Category Archives: performing arts

NZICF | Lloyd Langford

Lloyd Langford has a way of making me laugh like I’m the only person in the room. He began his hour with his microphone making a horrid noise, which sounds like a horrible start, but recovered it so beautifully with a joke that I knew I was in for a good time.

His self-aware observational jokes were hits, I can safely say I won’t ever look at a balcony the same way again. Lloyd is very comfortable on stage, which perfectly complimented the tone of his performance. The crowd interactions were easily the highlights, as he knows how to engage his audience while keeping it relaxed.

Many of the Welshman’s jokes are inspired by his travels, but hearing his thoughts on New Zealand infomercials had me gasping for air.

Lloyd is like an unthreatening older brother who brings people together through laughter. He’s an incredible comedian who I highly recommend checking out. 5/5

See Lloyd Langford in Auckland until May 19.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Tiprat

Luke Heggie cuts right to it. He came out on stage and instantly got to work. Which to be honest, felt a bit rehearsed. I walked in just before the show started so seat space was limited in the small upstairs room in the Basement Theatre, so I was thankful to find seats in the second row. I had figured that Luke would be the comedian to single out people sitting in the front, but was disappointed to find out he barely interacts with his audience. There was  even a moment a group of guys came in late – Luke quickly invited them in and and told them it wasn’t one of those shows where they’d be roasted. Fair enough I guess, but then one of the late comers tripped up the stairs and made a ruckus. Everyone waited for the joke and it never came.

Towards the middle of the show, Luke started making jokes about his kids – which the 50-60 year old in front of me loved. For me, it was the predictable observations that most parents have when they have children. I may have laughed more at the man’s reaction in front of me than to the joke itself.

There was a ukulele sitting on stage all night, which Luke didn’t touch until the last 5 minutes of the show. My advice to him would be to leave it off stage because the joke didn’t land he doesn’t have any rhythm.

I’m not saying I didn’t laugh, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when I left the show. 3/5

 

See Luke Heggie – Tiprat in Auckland until May 5. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Marcel Lucont Etc. – A Chat Show

A true raconteur of improv comedy, our favourite Frenchie, Marcel Lucont is back with a new show for this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival; Marcel Lucont Etc. – A Chat Show.

Marcel’s new show centers around him interviewing other, lesser comedians, accompanied by a Jazz Trio. Each night brings a new guest.

With his signature maroon suit and turtleneck, a barefoot Marcel graced the stage to greet his audience. Acknowledging the late night show, Marcel began by exposing the low energy of the crowd in true Marcel style. Following which, he poured himself a glass of red wine and began regaling the audience with song before inviting his guest for the evening.

The show is split in two parts; the first consisted of improv, songs, and poems, while the second was the much-anticipated chat segment. With a a clever message from the sponsor in between.

Without giving too much away, I’ll say this – Marcel Lucont is a master of improv comedy and a joy to watch. If there’s one show you’re going to watch this NZ International Comedy Festival, make sure it’s this one.

5 stars

We were privileged enough to speak to Marcel before his arrival to NZ, read the interview.

See Marcel Lucont etc. – A Chat Show in Auckland until May 5 and in Wellington 8, 9 & 11 May. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Live Innit

He’s sold out Wembley Arena, the O2, and countless other large venues. Tonight, Paul Chowdhry achieved another milestone; he sold out Auckland’s SkyCity (casino) Theatre with his first ever show in New Zealand.

Live Innit, like his previous DVD shows, centres on the racism, homophobia, and xenophobism still existing in the world today. Paul uses his satirical, ironic, and edgy comedic style to combat those prejudices. While he made most of the crowd bursting with laughter, there were a few members who seemed extremely uneasy.

Like all good comedians, Paul made good use of the first few rows of the crowd; honing in on Dave from the Shore, a British expat who moved to New Zealand 12 years ago and Homey, the Indian uncle who (apparently) kidnapped a 22-year-old kid.

We were given the backstory behind the infamous Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid Youtube rants and were regaled with tales about that time he was mistaken for a terrorist. Google Paul Chowdhry and you’ll know what I mean.

For those who put all brown comedians in the same basket, Paul Chowdhry is UK’s answer to Canada’s Russell Peters – just younger, better looking and more relevant to our times. He’s also across more socials.

