Tag Archives: Kura Forrester

been | Electric Kiwi Billy T Jams

Last Friday night reigned in a showcase of epic comedic proportions.  From a pool of 19 hopefuls, 5 successful up-and-coming comics were chosen to take part in N.Z’s answer to the best in show awards – The Billy T Jams (sponsored by Electric Kiwi).

Previous year’s winner Kura Forrester, hosted this year’s parade. With a warm Maori welcome and loud booming presence, she shared antidotes from her humble roots from Tokomaru Bay to Lower Hutt …

First up on the nights’ bill we had Josh Davies, a diminutive bespectacled Weezer frontman lookalike, who supposedly cursed by a gypsy woman, regaled us with tales from his afflicted childhood, amusing experiences at a blind kids school camp, and running ‘Spy Kids’ film gags.

Following in quick succession, Ray O’Leary had us all in an uproar, with his customary deadpan delivery of sharp and quirky one-liners and dry sarcastic wit.  His monotonous internal dialog was refreshing and distinct to his personality. From bravery on being on stage, to the uncanny presence of wheelchairs in supermarket, Ray was great at creating visual scenarios that were perfectly pitched and hilarious to his audience.

Next act of the evening was Brynley Stent – who opens her set with a quiz show format, that of popular daytime program, ‘The Chase’.  Energetic and innovative, she begins with a ‘Shoot, Shag or Marry’ scenario, which quickly flips to an absurd question of ‘What would you like for dinner’?  Brynley performance is highly entertaining and engaging, with the use of popular music (‘Hungry Eyes’ as an example) and reenactments of everyday mundane situations; eg:Modern advancement in technology presently in supermarket checkouts, Brynley takes it to the next level; sexualising even the inane act of card insertion, albeit in an unique, quirky and fabulously funny way.

~  Back from the break in eager anticipation of a belter of a second half;  James Mustapic leads the way with childhood memoirs and moments of self-deprecation; jokes stemming from his openly gay lifestyle, regular use of public transport and white culture, his set resonates with those with shared experiences, being non-straight or binary and sometimes confused …

Last on the bill we have … Lana Walters.  Newly in relationship, blissfully happy and accepting of current weight issues.  She imparts fondly, her experiences with shower heads, water conservation and cop-dating with hilarity and zeal!

A surprise guest in the form of past fellow Billy T nominee – Tom Sainsbury, rounds off the evenings’ festivities.  Rolling off with correspondence from a local council newsprint; conversation shared among it’s wildly creative and interesting town folk -It is both absurd and amusing.  A highly suspect ‘Top Ten of things to Do In …’ had us all questioning our next endeavour to Tauranga  🙂

All comedians have their shows playing in full format at the upcoming NZ International Comedy Fest 2020. Be sure to catch them in all their glory and see what all the fuss is about!


*** Billy T Jams was showing at the Q Theatre 28th February.  NZ International Comedy Fest kicks off 30th April and runs to 24th May




been | Half of the Sky

Half the Sky follows the poignant, heart wrenching story of the Rose family who come together for one final birthday reunion, as they face their struggle with their eldest sister’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Lennie James’ (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Save Me) beautifully written script allows you to observe the unique melting pot of this whanau, as they deal with their ‘past, present and their future…all at once’.

Wonderfully acted, with the juxtaposition of incredible humour set against the reality of dealing with such a challenging subject matter, this story will have you laughing out loud and reaching for the tissues from one scene to the next as the ensemble cast brilliantly weaves together themes of loss, truth, betrayal and love.

A wonderful story with a fabulous cast, Half of the sky is a must-see play.

High recommended:       5/5

Half of the Sky marks the third collaboration between Massive Theatre Company and internationally renowned writer and actor Lennie James (The Walking DeadFear of the Walking DeadSave Me), following the success of The Sons of Charlie Paora (2004), Havoc in the Garden (2011), and was developed in collaboration with members of the Massive ensemble.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Sam ScottMassive Company

Kura Forrester
(The Wholehearted, The Adventures of Suzy Boon, 2019 Billy T Award Winner)
Grace Palmer
(Shortland Street, Home & Away)
Awhina Rose Henare-Ashby
(The Mooncake and the Kumara, Waru)
Max Palamo
(The Sons of Charlie Paora, Super City II) 
Pat Tafa
(The Wholehearted, Westside)


Loft, Q Theatre 305 Queen St, Auckland CBD

NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Kura Forrster

She danced the streets as an Eagle, considers our Prime Minister to be among her best friends (she’s watched her in a play – that counts, right?!), and has had sell-out seasons of her solo comedy show, Tiki Tour. Kura Forrester is an actor, comedian and writer whose television credits include Super City, Real Housewives of South Auckland, and Find Me A Maori Bride. She’s also appeared in The Breaker Upperers and Taika Waititi’s critically acclaimed, What We Do in the Shadows. This Comedy Fest, Kura will take to the stage in two shows; her new solo show ‘Kura, Should, Woulda’ and ‘Mincing’ with her improve super-group, Snort with Friends. We chat to her about her solo show.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Outrageous, Whimsical, Hilarious

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I’m using my true life experiences to make this show and, along with my amazing director Jessica Joy Wood, we are stretching each story out to include the characters that they bring out in me. I love to play characters and have 4 in the show who are all crack up! I talk a lot about my whānau, my ex-lovers, being the youngest and feeling like I don’t “have it all together”. But, who does right? After seeing “Kura, Shoulda Woulda” you will know heaps more about me and how I feel in the world- and have sore abs from laughing.

Where will we find you at the festival?
Well, I hang out at The Basement heaps, and most likely running between venues trying to see as much as possible!

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

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I think all of my fellow Billy T nominees are absolute must see’s this year. And Mincing!!

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
“Dog Days Are Over” Florence + The Machine

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Call my Agent

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Normal Girl- SZA
Hello- Erykah Badu
Wish you were gay- Billie Eilish

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Learn how to play the guitar and speak Te Reo Māori

World Association:
Comedy– Entertainment
New Zealand- Home
Adulting– Relative
Basic- Kmart
Trend- Kmart
Joke- Glorious

2019 Billy T Nominee Kura Forrester performs her new solo show ‘Kura, Shoulda, Woulda’, as well as performing in ‘MINCING’ and with improv super-group ‘Snort With Friends’, all 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.