Tag Archives: Comedy

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

www.edbyrne.com

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 | The Improv Bandits – No Scripts, No Gimmicks, No Safety Net!

The Improv Bandits first show of the 2019 New Zealand International Comedy Festival opened with plenty of enthusiasm and laughs to go around. As part of the Auckland comedy scene for the past 20+ years, they have a solid grounding – the show began with energy and candour as the Bandits engaged with the crowd early on.

Arguably one of the more challenging comedy approaches, improv has its fair share of challenges, and the Improv Bandits did not disappoint with their quick-thinking and cohesive stage persona. Part of what fuels improv is audience interaction, and here they excelled; Although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t filled with mild terror when they approached the back row near where we were seated, in pursuits of audience input, I’ll pass on that, thank you.

We enjoyed a showcase of stand-up variety classics in Who’s Line is it Anyway style, with the teams’ dynamic and cohesive rapport. They were quickly to take queue from one another’s’ prompts, and managed to keep the flow going for a solid 1 hour of entertainment. Although a little predictable at times, The Bandits utilised common improv tropes, exaggeration of crowd-supplied anecdotes and many a pun – the borderline wholesome experience was well-worth braving the frigid winter weather for the hour of hilarity.

3.5/5 Stars

The Improv Bandits perform at the Herald Theatre as part of the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival from 2 – 26 May. For more infomation about their scheduled shows as well as the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!

FRINGE 19 | 5 mins with Uther Dean

Cmedian and playwright, Uther Dean, is bringing his Uther Dean reads 300 Haiku act to Auckland Fringe Festival   – a new hour of story-telling of emotion, comedy and narrative in 5100 syllables.

One of his previous standout performances, Everything is Surrounded by Water, a monologue co-written and performed by Uther , won him the Best Solo at the New Zealand Fringe in 2014 and was later nominated for Best New New Zealand Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

We caught up with Uther Dean ahead of his debut at this year’s Auckland Fringe.

1. Is this your first Fringe Auckland? What are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?

It’s my first time performing in the Fringe in Auckland but not my first time performing in Auckland. Auckland audiences are a lot less forgiving than audiences in the rest of the country. I used to think this was a bug but it is actually a feature. Auckland crowds expect more, so you give more. It’s only being asked to do your best that brings your best out of you.

2. Describe your show in three words or less…

Comedy haiku story-telling

3. Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?

There was a show that I think so much about that I worry I’ve made it up. Two decades or so ago, a show applied to the New Zealand Fringe (which is to say the Wellington Fringe) to do a show that consisted solely of interrupting other shows in the festival. The story goes that it’s the only show they’ve outright rejected. Then the people behind the show blew the rejection letter up into a poster and pasted it up around town.

4. What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?

Picking just three is very hard. It’s an exceptionally strong programme this year. So, discounting the obvious picks that are going to be excellent but I’m sure you already are going to see (Brendon Green, Donna Brookbanks & David Correos, Actressexual, Deacon, Only Bones, PSUSY, Pussy Riot, The Salem Bitch Trials, Two Hearts, Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku) my top three picks are, in no order:

  1.  The Dice Show & SIN: The Social Improv Night –
    Steven Lyons, the comedian and improviser in part
    responsible for both of these shows (which are on the
    same nights so would make a great double bill), is one
    of the great unheralded talents of NZ comedy. A bright
    light in a grimy world who manages to delight every
    audience he meets.
  2. How to Write an Album – This marathon of music to
    make an album in twelve hours was hit at a previous
    Wellington Fringe and is packed to the gills with some
    of the most exciting creators from down there.
  3. Long Distance Phone Calls – If you see one poetry
    show this year, see mine, but if you see two, see this
    one as well. Programmer Vanessa Crofskey has
    immaculate taste and lined up a Who’s Who of poets
    that you actually want to see read live. This looks to be
    a very special event and I really think you should go.

5. Where will we find you during the festival?

Outside sold-out shows flyering for mine? Hanging around after shows wondering if I know people well enough to talk to them?

6. What would we find if we raided your fridge?

La Croix because I am exactly like you expect me to be.

7. Tell us about your spirit animal?

I’m not comfortable appropriating the idea of a spirit animal. If I was an Eevee I’d hope I’d evolve into a Sylveon but
would probably end up as a Umbreon.

8. Word Association:

Fringe – John Noble not winning an Emmy for Walter Bishop is a crime

Fridge – Another reason to distance yourself from the Kyle Rayner era of Green Lantern

Auckland – Money

Festival – Love

Lights – Turn on the Bright

See Uther Dean Reads 300 Haiku as part of Auckland Fringe Festival 2019 at the Classic Studio on Fri 22 – Sat 23 February.

Buy your tickets here

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 | 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.