show. The panellists on opening night are Justine Smith, Jon Bennett, and Jamie Bowen, and while each brings their own comedic value to the show, Bowen is the clear stand out, illustrating that not only does thorough prep work pay off, but a quick improvisational wit can keep the show humming along – even if at times the live element means potential comic gems are lost through throwaway lines or speaking over one another.
Our world problem for the evening was solving world hunger. After 45 minutes, the majority vote was to eat more bees, courtesy of Bennett. Bowen was quick to note that this would simply generate its own problem. Green reminded him that we were only dealing with one world problem at a time. Suffice it to say, humour takes the forefront over any practical means to solving the problem Green proposes to his panel. It’s a bit frustrating, in that many comedians, especially those of the latest generation, have a deep intellectualism and philosophy integrated within their work that I had hoped would blossom in this show, but, then again, this is a comedy festival, and the audience certainly enjoyed themselves.
Clues to the types of the shows’ problems to solve are listed on The Green Effect website and panellist line-ups are available on the Comedy Festival website, so check it all out and take advantage of this early show to kick off a night of comedy for the festival.
The Green Effect plays as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2015 at Montecristo until May 16. For details see the Comedy Festival.