REVIEW: Eli Matthewson: An Inconvenient Poof (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 12, 2018
[Low-Fat Agitprop] Eli Matthewson’s latest show manoeuvres through the tricky and confusing world of ethical living, as he strives to be the best activist he can be. It’s a pressing question in our current time, particularly for our generation. Playing to the audience with just the right amount of charm and confidence, Matthewson effortlessly delivers his material, consistently hitting those […]

REVIEW: Hayley Sproull: Just a Phase (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2018
[Growing into It] Diversification in the arts can be integral to survival. The transition to a new medium, however, also allows artists to explore other modes of creativity. Such is the case for actress Hayley Sproull, a Toi Whakaari graduate who continues to turn her musical and theatrical talents to the comedy scene with her second NZ Comedy Festival solo show, Just a Phase. […]

REVIEW: Charlie’s Best Comedy Show On Earth (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 11, 2018
[Bested] Charlie’s Best Comedy Show On Earth is not a shrewd title for a show. The fact that Best Foods is the gold sponsor for the 2018 NZ Comedy Festival is evident not only with each pre-show announcement, but also in the many references that have been made by international comedians in the opening of their shows. Yet fellow sponsors […]

REVIEW: Leon Wadham: Giddy (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 10, 2018
[Sisyphus Smiles] An ecstatic delight, Leon Wadham’s Giddy is like a hot knife in butter, cutting through all the standup in the festival and making itself known. That’s not to discredit or undervalue the talent required for conventional forms of comedy writing, but there’s something special about a show so unashamedly kooky as Giddy is. Structured as a series of […]

REVIEW: Phil Wang (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 10, 2018
[Patriotasian] Phil Wang doesn’t describe himself as a minority, despite his Asian appearance. Instead, he suggests he’s two majorities (Chinese-Malaysian and British), due to his bi-racial heritage. It’s a funny subversion, but also a telling one. Ideologically, Wang plays almost a devil’s advocate to first-world progressivism, poking fun at liberal tendencies without ever resorting to ad hominem attacks or betraying […]

REVIEW: Ivan Aristeguieta: Juithy (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 10, 2018
[Lost in Pronunciation] Performing stand-up comedy is not easy, let along performing it in a second language, but after six years of living in Australia, Venezuelan-born Ivan Aristeguieta has developed a mastery of not only comedic content, but also linguistic delivery – and he’s not above showing it off. As he shouldn’t be. It’s a skill that should not be […]

REVIEW: David Correos: The Correos Effect (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2018
[What do you want?] David Correos is an inarguably unique comedian. A masochist who derives pleasure from watching his audience squirm, I truly believe there is nothing this man wouldn’t do for a laugh. He’s the guy from high school who always chose “dare”, and takes things to the extreme – then pushes them further. Shock value is his trade, […]

What’s good at the Comedy Festival? Matt Baker reviews the Comedy Gala

May 3, 2018
[NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – Best Foods Comedy Gala] Producing a comedy gala involving 20 comedians is no mean feat, so when a venue of calibre such as the ASB Theatre is unable to provide sufficient sound levels for the opening line-up show of the 2018 NZ Comedy Festival, the detriment is not only to itself, but to the […]

REVIEW: Aunty (NZ International Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2018
[Cat on a Hot Tinnie Roof] Invited as extended family of Johanna Cosgrove’s titular Aunty, the audience act as guests and onlookers to the party at hand. It’s a recognisably bare celebration, featuring bags of chips, a box cask of wine, bikkies and whipped cream. Though essentially plotless, she weaves bawdy anecdotes and personal observations with a confidence and energy […]
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