Category Archives: performing arts

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with El Jaguar

Originally from the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico, luchador wrestler turned comic, El Jaguar is returning to New Zealand with a brand new show, Telenovela. Be prepared to weep on command, get caught up in a love triangle, grow a thin moustache, and fall in love with all the characters and their cheesy accents.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Melodrama! Margaritas! Mexicans!

What’s the inspiration behind it?
The desire to write, direct, and star in my own Mexican soap opera.

Where will we find you during the festival?
If not in a death battle with Giapo the gelato king, then probably flyering my show on Queen Street.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
El Jaguar swipes both ways.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Is Foster Brooks coming?

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
If ‘Shape of Water’ had Dwayne Johnson playing all the characters.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Season 5 of M*A*S*H.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
“Weird” Al’s Hamilton Polka,Xanadu” by ONJ, and the Coco Soundtrack.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Probably sleep. Or frozen Cokes.

World Association:
Comedy- piñatas
New Zealand – laser kiwi
Woke – snooze button
Adulting – food porn
Basic – as
Trend – Minature Schnauzer crossed with a Malteaser.
Joke – see above.

El Jaguar plays 16 – 19 May at Auckland’s The Classic as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

NZICF | 5 mins with The Umbilical Brothers

Aussie duo, The Umbilical Brothers, return to New Zealand with their latest live show, Not Suitable for Children. Inspired by that time they created a kids TV show for the Sesame Workshop in the US; the show is packed with violence, sexual references, innuendos, coarse language, and maybe some face painting…. And you guessed it, it’s most definitely, Not Suitable for Children! We chat to them ahead of their shows.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Fry your brain

What’s the inspiration behind it?
We made a kids’ TV show for Sesame Workshop in the US. All the while our comedy brains were thinking about things that could go wrong. The result is a really wrong live kids’ show – so wrong that it’s not for kids.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Hopefully nowhere near children. That came out wrong…I mean no kids should see this show. Apart from that, we’ll probably hang around a lot at the classic, failing to be as cool as the stand-up comics.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Which is the good one? Look, we wouldn’t dare take any kind of swipe at NZ comedy. You’re the only ones qualified to swipe, even if it is incestuous.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Luke Heggie, Urzila Carlson, Jimmy McGhie, Guy Montgomery, Aunty Donna, any act you’ve never heard of (it’s important to try new things), and if you’ve got any time or money left – us.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Stuck in the Middle With You

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
A screen showing the words “You do not have access to this service”

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Further Than Planes Fly (Eves Karydas), Genesis (Justice), Watch You Go (Tyne-James Organ)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Awesome! I’d take the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

World Association:
Comedy – Debatable
New Zealand – Original Zealand OK, but not as scenic as New.
Woke – Groggy but alive
Adulting – Just Kidding
Basic – Double-bassic
Trend – Vicious dinosaur attack
Joke – Trending New Zealand Comedy more Woke than Basic Adulting Joke

The Umbilical Brothers play 15 – 19 May at Auckland’s Rangatira at Q as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

 

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with James Malcolm

He’s young, he’s gay, and he’s a two-time (2016 & 2018) nominee of the prestigious Billy T Awards. James Malcolm, the self-proclaimed Taylor Swift of the NZ Comedy Scene (they both write about their ex-boyfriends!) brings his show, Fameless to this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival. Expect a detailed account of his quest to become famous, including the sexapades along the way.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Wannabe Gay Icon

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I’m very, very thirsty and want to become famous, but I’m stuck on the cusp where I get all of the creepy stalkers and none of the glory. The show is all about my journey so far trying to become a celebrity, and also about my sex life, because that’s just kind of what I do.

Where will we find you during the festival?
I’ll be at Q Theatre Vault in Auckland, 7pm, 15-19th May. Te Auaha in Wellington, 8:45pm, 1-5th May.

NZ Comedy Scene – who would you swipe right or swipe left?
I would swipe right for James Roque, Guy Montgomery, Paul Williams and David Correos with his new hot bod and swipe left for everyone else (sorry ladies)

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
My gay baes: James Mustapic (Mildly Wild), Eli Matthewson (An Inconvenient Poof), Chris Parker (Camp Binch), Tom Sainsbury (Self Helped) – we should start a boyband to be completely honest.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The movie Chicago has nothing to do with my life, except that I am the male version of Roxy Hart and could totally see myself getting in her situation.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
I’m re-watching Please Like Me for the 3rd time in a row, it is exactly the kind of TV show I dream of making one day.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
I know this is very polarising, but I’m an Apple Music Goddess, however my top 3 at the moment are: Gorgeous – Taylor Swift, Braces – Paul Williams, and Bang Me Box – Miley Cyrus

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would probably spend a large chunk of the time watching ‘Best of Aja’ compilations on YouTube and thinking about how she should have won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3.

