Category Archives: performing arts

NZICF 18 | Not Suitable for Children

Despite being jet-lagged from an 11-hour flight the day before and running on fumes, The Umbilical Brothers managed to thoroughly impress and entertain with their special brand of effervescent physical comedy.

It’s not often I find myself with nothing to criticise, but it’s a struggle to find things I didn’t enjoy during this show. The Umbilical Brothers produce an impressive array of sound effects, using just themselves and a couple of mics. Lots of well-timed (mostly) to-and-fro, ‘Dane’ and ‘Shaved’ are cheeky and barefaced in nature with a comedic charm, I was totally immersed during the show. The aptly titled show contains a blend of nsfw banter, innuendo, and a Disney “cameo appearance”- of sorts, making for a perfectly-paced, cleverly composed entertainment piece.

The Umbilical Brothers will be performing “Not Suitable for Children” until this Saturday the 19th of May. I highly recommend checking out the show before it ends.

Purchase tickets to see the duo HERE.

4.5/5 Stars

For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website. Running 26 April – 28 May 2017.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with Matt Okine

Matt Okine’s worn many hats over the yars and now the comedian, actor, broadcaster and writer is returning to New Zealand with his brand new live show, The Hat Game.

From swimming to slurpees, conga drums to coconut oil; this show will cover it all.  We caught up with Matt ahead of his return to New Zealand.

Describe your show in three words or less
Gold-medal worthy.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
In 2009, I applied to become a Ghanaian citizen in a bid to be selected for their olympic swimming team. Turns out, becoming a ghanaian citizen AND an olympic swimmer is a lot harder than it sounds. This is that story.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Swimming at Waihiki Island during the day, followed by Brother’s Beer for an afternoon Pale Ale, followed by dinner at Tanuki’s Japanese, and then doing my NZICF show at 10pm at the Basement!

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Swipe right, for sure. I’ve been booty-calling the NZ Comedy Scene for the last four years. I’d love to go steady, but I need to stay in Oz for work :’(

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I saw Two Hearts at the Q Theatre late last year and it has easily been one of my favourite shows of the past six months! There’s a good chance I’ll watch them again for NZICF!

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The Degrassi Junior High Theme Song.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
I have a TV Show called The Other Guy that is currently streaming on an Australian streaming service called STAN, so…. What is Netflix??

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Octavian – Party Here
Set Mo – Near
KLP – Never Be The Same

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Origami. I really like origami. I’d also fight crime in a suit made completely out of folded paper. I would be called CraneMan – the lamest superhero of all time.

World Association:
Comedy – Beers
New Zealand – Wine
Woke – up and had breaky beers
Adulting – Carpet cleaning
Basic – Instinct was on TV the other day and I watched half of it.
Trend – ing
Joke – See me tell them at New Zealand Comedy Festival!

 

Matt Okine performs 18 – 19 May at Auckland’s Basement Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

NZICF 18 | Bogan Jesus

New Zealand’s favourite bogan was back for this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival with his brand new show, Bogan Jesus. On a mission to convert all to his new religion, Messiah Chopper traveled the length of the country before closing his tour across four sold-out shows at Auckland’s SkyCity Theatre.

We attended his first show of the night which started a little later than advertised. Better late than never; with his signature glasses, jandals, a stole around his neck (looking every bit the religious messiah) and two bottles of beer in hand (Victoria Bitter, no less), Chopper graced the stage to raucous applause.

He began by explaining that there is a need for religion but that all of the world’s religions aren’t the answer… So, he’s saving us all and he’s created his own religion, one where he’s taking on the role of Bogan Jesus. He then proceeded to share his ten commandments.

The show was cleverly written and well-executed, with plenty of laugh out loud moments. His show certainly attracted an oddball crowd, but the well-seasoned comedian that he is, he quickly quietened his hecklers.

Chopper is a unique character with a unique appeal, it’s not hard to see why he’s a Kiwi favourite.

4 Stars.

NZICF 18 | Humble

Frickin Dangerous Bro: Humble.

3 comedians bringing sketch comedy back to life.

In the ever evolving world of comedy, both slapstick and sketch comedy, have not been the latest trends, However, the 3 Auckland Lads have persevered, and their new show, Humble is a great a mid-week, 10p.m performance,packed with lots of laughs..

Pax, Jermaine and James have great chemistry and entertained the crowd from start to finish, with their take on a theatre-based sketch show. Whilst this was my first Frickin Dangerous Bro, they have acquired a cult following of fans, mainly from their recent stint on Maori Television.

Starting off with a courtroom sketch they moved onto several micro-sketches, a crime scene and ended with a signature terrorist sketch, all intertwined with organic laughs and chats. Whilst some of the jokes appeared forced and predictable, there was a genuine feeling that the trio wanted to be there, were all having fun and most of all their organic chats were relatable to ever member of the audience. The highlights of the show were the micro-sketches and trio’s ability to roast each other.

It was a great to see kiwi comedians perform with the finesse, the delivery and the attitude of world comics….Humble they are

4 stars

See them tonight and tomorrow.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | A Bard’s Tale

The Covert Theatre presents to you – A tale of family, war & kinsman-ship,  set in the land of sweet Verona, in the dark and lowly dwellings of albeit, an ale-house ….

Or indeed anywhere the audience and mood dictates on the night, as such is the style of comedy performed in this play,  ‘A Bard’s Tale’.

A unique, unexpected and uncanny show, which runs as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – A Bard’s Tale uses sparse (if any) props and a barren stage setting to establish the story-line, instead relying on dialogue and the extemporized skill of the actors, in the direction of Shakespeare and style of a medieval thespian.

On this particular evening, we are invited into an odyssey of cleaved and quartered lovers, carrots, swine and vegan feasts, such are the hilarious tangents a story-line takes when in the genre of improvisation.

Suggested incestuous liaisons between uncle and niece, pork-swords and pantaloons, vegetables being used as armaments between the dueling Lysander and slaughtered yet now returned, lover Petrio …… ???  This show is a testament to the clever and quick-witted talent of its players.

With comical and repeated references of carrots and soy substitutes as an example,  I loved how such ridiculous topic was retained throughout the play and worked into a story that stemmed from an abyss.   A story that became funnier the more it progressed, gathering momentum and leading to it’s hilarious and ultimately fatal end, with the dying Lysander declaring threats of ‘wheatgrass & tempeh’ on all of fair Verona ……

‘A Bard’s Tale’ – The greatest play that Shakespeare never wrote!

*** A Bard’s Tale is now on at The Herald Theatre                                                                                                              Tuesday 8th – 12th May

NZICF 18 | Juithy

How did a Venezuelan become one of Australia’s favourite comedians? By roasting them mercilessly, of course. Having lived down under for six years, Ivan Aristeguieta has been immensely successful with his humorous observations on Aussie culture from an immigrant’s perspective starring in his own ABC sitcom Lost in Translation and his own stand-up comedy special Chorizo Sizzle, to winning Best Newcomer at the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2016.

I had never seen Ivan before, but, as a Kiwi, any comedian who can give the Aussies a good-natured ribbing sounds like fun to me. However, his set was so much more nuanced and original than that. Ivan managed to convey the immigrant experience, with all its highs and lows, in a way that anyone could understand and find funny regardless of whether you were an immigrant or not. From darkly humorous observations comparing third world country issues like food scarcity to the first world issues in his new home Melbourne i.e. the vegan capital of Australia, to deconstructing the oddities of the English language, Ivan is full of energy and a comedian with a talent for striking an instant rapport with his audience.

In fact, Ivan likened his relationship with the audience to the first time a couple gets intimate, weaving hilarious moments into his set where he made full use of his stereotypical Latin charm and asked for a performance review. Somehow, he managed to make sexual innuendo without being too crass, like a lot of other comedians. Let’s just say he promised to call the next day and I’d like to hold him to his word.

English may be his second language, but comedy is Ivan Aristaguieta’s mother tongue. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, I would highly recommend this show.

5 Stars.

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.