Tag Archives: Comedy Fest

NZICF 18 | I Am Your DeeJay

K-Rd? Check.  Deep,dirty underground?  Check.  Whammy Bar ….. ?

These opening adjectives and location alone, suggest that this will be no ordinary show from the NZ International Comedy Fest 2018.

A throwback to late nights and bacchanal activities,  ‘Juan Vesuvius – I Am Your Deejay’s’ run of sold-out performances this season, is proof enough that this is one event not to be missed.  Upon initial research and the sold -out status of his show, Juan had me chomping at the bit even before opening night!

‘Decked’ in 1970/80’s tennis garb, sports towel draped over shoulder and Pablor Escobar’esque moustache, comedian Barnie Duncan‘s alter-ego Juan takes us through a journey of house music from Chicago to Ibiza.

His show is packed full of interesting and historical facts, as well as being awesomely entertaining as well.  From the anti-gay laws of 1960’s New York, fascinating references to the infamous after-hours gay bar – the ‘Stonewall’ and consequent riots; the private apartment/nightclub – ‘The Loft’ and equally as legendary DJ & proprietor Dave Manhuso, with his particular penchant for attractive, towel-clad men …..   Juan’s knowledge of the foundations of house, audiophile equipment and progression of high-fidelity sound is second to none.

As this audio trip takes us into the next decade, we are treated to the hyper-sexual vibe of disco, in the most clever, crazy and side-splitting way …. drawing parallels to Donna Summer, horny flowers and exploding pollen.

Of course classic, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and the inevitable fate of disco make a notable mention, as does the succeeding warehouse sound of Chicago and development of club culture through Manchester’s ‘Hacienda’ – a hedonistic playground and home to ‘The Smiths’, ‘Happy Monday’s’, ‘Depeche Mode’ (my personal favourite) and much more of electronica’s finest still.

Hilarious observations of house music’s nemesis, David Guetta and his sound slaying of popular artists such as; Snoop Dogg and The Black Eyed Peas, are undeniable.

This is a comedy production that is out of the ordinary, indescribable, and from the reaction of the audience I was lucky to be a part of; a show that people will definitely be talking about for a long time after ….

Juan Vesuvius: I Am Your Deejay.  To put it bluntly, ‘fucking brilliant’.


*** Juan Vesuvius is playing from 15th – 17th May @WHAMMY K-RD

Note: All shows but Thursday 14th are now SOLD OUT  so get in quick!


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 | 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.