World Association:
Comedy – Suzanne Paul
New Zealand – Suzanne Paul
Woke – Suzanne Paul
Adulting – Suzanne Paul
Basic – Suzanne Paul
Trend – Suzanne Paul
Joke – Suzanne Paul

James Malcolm plays 1 – 5 May at Wellington’s Te Auaha and 15 – 19 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with Donna Brookbanks

The key to happiness is accepting you’re becoming…. a cat lady?

After being a finalist of one of the biggest accolades in NZ comedy last year, Donna Brookbanks’ is back with her new show ‘You Do You Babes.’ The physical, and character playing comic will be taking her signature awkward charm to new heights and sharing her stories of navigating through anxious social spheres and her quest to be happy. The unique show promises to be organised chaos of stand-up, sketch and improv…….that’s if she finishes writing it!

Describe your show in three words or less..
Silly character-y fun

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I’ve been having nightmares where I’m not ready for my show, I’m late or I’ve forgotten my words, or a stage manager comes up to me and says, ‘you’re on in 10 minutes, Donna’ and I freak out because I haven’t written it so that’s become a bit of a theme through the show. Also I’m trying to live my best life at the moment so it’s also about that.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Probably at the bar at The Basement, Q or Classic in between trying to get around all my friends shows.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
100% swipe right. All such babes.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Really looking forward to seeing Phil Wang, always love Tessa Waters, all my Snort pals shows, David O’Doherty, Fricken Dangerous Bro…arghhhhhh toooo maaaany

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The song All By Myself. Okay no that’s so sad, I’m kidding. Actually maybe Eagle Vs Shark or something equally as awkward to watch.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Going between Line of Duty and The IT Crowd. 2 very opposite ends of the spectrum…!

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
‘Juicy’ The Notorious B.I.G., ‘Dance Yourself Clean’ MS MR and ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ Robyn

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Omg watch so much Netflix. And read a book. I forget how much I like to read.

World Association:
Comedy – Mates
New Zealand – Home
Woke – Up?
Adulting – No thanks
Basic – Bitches
Trend – Setter (defo not me)
Joke – Knock knock?

Donna Brookbanks performs 8 – 12 May at Wellington’s BATS Theatre and 15 – 19 May at Auckland’s Basement Theatre, as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with Sarah Callaghan

Award-winning British comedian, Sarah Callaghan is making her way to New Zealand for the first time this NZ International Comedy Festival. A true powerhouse in comedy and poetry, her show promises an hour filled with laughs about gangs, fitting right in and feeling left out.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Very fucking good.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
The world is fucked, and people are becoming more and more segregated and I’m just calling out the bullshit whilst reflecting on my own passions and life. I’m trying to do something different this year as well as it being a very funny and heartfelt show.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Eating or sleeping.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
I have never been but heard it’s pretty sexy so I’d give it a ‘super like’. #cometomyfuckingshow

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I like Rhys Nicholson’s stuff. He makes me laugh a lot! But he’s doing pretty well at the moment so just come to my show instead. My show is my top pick.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Ricky Gervais’ show Humanity. I saw it live at The Hammersmith Apollo in London too – it was incredible.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Kendrick Lamar – DNA
Chvrches – Get Out
Drake – God’s Plan

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would love to say ‘gig more’ or ‘write a new project’ but realistically I would just procrastinate for longer.

World Association:
Comedy – tragedy
New Zealand – mountains
Woke – illuminati
Adulting – depression
Basic – bitch
Trend – dab
Joke – lame

Sarah Callaghan plays Wellington’s The Fringe Bar 1 – 5 May, and Auckland’s Q Theatre 9 – 12 May as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets here.

been | WEiRdO

WEiRdO – created by Waylon Edwards & William Duignan and directed by Jane Yonge, is a 60 minute production that taps into the ever pressing issue of racism and it’s undeniable presence in the modern, commonplace workplace.