Live Innit is a show for those not easily offended – brush up on your Indian, you’ll need it during the show.

4.5 stars

NZICF 18 | Dot Con

James Veitch…A Giant Gummy Lizard’s nightmare!

Known for his love for ducks, investment tips in hummus, and views on the internet; British comedian James Veitch performed the last show of his 2018 Australasian tour in front of a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Q Theatre (it has to be noted, he was in the biggest venue at Q!).

To be a comedian who has presented a TED talk (and the fastest ever to reach over two million views!) is an accolade to admire, thus it was no surprise his Kiwi fans were of all ages and demographics. The hour of hilarity that ensued were the antics of a conman to conmen. If there was one thing to learn from the show, it was; don’t mess with James unless you have time to spare!

Dot Con is a fitting title for the show as James explores his tryst with scammers; from Solomon Odonkoh who wants to move gold, to his American friend Alex’s email account being hacked (they’ll always have Tuscany).

The show is dotted with stories both old and new and fans were delighted either way. James has the ability to breakdown an email chain and reenact the bond he’s formed with the scammer in a way that audiences appreciate.

Dot Con was a show not to be missed and can easily be labelled as one of my favourites for this year’s International Comedy season. It’s easy to see why his videos have gained over 12m views on YouTube.

5 stars.

NZICF 18 | What A Country!

A word of advice: next time Wilson Dixon is in town, go see him. Laughs are guaranteed, and you’re going to walk out satisfied whether you like his country style of music or not.

If you haven’t seen him before, Dixon blends comedy with music, performing country songs with impressively clever lyrics and breaking them up with some seriously great banter. His whole persona revolves around the United States, from the Western accent (though he’s actually a Kiwi) to the outfit (cowboy boots, check; cowboy hat, check; vintage sunglasses, check).

The topic of Dixon’s new show builds on this theme, placing the United States under a spotlight and questioning its many quirks, from Trump to the stereotype of “redneck” Americans. Songs such as Ain’t No Good provide hilarious – and astute – insight into real issues such as heartbreak, blind dating and domestic disagreements.

Perhaps what is best about Dixon’s performance, however, is the deadpan manner with which he performs his entire set. You’d be lucky to see this man crack a smile, and not once does his tone range from anything but mild, nor his pace stray from its consistent slowness. There’s an art to that, for sure.

Dixon certainly isn’t new to the comedy scene, but this could just be his greatest act yet.

Wilson Dixon plays 1 – 15 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

NZICF 18 | 5 Star Comedy Comedy Preview

Roll up, roll up and welcome to the greatest show on earth ….  The NZ International Comedy Fest’s 5 Star Comedy Preview 2018.   Featuring an assortment of the world’s and our own homegrown talent including; Andrew Maxwell, Fin Taylor, Lauren Pattison, Phil Wang and Ian Smith.

Hosted with the irrepressible, energetic and frenetic energy of South of the Border export El Jaguar, we are treated to a comedic marathon of unorthodox and unbridled fun.

Ian Smith from the UK opens with such amusing regale of ghouls and husky sledding, Phil Wang – an oriental surprise, with stereotypical analogies from his Chinese/Malaysian descent; highlights being references to the most un-P.C. from the coloration of emojis to disturbing baby profiling.  Then enters Lauren Pattison a diminutive force of street wise humor and sweetness rolled into one.

Finn Taylor continues the brilliant British comedic stampede, physical athletic ailments being the key to his set.  ‘Tennis Elbow’, ‘Spinners Cock’ are the farcical parallel to notable clinical and sexual gender ribbing.

INTERMISSION:

Hello Lloyd Langford!  A Welsh delight of speech impediment, but with clever and endearing observational humour.  Another reputable comedic legend from the UK and last year’s host Jimmy McGhie follows …

Topical and empirical musings of our trail-blazing Prime Minister, overseas backpacking and Bintang-wearing experiences.  Then to round of the most delectably entertaining of evenings the luck of the Irish Noel Maxwell delivers.  Lesbian/Hitler haircut citations and ‘church-ball’ tampering ensues …

So fresh and so new!  These are the main adjectives I would use when put on the spot to describe this year’s talent that ushers us into this years NZ International Comedy Festival.  I for one, cannot wait to get among the rest of the inter-continental talent that befalls us this season.

******  The NZ International Comedy Festival runs from 26 April – 20 May 2018