Tag Archives: Comedy Festival

NZICF 19 | Josh Wolf – The New Zealand Debut

For those of you that missed Josh Wolf’s stand up comedy debut in New Zealand – shame on you! The guy is an absolute legend. We were fortunate enough to catch his sold-out show at Q Theatre over the weekend, as part of the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival.

Josh like every other big name visiting NZ for the first time – kicked off his set mentioning how amazed he was with NZ’s beauty and cracking jokes about doing the Bungy Jump. The classic opener, but Josh is a total charmer – so we let it slide.

Well known for his anecdotal humour, he nails it with the story of his unfortunate hospital visit. The audience seems to be full of die-hard Wolf fans, as they seem to laugh ahead of the punchline. Wolf stops for a second and heckles the audience.

Regardless of his somewhat predictable punchlines, his is a unique brand of humour, and not only the content but Wolf seems to truly kill it with his delivery. His impersonations are spot on, bringing us to tears of laughter. His  Fatherhood jokes are his forte and every line he delivers is a blend of hysterical and cringe. Bonus for the ladies – he just happens to be a total hottie.

Put us in a great mood for the night!  Five out of Five. If you get a chance to see him perform live – DO NOT MISS OUT!



NZICF 19 | Ed Byrne – Spoiler Alert

Ed Byrne needs little introduction really, a much-welcomed and familiar face of the stand-up comedy scene for many years now. Easily a festival favourite, his show at the Q Theatre, Rangatira was close to full, and all his upcoming shows are selling out, so get in quick!

Bundled up on a Tuesday night – because of course Auckland weather is capricious at best – and not in high spirits for a weeknight show, my reluctance to be out on such an evening quickly evaporated – Ed Byrne’s stage persona engrossing and swiftly captivating.

Most of the show was Ed detailing the trials and tribulations of parenthood (specifically fatherhood), providing some hilarious insight into his relationship with his wife, children and extended family. Family was the recurring theme of the show, his anecdotes endearing, although sometimes truly bizarre. He successfully juggled several narrative threads with balance, great pacing, astute crowd-reading and perfect comedic timing.

Not too much else to say other than Byrne really is a must-see. This being my first experience seeing him live, I’m keen to go back for seconds. And probably thirds. I can’t wait to see his routine when his kids become pre-teens.

4.5/5 Stars


Facebook – Ed Byrne

Twitter – @MrEdByrne

Ed Byrne performs at both the Q Theatre and the Bruce Mason Centre as part of the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival which runs from 2 – 26 May. For more infomation about his scheduled shows, as well as the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!

NZICF 19 | Brendon Green: Of Consequence

Packed into the Basement Theatre Brendon Green welcomes guests whilst strumming on his guitar! With a retro amp and a Hogwarts sign, let’s see what this guy is all about.

A mix of traditional stand up, interlaced with quirky songs, his skilful storytelling is where he really shines, following a well trodden path of wordplay and anecdotes; there were a few big laughs and plenty of chuckles as he weaved in his recent engagement as the thread throughout the show and his final song forming an hilarious finale. Yet despite this the show just seemed lacking somehow and left me wondering if I wanted to give him a brotherly hug or take him out for a beer!
Perhaps not his best show, but suffice to say (stealing his own line!), ‘He left the room in an ok condition!’

3/5 stars

NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Alice Canton

Theatre-artist, performer, and perpetual eye-roller… With almost two decades of professional experience up her sleeve, Alice Canton knows how to deliver the comedy goods. Beginning her career as an improviser, MC and corporate entertainer, Canton has performed and taught throughout New Zealand, Australia and Asia, working with theatre companies including Red Leap Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Barbarian Productions, and Two Productions.

Join her at this year’s Comedy Festival as she takes a deep dive into the world of meme, exploring the most popular images, videos and gifs to spread across the internet and into our lives.

Describe your show in three words or less…
“I feel seen”

What’s the inspiration behind it?
My insatiable appetite for meme’s which is, let’s face it, a full-blown addiction.

Where will we find you at the festival?
Outside the Basement Theatre on the concrete slab talking about concepts.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
The direction you swipe when you want to fuck? (I’ve never had Tinder so no idea which way)

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival? 
Hamish Parkinson and his mum, Lynette, in Me ‘n’ Ma and all the theatre nerds at the Basement

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Fantasia – lots of classical music, dancing, and naked horse-dudes.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Formula 1: Drive to Survive because my bf works in motorsport and Daniel Ricciardo is hot babe.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Boycrush’s Desperate Latenight Energy, Solange’s When I Get Home and Anderson Paak’s Ventura (I just re-read this – and these are albums not songs but ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE ALBUM TO GET CONTEXT)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d rehearse for my Superbowl half-time performance

Word Association: (I decided to answer as emojis instead)

Comedy – 😁

New Zealand – 💚

Adulting – 🙄

Basic – 💅

Trend – 🔥

Joke – 🙃

Alice Canton performs her new solo show ‘Meme Lord’ as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival, running May 2-26. For dates, venues, and tickets, head to comedyfestival.co.nz

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