REVIEW: Kura Forrester Tiki Tour (NZ International Comedy Festival 2015)

Kura's Tiki Tour delights.

Kura the Explorer [by Sharu Delilkan and Tim Booth]

Kura's Tiki Tour delights.
Kura’s Tiki Tour delights.

It’s not often that you can say you witnessed someone’s first ever gig as a comedian but with Kura Forrester’s show Tiki Tour we were privileged to be part of this at the Cellar Q Theatre today.

And the reason I say this is because Forrester showed definite talent and ease on stage. She is certainly no one hit wonder, but someone who I can almost bet on being part of the local comedy scene for the foreseeable future.

As Forrester said in her opening “firsts are always special” and tonight was too. The Cellar Q Theatre was a first for us and it was great sitting in the tarted up storage room under Q Theatre, kinda like The Basement with a proper ceiling. And the quirky licensing laws requiring it to have its own little bar only added to the show’s intimate feel. Forrester’s “first” was her first stand-up show – something she slid into very nicely to her intro. Her obviously natural way of drawing-in the audience from the get-go with her charm and confidence made us feel an integral part of her “first” OE around Europe, which is the subsequent subject matter of the show.

Yes many Kiwis go on Tiki Tours and come back and talk about it but not many have told it in a stand-up situation so that’s what made the show unique and appealing because most of us had a personal connection with the subject matter. The concept worked brilliantly as did her seamless delivery. The bus tour characters were hilarious and cleverly gave her a theme and structure for the show that she could personally weave in and out of as she desired. When she jumped out of the characters, giving her own insight, we got to know her a bit better and liked her as a fun and interesting ‘soul’ with a quirky view on life. I felt that she would have liked to reveal more of herself to the audience if (as she does as a note-to-self) she had more jokes about Australians, Eastern Europeans etc, with which to badger the crowd.

A bit of editing of the material could have allowed the audience even more different characters to laugh at, or for that matter more of Forrester herself, adding to the pace and variety of the overall show. More of either would have been welcome as her cheeky sassy delivery clearly endeared her to the crowd tonight. That being said the characters that she did paint were extremely vivid and were the types of people we could immediately relate to because of her fabulous descriptions. I also really liked her ability to delinate between characters, switching back and forth without missing a beat. Again her solo acting has been a huge asset with her stand-up act.

Another thing that Forrester has going for her is her amazing comic timing. She has always been a great comic actor so her ease with delivery that’s timed just so, holds her in good stead. Often one wonders how people will fair if they switch from one performance medium to the other but Forrester has definitely taken like a duck to water to her newly embarked upon stand-up career.

The whole show had a refreshing lack of needless swearing or fall-back jokes about boyfriends and mothers-in-law but instead was a window into a real person’s acute observations. A real person on a real journey rather than a pseudo-star on a “reality show journey”.

So if you have heard of Kura Forrester, go see her. And if you haven’t seen her on stage before, you definitely need to give this show a go – it is unique, funny, clever and ultimately a great slice of Kiwi life, which is the mandatory OE.

I for one look forward to many more stand-up shows from this intrepid comedienne.

Kura Forrester’s Tiki Tour plays as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2015 at Cellar at Q Theatre until May 2. For details see Comedy Festival.

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