been | Camp, gangsta; puppy, guitar and love

Little did I know I was about to set out on an adventure, learning about how campness trumps gangsta-ness, how a puppy-filled snake can be a metaphor for life, and finally, that there’s someone else out there who’s as naively and insanely infatuated with the notion of true love as I am. Saturday night was educational and more importantly, a great laugh. The talent at this year’s New Zealand International Comedy Festival will not disappoint.

James Nokise – So So Gangsta
First up was James Nokise’s So So Gangsta at Vault at Q. The lights dim as Tupac’s How Do You Want It plays and sets the tone. Nokise quickly assesses the audience and tests the mood with a few harmless lines. His adorably muddled Welsh Samoan Kiwi accent guides us through a quick humorous abridged version of the History of NZ Race Relations before we begin his journey peeling back the three layers of what it means to be a so so gangsta; a term discovered and redefine throughout his youth.

My take-away lesson from the show was that if you’re ever confronted by a gangsta, don’t harden-up, get limp-wrist-ed and they’ll back away like a chicken doing the moonwalk.

Witty, fobby, camp, gangsta, recommended!

In Auckland at Q Vault till Saturday 4 May
In Wellington at The Fringe Bar from Tuesday 7 May till Saturday 11 May
Buy tickets from Ticketek

Brendon Green – Everything Is Alright* (*Citation Needed)
I unfortunately missed Brendon Green’s show last year which had sold out. This only further fueled my excitement and anticipation for his show this year. Green’s charming personality captures your attention from the get go. The stage was set with two painted canvasses, one of a “Portrait of a puppy snake…” and one of “School of wizards” and his trusty guitar.

We were taken on an intimate self-reflective tour of Green’s emotional psyche and his unrelenting desire for true love. The self confessed Taylor Swift fanboy serenaded us with various songs he’d written tackling a variety of issues and the emotions that at times strangled them but that ultimately, everything is alright.

A little bit crazy, a little bit quirky, very talented, very funny and easy on the eye.

In Auckland at The Basement Studio till Saturday 4 May
Buy tickets from Ticketek