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heard | our top picks for NZ International Comedy Fest 2017

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The New Zealand International Comedy Festival is back from Thursday 27 April to Sunday 21 May in both Auckland and Wellington.  Like previous years, the festival promises a line-up of both local and international comedy super stars!  With so many to choose from, you might not know where to begin.  To help, we’ve put together our list of top picks (in alphabetical order) for you to have a look at.

For more information, tickets and a bunch of other things, check out the Comedy Festival website.

ANGELLA DRAVID

Angella dravid

Love makes you do crazy things.

This is a love story. Well, kind of. Except it went a bit wrong. Really wrong. So wrong that Angella’s written a show about it. A story so intriguing she’s been nominated for the Billy T. So bizarre that it has to be seen and heard to be believed.

ANYA & SARAN

Anya & Saran

Anya Rzhevitskaya and Saran Goldie-Anderson (Saranya Asks) expected to solve the world’s problems (or at least their own) with their last show How Not To Be A Fuckwit. The show was a success, the self-help empire is booming, but fuckwits are still everywhere – look at 2016. What happens when you’re the agony aunt and you still have problems. Who do you ask?

AUNTY DONNA

Aunty Donna

Professional entertainment consisting of jokes & sketches intended to make an audience laugh.

With over 139K Subscribers, 19.3 million hits on YouTube and their own sketch series Trendy on Comedy Central you know you’re in good comedic hands.

BECKY LUCAS

Becky Lucas

Becky Lucas is a Little Bitch.

Writer, performer,  and fervent tweeter. She’s returning to the Comedy Fest after a successful debut last year as part of Breakout Comedy.

Becky is refreshingly real on stage and one of most exciting new voices on the comedy scene, quickly commanding worldwide attention.

It’s going to be very funny and exciting, however if you have a red rummy face and wraparound sunglasses don’t come, it’s probably not for you.

CHRIS MARTIN

chris martin

After three years away, Chris Martin (the comedian!) is back in New Zealand with a brand new show.

“One of the UK’s best young observationalists” – The Guardian, has returned to discuss the key to happiness; how to tell you’re in a posh area and the importance of owls in your life.

Read our review of his 2013 show.

FRENCHY

Frenchy

He may look like Big Bird after a buzz-cut, but Frenchy’s no Muppet!

The charming, self-deprecating crowd-work master has sold-out comedy festivals & theatres around Australia, NZ & the UK. His live show is where he really unleashes his anarchic wit.

Find out what two million social media followers love about Frenchy – and prepare to be offended!

GUY WILLIAMS

Guy Williams

Guy Williams is back with more of his wrong opinions spoken confidently and loudly!

His revolutionary quantity over quality approach is “licensed to thrill”. Boy oh boy this is bound to be one of the shows in the year!

“The most unfunny comedian since Seinfeld” – Ivan Lloyd, Facebook

THE GOOD GUYS

good guys

The 10th Good Guys comedy extravaganza is set to be a cracker. Each year a line-up of all-star headliners donate a set for SpinningTop charity, often prompting them to throw out the script and ‘go rogue’ in this hilarious gala style event.

In Auckland you’ll be treated to Dai Henwood, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Nick Rado, Jesse Griffin and more in this 2-hour show. A special event not to be missed!

LOU SANDERS

Lou Sanders

Lou Sanders is a new force to be reckoned with on the UK Pro comedy circuit. Named one of the Top 10 comics to see in Vogue, Elle, Timeout, The Guardian, The Times and The Independent, we’re bringing The Best of Lou Sanders to The Classic Studio for just 3 late night shows only. Hold on to your seats!

Also see her in The Big Show.

NAZEEM HUSSAIN

Nazeem Hussain

Nazeem Hussain has a love/not-so-love relationship with Australia that is fraught with mistrust. And given the state of the world, the feeling’s mutual.

Public Frenemy is the latest show to come from one of the most in demand TV and radio personalities in Australia. If his 2015 & 2016 shows are anything to go by, this show will sell out in New Zealand. 

Read our 2016 interview with him.

