Tag Archives: Comedy Festival

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 | 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 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 | 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.

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

 

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with James Smith

James Smith is an accomplished comedian; born in Australia and now living in New York, he boasts a jaw-dropping CV. Aside from appearing on Comedy Central, ABC, Conan on TBS and Flight of the Conchords, James has shared the stage with comedy greats like Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK. He was even chosen as the special guest on Chris Rock’s Australasian Tour in 2017. The accomplishments go on – he has written joes for Rob Lowe and Justin Bieber’s comedy roast and has even featured in Time magazine for his political outlook during Obama’s administration.

James will be in New Zealand for one night only with his new show, Pleasure Enthusiast. We had the pleasure of his company for a good five minutes.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Hilarious & thought provoking.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I think life is unnecessary difficult and that it should only include pleasure.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Restaurants

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Right

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I haven’t seen the program yet.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
New York State of Mind – Billy Joel.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Atlanta but it’s not on Netflix.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Lemon by N.E.R.D | Sexual by Neiked | Stay by Zedd

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Sleep

World Association:
Comedy – love
New Zealand – great
Woke – important
Adulting – boring
Basic – awful
Trend – limited
Joke – quality

James Smith plays Sat 05 May at Auckland’s Sky City Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets here.