NZICF 15 | Des Bishop – Made in China

Ever been to a comedy gig that resembles a cultural exchange/OE seminar? Well, if you haven’t, check out Des Bishop’s “talk” at this year’s NZICF.

Armed with a slideshow, several subtitled footage and even a laser pointer – Bishop ventured into the treacherous world of powerpoint presentation. Thankfully, there was very little reliance on his audio & visual props. Instead, the American-born Irish evoked laughter with a supercharged energy and an unmistakable eagerness to share his fascinating 2-year experience in China. He even showed off some seamlessly legit switching between English and Mandarin, so effortlessly, one wonders if he’d spent hours on tongue-twisting rehearsals or if the 2 years of studious immersion in the language had really paid off. My bet is on the latter!

Why China, you may ask. Bishop blatantly admitted to the appeal of the 1.4 billion-viewership cash cow that the world’s most populated country has to offer, making reference to his previous pursuit of Gaelic which reached a modest audience of 60 thousand.  I don’t blame him. What’s better than an outspoken Western comedian voluntarily plunging himself into censorship China, and lives to tell the tales? What’s better had to be the fact that his depiction of China was not of a cynical stereotype but of a sympathetic observation on the country and its people. Bishop’s account was alive with hilarious contrasts and similarities on modern Chinese society, politics and economy versus those of Irish and even New Zealand’s – driving it closer to home for us in the audience. He even dotted his stories with a few sideline jokes, gelling it all together into a flawless stand-up delivery

Des Bishop is here in Auckland, showcasing his “Made in China” product every night at the Herald Theatre until Sat, May 2nd with a special Mandarin only show at 5pm on the same day. No doubt, he’ll sell out again this year!