been | Electric Kiwi Billy T Jams

Last Friday night reigned in a showcase of epic comedic proportions.  From a pool of 19 hopefuls, 5 successful up-and-coming comics were chosen to take part in N.Z’s answer to the best in show awards – The Billy T Jams (sponsored by Electric Kiwi).

Previous year’s winner Kura Forrester, hosted this year’s parade. With a warm Maori welcome and loud booming presence, she shared antidotes from her humble roots from Tokomaru Bay to Lower Hutt …

First up on the nights’ bill we had Josh Davies, a diminutive bespectacled Weezer frontman lookalike, who supposedly cursed by a gypsy woman, regaled us with tales from his afflicted childhood, amusing experiences at a blind kids school camp, and running ‘Spy Kids’ film gags.

Following in quick succession, Ray O’Leary had us all in an uproar, with his customary deadpan delivery of sharp and quirky one-liners and dry sarcastic wit.  His monotonous internal dialog was refreshing and distinct to his personality. From bravery on being on stage, to the uncanny presence of wheelchairs in supermarket, Ray was great at creating visual scenarios that were perfectly pitched and hilarious to his audience.

Next act of the evening was Brynley Stent – who opens her set with a quiz show format, that of popular daytime program, ‘The Chase’.  Energetic and innovative, she begins with a ‘Shoot, Shag or Marry’ scenario, which quickly flips to an absurd question of ‘What would you like for dinner’?  Brynley performance is highly entertaining and engaging, with the use of popular music (‘Hungry Eyes’ as an example) and reenactments of everyday mundane situations; eg:Modern advancement in technology presently in supermarket checkouts, Brynley takes it to the next level; sexualising even the inane act of card insertion, albeit in an unique, quirky and fabulously funny way.

~  Back from the break in eager anticipation of a belter of a second half;  James Mustapic leads the way with childhood memoirs and moments of self-deprecation; jokes stemming from his openly gay lifestyle, regular use of public transport and white culture, his set resonates with those with shared experiences, being non-straight or binary and sometimes confused …

Last on the bill we have … Lana Walters.  Newly in relationship, blissfully happy and accepting of current weight issues.  She imparts fondly, her experiences with shower heads, water conservation and cop-dating with hilarity and zeal!

A surprise guest in the form of past fellow Billy T nominee – Tom Sainsbury, rounds off the evenings’ festivities.  Rolling off with correspondence from a local council newsprint; conversation shared among it’s wildly creative and interesting town folk -It is both absurd and amusing.  A highly suspect ‘Top Ten of things to Do In …’ had us all questioning our next endeavour to Tauranga  🙂

All comedians have their shows playing in full format at the upcoming NZ International Comedy Fest 2020. Be sure to catch them in all their glory and see what all the fuss is about!


*** Billy T Jams was showing at the Q Theatre 28th February.  NZ International Comedy Fest kicks off 30th April and runs to 24th May