REVIEW: The Crown Prince: Joel Creasey (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Matt Baker

Joel Creasey

[Fame Awaits]

Joel Creasey wants to be famous, and so far he’s doing rather well. The Australian comedian has been successfully performing since his debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2010, garnering nominations and performing to sell-out crowds throughout Australia. That fame, however, has yet to reach New Zealand shores. Having seen Creasey perform previously at the Classic, and based on the opening night audience’s response to his work, this appears to be more a matter of a lack of awareness than a lack of success.

Creasey endears himself to the crowd, with tales of attempts to become a more widely recognised celebrity. From reality television shows to dating scandals, Creasey is an absolute gossip, but it never comes across as bitchy or malicious. He has stories, and he wants to share them.

The “where am I going” show is a common stage in the journey of a stand up comedian, and while the personal nature of the stories are funny, I don’t necessarily feel that I’ve gotten to know Creasy as a performer, as the jokes culminate in objective perspective rather than self reflection.

Acknowledging the Herald Theatre in regards to not only its use as a space in a comedy festival, but also its reflection on his apparent fame across the ditch, Creasey has just the right balance of confidence and humility to ingratiate himself to New Zealand audiences, and with right hints of catharsis and a few more visits to the right venues, there’s no reason why Joel Creasey can’t find the success in New Zealand he deserves.

The Crown Prince is performed by Joel Creasey and played at the Herald Theatre until May 7 as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2016. For details see the Comedy Festival

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