Tag Archives: Ian Smith

NZICF 19 | 5 Star Comedy Preview

Friday night at Sky City on a lovely autumnal eve – within the confines of a bustling energetic and jammed packed theatre,  it was undeniably (as the multiple promotional banners would suggest) a SOLD OUT show.

Comedian Ian Smith introduces himself as the MC of the night, who upon initial observation seemed an interesting choice of host, alongside the stellar lineup for the introduction to the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival.  Unassuming, though extremely affable and endearing with his tales of our local tourist industry – glow-worms and sheep shearing jokes ensue … He is the boy-next-door-of comedy and as the night warmed up so did my impression of him, as he kept pace with the impressive array of stand-up that was to follow, from the likes of; Alistair Barrie, Tom Houghton, Brennan Reece, Lauren Pattison, Phil Nichol, and of course the irrepressible Sinnerman ‘aka’ Paul Sinha (in no particular order) 🙂

Self-proclaimed ‘posh twat’ Tom Haughton led the show’s UK heavy charge with cute yet preposterous anecdotes of life as an impressionable, musical loving, boarding school youth growing up in upper-middle class Britain. ‘Manspreading’, child abandonment/spanking, double-barrelled surnames and an impressive rendition of Macavity’s Cat, were just a sprinkling of the issues touched upon by this young and vivacious comedian.

Slick, suave and metro, Scotsman Chris Henry is up next; playing on his nations dialect and providing us with the jazzy and energetic dance moves he honed and perfected during his not-so memorable stay in the Buttlands.   He incites the audience with his refreshingly open and honest observations of modern dating and recreational drug use, with clever and funny parallels between addiction and cheese.

Cue 2015’s English Comedian of the Year, Brennan Reece.  He dives straight into the internet gags and it’s inappropriate and questionable (or in his case, often appropriate) use, equating the typical gym junkie bod to that of a triangular Dorito on steroids was particularly hilarious, as was his distinct disrelish of a local personal trainer, who in this instance we shall refer to as only Marc. With a ‘C’ ….

Alistair Barrie rounds off the entertaining first half of the 5 Star Comedy Preview, with sharp, intelligent and astute digs at his own nation’s dubious history of colonization and its universally acknowledged lack of cultural sensitivity.  Alistair Barrie was a standout for me, with his mastery of creating situational imagery in such comical yet relevant fashion!

The lovable Yorkshireman welcomes us back for the much-anticipated final half, imposing a ‘chip amnesty’ on those many audience members crunching their way through the nights festivities …

With jokes regarding the London Underground network and it’s automated systems, Ian Smith provides a warm and familiar platform for the acts that are next lined-up to entertain us.

Making her own mark among a sea of men, Lauren Pattison assumes her position and stands up (no pun intended) in her own right to regale us with endearing tales of home (Newcastle) the initial differences of class within her own relationship and a most interesting fact regarding the Latin translation of part of the female anatomy most sacred

And now, to the moment we’ve all been waiting for (but particularly the competitive trivia geek in me) this 2019 comedy season we have … Paul Sinha, aka the ‘twat in the white suit’ and according to Wikipedia ‘the world’s only gay Anglo-Bengali GP turned stand up comedian’

He did not fail to impress, taking us on a journey, from his parents migration from Bengal to Bedfordshire, his not so stereotypical(yet at same time stereotypical) passion for football and cricket and a surprisingly unremarkable moment of sexual revelation to his unrattled father.  The Sinnerman surpassed all my expectations with his quick-wit, intelligence and well researched art of comedy, which reflects his undisputed reputation as international quiz-master.

Thus bringing us to the last act of the night.  Going against the UK grain that held court through the majority of the showcase, we are force-fed the crazy, fast and furious goodness of Canadian/Scot, Phil Nichol!

Like a dog on heat or ADHD – this cat blew me away with his energy and irreverance.  Pushing myself and the audience out of their comfort zone with his physical jousting and sexually charged innuendos.  Rounding off the stage with such spirited acoustic ballads as, ‘the only gay Eskimo’ and an impromptu duo between himself and the unsuspecting hero of the evening, the extremely accommodating and  hidden gem of the audience, leopard-print shirt wearing ‘Mal’.

Phil Nichol is a surprise catch of the season, and one to not miss – you will literally be falling off your seat with laughter!

The 5 Star Comedy Preview.  Like a fine tapas or tasting menu of delectable treats where you can, at your own discretion go back for seconds and recommend to your most discerning friends.

*****5 Stars!


NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Ian Smith

Returning to New Zealand after a successful debut last year, award-winning comedian, Ian Smith will grace the stage in not one, but three shows this year. Catch him as part of the 5 Star Comedy Preview, Comedy All-Stars and across 11 dates of his critically acclaimed fifth solo show; Craft.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Comedy. And. Origami.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
The senbazuru – the folklore that if you fold one thousand origami cranes you get a wish. The plan is to make some wishes come true live, while also telling some jokes and stories.

Where will we find you at the festival?
The Classic for my shows – and on Sundays, I’ll be heading to Waiheke Island and having so much wine I forget that I can’t swim. I think last time I went to a vineyard (on Waiheke) I was asked if I could praise the cooking a bit quieter because I was too excited.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
I don’t know which direction means what, so I don’t know. Diagonal swipe?

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I think James Acaster is all sold out – but he’s the best, so go and see him if you can! Rhys Nicholson is always brilliant too.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
This is a very hard question. Billy Elliott? I guess that’s about someone from the north of England trying to pursue something artistic. Replace ballet with comedy. Also, I don’t know anyone who worked in the mines.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
I watched season 2 of the OA and really liked it – but there’s a (spoiler alert) giant talking octopus in it and it comes out of nowhere really and then gets (spoiler alert) killed, and no one seems to mention it again. I think about that most days now. It didn’t seem like a talking-octopus sort of show. None of the characters seemed to find it weird. A big talking octopus!

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Anger Management Relaxation Tape Vol 1.
Anger Management Relaxation Tape Vol 3.
Anger Management Relaxation Tape Vol. 4.
(I’m really angry that they don’t have Vol 2 on Spotify)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d probably learn to play the drums so that everyone else couldn’t sleep either – then I’d have some company for the long nights. Maybe then we’d set up a band? Ian and the Insomniacs.

Word Association:
Comedy = Yes!
New Zealand = Sauvignon (I love a Marlborough)
Adulting = Ironing
Basic = Bitch (I don’t really know what this means though)
Trend = Skateboarding
Joke = Laughs

Ian Smith performs his show ‘Craft’ as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, running May 2-26. For dates, venues, and tickets, head to comedyfestival.co.nz.