PHILL JUPITUS

Phil Jupitus

Phill Jupitus is heading to New Zealand with his new show Juplicity!  Join the stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and TV stalwart for over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions.  Watch in delight and/or horror as this experienced funnyman smashes laughs out of the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it.  

Adult themes and situations, but delivered childishly.

ROMESH RANGANATHAN

Romesh

Romesh Ranganathan is heading to New Zealand for the first time with his current show exploring the rationality of his worldview.  Irrational will see Romesh examine the issues close to his heart, and explains why everybody else is wrong about them. 

humans of mac+mae: Craig David

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What’s special to me is spending quality time with my friends and family.  

Enjoying those moments and those experiences because life is too short to be running around trying to get to the next thing all the time when you’ve got some of the most amazing things in front of you; your health, your friends, your family and the basics – clothes on your back, roof over your head, food on your plate, and you’re good to go.

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Craig with manager, Colin Lester

Craig’s new single, Change My Love, is out now. 

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Jupiter Project

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This photo is one of the first photos of us jamming in our early days as Jupiter Project – as you can see, it’s no frills, bedroom musician stuff. Just having fun and making music for the love of it.

We didn’t have the most expensive gear or equipment but the music we made in that basic bedroom studio turned out to touch so many different people around the world. This photo allows us to look back at the time and gives us great perspective. We always worked hard and tried our best but at the core of it all was just a pure and simple love for music. To this day, we still make sure that is the reason why we do what we do.

To be able to share our art with with the world is something that we are truly grateful for. We’ve met so many beautiful people from all walks of life and had some crazy adventures along the way. It’s literally changed our lives. But we’ll never forget where we came from!

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Gavin Correia and Marty Rich, otherwise known as Jupiter Project, are a Kiwi electronic R&B duo make waves around the world. They had international success with their single With You (featuring Jetski Safari & Helen Corry) achieving Gold Status in New Zealand, France and Belgium, and over 8 million streams globally.

Along with a Saturday night mix show on iHeart Radio and ZM, they’re regulars on the festival circuit, playing on the main stages of Rhythm and Vines and Our House.  They’ve also shared the stage with the likes of Flume, Will.i.am and Jason Derulo.  Following on from their latest hit single, ‘Sweet Disguise’ which peaked at #1 on the NZ Music Charts, they’ve just released ‘My Girl’, a collaboration with Daniel Richard.  Listen to it here.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Thomas Oliver

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This is a photo of my ex-girlfriend and me, taken at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards in Auckland recently. Her name is Hayley. This photo is very special to me. Obviously part of why it is special to me is that I’m holding the Silver Scroll, a songwriting award I won that night. But it is particularly special to me because Hayley and I have been apart for almost a year now. It’s been a really hard year and we’ve had periods where we didn’t talk at all, sometimes because we knew it was best, and sometimes because we simply couldn’t manage it. I won the songwriting award for ‘If I Move To Mars’. It’s a really prestigious prize, which is awarded at a big ceremony at Vector Arena.

When Hayley and I were together, we were driving from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay and we decided to try to think of cool ideas for songs. Mars had been in the media a lot at the time, so Hayley suggested, “what about a song about Mars?” We were both fascinated by the concept of populating Mars, so I loved the idea. Being the songwriter, I suggested that the song be, “if I move to Mars, will you come with me?” So the song simply wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Hayley. Not only that, but she went on to organise a team of people from her work, Weta Workshop, to create the music video for the song, and she essentially ended up being the producer on it, so she was very involved with the whole process behind the song. So when I was informed that I was a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll, I asked Hayley, “will you come with me?” 

When I won the award, I had to make an acceptance speech, and I was so glad to have an opportunity to publicly acknowledge Hayley’s contribution to the song, and to have her there that night was so fitting, and something I cherish. 

This photo is special to me because it represents sharing this achievement together, and, despite all the heartache and hardship we have been through since breaking up, being truly happy in each other’s company, and being at peace in our hearts for just one night. 

