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

Review by Matt Baker

Natasha Hoyland

[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 build. This is not a significant problem, and also one not limited to newcomers, but does seem to have drawn a particular crowd to whom Hoyland and her opening act Jack Ansett’s material is not readily accessible.

Ironically, Hoyland’s modern day marketing ploy is one such observation made in her routine, but the opportunity to play this bit against the reality of the situation is not utilised. In fact, Hoyland’s presentation as a comedian in general requires more engagement with her audience, beginning with simply looking at them.

By connecting with her audience more, Hoyland could allow her obviously innate sense of play to deliver her material with a more authentic sense of self. But this is all part of a comedian finding “their funny”, and I have no doubt that with more stage time and exposure Hoyland could master her unique comedic talents.

Food for Thought is performed by Natasha Hoyland and plays at the Q CellarĀ as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2016 untilĀ April 30. For details see Comedy Festival.

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