‘WEiRdO’.  The very word itself lends it’s meaning from two separate words: wero, Te Reo for ‘challenge’ and ID, ‘identification’ abbreviated.   Addressing the topic of cultural identity and ‘loss of it’ as a subsequent result of ruthless ambition, it is told in such dry and satirical fashion, that it was often quite uncomfortable with awkward pauses and periods that are utterly confronting,  yet necessary to the direction and theme of play.

As we are presented with a familiar item of office equipment upon entering – the ‘lanyard’, a scene is created; of the droll and banal confines of an inner-city office space, with style of humor reminiscent of 90’s film (aptly titled) ‘Office Space’ and very own early NZ series ‘Gliding On’ …  The lanyard alone becomes somewhat of a center-piece for the rest of the play and also acts as a symbol of power and meteoric rise within the office.

It also acts as a catalyst that prompts a very heated and initially passive-aggressive confrontation between the main protagonist Waylon and his racially ignorant boss/mentor Richard.  This particular scene leads us to the most pivotal moment of the play, where Waylon experiences something of an epiphany; all past injustices that have been pressed upon him and his Tangata Whenua flash before his eyes, while he comes to self-realization of his own moral decline, after trading in on his own people’s struggles for personal gain, as he quickly ascends the corporate ladder.

Waylon Edwards and William Duignan are a creative duo, who have collaborated on numerous productions and whose chemistry and great teamsmanship is evident through both their performances in WEiRdO.  Waylon uses his own background and uniquely talented acting skills, to present a young man who has lost his way and ultimately his own identity,  so convincingly conveyed through his flustered and awkward facial expressions and passionate reaction towards the end.   William, on the other side of the gate, portrays a run-of-the-mill manager, who may not be as intentionally prejudiced as one may think upon initial meeting, but a product of society and the rudimentary structure of a PC, yet culturally insensitive workplace, that we perhaps, may have chosen to believe has ceased to exist.

The underlying message of WEiRdO is pulled together and presented to us, with a powerfully moving and thought-provoking moment of awareness at the end, from which I am sure, did not leave more than a few dry eyes in the audience.

**WEiRdO – is currently playing at the Basement Theatre and runs from Tuesday 17th – Saturday 21st April

 

 

 

 

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with James Roque

Like so many other Asian children before him, James Roque is a disappointment to his parents. He followed his dreams instead of following the path to become a respected M.D (Doctor of Medicine). Despite that, he has a career to boast about; since making his NZ International Comedy Festival debut in 2013, he’s gone on to perform at every festival since (including his acclaimed and sold out 2017 show), he’s appeared on television, including Three’s 7 Days and Jono and Ben, and he’s a co-founder of Proudly Asian Theatre – a theatre company dedicated to showcasing more Asian-NZ stores on stage. And if that wasn’t enough, he played the lead role in Indian Ink Theatre’s Kiss the Fish, which has toured New Zealand ad USA.  So what if he’s not a doctor; they say that laughter is the best medicine.

We caught up with James ahead of his 2018 NZICF season.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Dope Filipino dude.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
Last year I started pronouncing my Filipino last name correctly for the first time in 17 years and it’s got me thinking about what the immigrant experience is like in the western world.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Out here following my dreams

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Are you asking me if I want to have sex with the entire NZ Comedy industry? How do we even go about that? Seems like a logistical nightmare.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I’m really excited to see Rose Matafeo’s new show. Her last show was my favourite thing in the festival last year, so I’m keen to see what she’s got next. Also, hype for Rhys Nicholson and Phil Wang.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The scene from 8 Mile when he vomits his mum’s spaghetti before the battle

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Queer Eye!

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Rich Brian – Cold
Kendrick Lamar – King’s Dead
The Carpenters – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Honestly, probably try to find a way to sleep anyway. Sleep is the best.

World Association:
Comedy – Anxiety
New Zealand – Anxiety
Woke – Anxiety
Adulting – Anxiety
Basic – Anxiety
Trend – Anxiety
Joke – Anxiety

….I’m a very anxious person.

James Roque performs 1 – 5 May at Wellington’s The Fringe Bar and 8 – 12 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre with his solo show. He also performs with Frickin Dangerous Bro 2 – 5 May at Wellington’s BATS Theatre, and 9 – 12 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre. All as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets – Legal Alien | Humble