Hailing from Wellington, Thomas Oliver is a singer-songwriter who is internationally recognised as one of the leading players of the Weissenborn lap-steel guitar. With millions of views on YouTube, he has developed an international audience from his home base in New Zealand which has seen him play hundreds of shows across New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia.  Oliver’s ability to write stirring lyrics and move between sweet melodic and grunty vocals has also earned him a reputation as a vocalist in Drum & Bass, having collaborated with some of the most respected producers, including Black Sun Empire, Rido and Concord Dawn, and boasting releases on prestigious labels, including Goldie’s own Metalheadz.   He is also the winner of the Silver Scrolls 2016.

His latest single, ‘If I Move To Mars’, is the first release from his album due for release in 2017.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Ashton Brown

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This is a (somewhat crudely) drawn X on my right hand, in black ink.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder. On days where my anxiety is really bad and I feel like it is going to attempt to stop me from doing things out of fear of anxiety attacks then I draw a cross on my hand. This is so whenever I feel an anxiety attack coming on (which for me is usually of complete isolation, disorientation, unreality and fear) then I look at the cross on my hand and it brings me back to the present moment, reinforces that I’m just having an anxiety attack and I’m not losing my mind and that I can get through this moment as I have gotten through it many times before.

Ashton Brown is a professional actor, comedian, MC and an award winning playwright.  In the past 2 years, he’s risen through the ranks of NZ Comedy with his self-depreciation, social commentary, and stupid voices.

Loved by critics, Ashton is a gifted storyteller who’s definitely one to watch out for.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: K’Lee McNabb

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My mother’s beloved treasure box!

The stories it could tell of all the hidden treasures its held, including my teeth.

I vividly remember the day I realised my free money ride was over.

I thought I’d help clean the house, and surprise my hard working mother with a clean room. Dusting her vanity, I was curious as to what was inside her wakahuia? (treasure box)

Like Indiana Jones discovered the Lost ruby, my eyes lit up with excitement, I lifted the lid ever so carefully, peered inside to see ‘Teeth!’

Human, baby, white and a little stained ‘Teeth?’ What the hell was going on here?

My mother came in, startled and to my even bigger surprise she calmly – like telling me to ‘take the trash out’, told me ‘I thought you knew the tooth fairy wasn’t real? Huh well atleast I don’t have to give you money anymore’! Hahaha

I learnt a few things from that day –

Somethings are best left alone, that the tooth fairy wasn’t real & my mother was terrible at hiding stuff! Found Christmas presents in her closet. Hahahaha

Love you mum, thanks for at least trying xx

Kaleena Renae McNabb, better known by her stage name K’Lee burst onto the New Zealand Music scene 15 years ago with a cover of Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings.  As a teen sensation, she toured with the likes of Missy Elliot, Cypress Hill, Busta Rhymes, Pink, Shaggy, and Nelly Furtado.

Following her success in New Zealand, which included 4 Top Ten Singles, she moved to LA. Since returning home, she’s forayed into television and radio.  She can currently be heard on New Zealand’s #1 for Hip Hop and R&B station, Mai FM.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: John Elliott

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These TOMS shoes were painted by Bertie Blackman at a special charity event held at a Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney in July this year. They are called “Fallen from the Stars” and she gave them to me as a memento. These shoes are special as they remind me how talented Bertie is and how business can have great positive outcomes.

The really cool thing about this store was that Westfield’s helped TOMS by providing a store and their staff volunteered to help us raise money for a local community group, Holdsworth. Not only were we able to give 657 new shoes to children in need, restore 44 people’s sight and help 29 women with birthing kits and education to provide safer birthing conditions, but we raised $16,500 for Holdsworth. Westfield’s have been working with Holdsworth since 2008 to provide positive outcomes for the local community. It’s so inspiring to work with people that are committed to elevating purpose in business. Bertie is not only a great musician and artist but also a delightful person.

John Elliott is the Managing Director for TOMS, Australia and New Zealand.  This year on World Sight Day, TOMS encouraged their community to take a day to ‘Unite to Give Sight’.  Through the work that they do, TOMS hopes to bring attention to blindness and other visual impairment issues, educate about the aspects of life that are most greatly impacted by loss of vision and offer a way to make a difference with TOMS Eyewear.  Through proceeds of their eyewear range, TOMS has helped restore sight to 400,000 people in need with prescription glasses, medical treatment and sight-saving surgery.   Find out more.

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Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM