Category Archives: performing arts

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.

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