Tag Archives: NZ International Comedy Fest

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 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.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with Marcel Lucont

Like a good Sauvignon, Marcel Lucont is crisp, dry, and French. A figurehead of the NZ International Comedy Festival, Marcel is returning to our shores with two shows this year. For one night only, Marcel will perform his sold-out 2016 hit show Whine list – where he blends his sarcastic wit, poems and storytelling with gallic, deadpan delivery (read our 2016 review). He’ll also have a longer run of his new show, Marcel Lucont Etc., a chat show in which the multi-award deserving flâneur will interview different guests, every night. The show promises classy poetry, music, and bawdy badinage!

We were fortunate enough to get 5 minutes with Marcel ahead of his return to New Zealand.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Marcel Lucont Etc.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
While my talents cannot be bettered, they can certainly be complimented, by working with a live band (live is always preferable to the alternative). Also, by inviting lesser acts from the festival on the show as guests I get to highlight not only my superiority, but also my altruism.

Where will we find you during the festival?
At The Loft at Q Theatre (Auckland) May 2-5 and San Fran (Wellington) May 8,9 and 11. I shall also be resurrecting Marcel Lucont’s Whine List for one night at Rangatira at Q Theatre (Auckland) May 1.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
It depends on which door they are blocking and where I need to be.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
If you cannot make Marcel Lucont’s Whine List I would highly recommend Marcel Lucont Etc.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
“Je M’Appelle Marcel,” not only the opening song from Marcel Lucont Etc., but also from my latest album, “Flâneur, Raconteur, Bon-Viveur,” most certainly available for purchase after the show.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Both of these are alien concepts to me. I am currently “binge-living” in “reality.”

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Again, I feel this questionnaire is not fully bespoke to me. Come to me when we are talking of records on a record player.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Smoke enough opium to drift off to sleep.

Word Association:
Comedy – Tragedy
New Zealand – Far
Woke – Went back to sleep again
Adulting – Adultery
Basic – Unnecessary
Trend – Ignore
Joke – Life

Marcel Lucont performs Whine List 1 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre. He also performs Marcel Lucont Etc. 2 – 5 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre, and 8 – 11 May at Wellington’s San Fran as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.  Buy your tickets to Whine list here and Marcel Lucont Etc. here.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with Fern Brady

After selling out shows at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Scottish comedian, Fern Brady is making her NZ debut with her whip-smart, bold, brash, and sometimes brutal show, Suffer Fools. Expect passionate honesty intertwined with views on politics and personal relationships. As seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats (in case you’ve never heard of it, that’s a big deal!).

Describe your show in three words or less…
Honest, blunt, dark

What’s the inspiration behind it?
I was wishing I was thinner then I realised the two times in my life when I’ve been proper skinny were the two unhappiest times of my life where I was nuts, so I wrote a show about it. I’m not really selling it, but I swear it’s funny and it’s the first show I’ve done where a lot of women came to see me, before that I was almost exclusively getting a lot of bearded gamer guys (you’re all still welcome, by the way).

Where will we find you during the festival?
In a basement, apparently.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
I know this is about a dating app but I’ve been going out with someone so long I haven’t used the apps, I’ve only ever met people the olden days way of getting drunk and lunging at them.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I want to see Rose Matafeo

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
The film Fish Tank except I haven’t pumped Michael Fassbender.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
I didn’t think I’d like a wrestling show, but I loved Glow and Marc Maron is shockingly good in it.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Sticky – Ravyn Lenae, Strangers – Sigrid, Ready for the Magic – Honeyblood

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Read celebrity blind items on the internet or really dark Reddit threads about people’s worst secrets.

World Association:
Comedy – Tragedy
New Zealand – coffee
Woke – Dunno
Adulting – I hate this word so much
Basic – Australians
Trend – Me
Joke – Yes

Fern Brady plays 27 & 28 Apr at Auckland’s Basement Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF | Frenchy Unleashed

Frenchy’s show can be describe in two words: pure evil.
Having followed his presence online for a while I was somewhat prepared for a show of filthy, lewd and most likely offensive jokes. I wasn’t disappointed.
The lanky Australian bounded onstage at the Q Theatre and launched straight into it. Content ranged from religion and sex fails to Tinder stories and the Kardashians. Highlights included two surprisingly good raps and one severe telling-off of a persistent talker. He also played a couple of hilarious tunes on the guitar, which was a good way of breaking things up.
The man’s humour is gnarly, in the best way. He’s got a rough wit that causes the odd wince but gets the hearty laughs rolling in nonetheless. The show was very well executed, running smoothly while still allowing time for audience interaction, at which Frenchy excels. If you don’t mind excessive amounts of swearing, graphic sexual material and some semi-offensive jokes, Frenchy is definitely worth a watch.
**** 4/5 stars
FRENCHY performed in Auckland as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival.  Catch him throughout the country on the following dates:
  • May 20 – Theatre Royal, Nelson
  • May 21 – Civic Theatre, Invercargill
  • May 22 – Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
  • May 23 – Aurora Centre, Christchurch
  • May 24 – Clarence Street, Hamilton
  • May 26 – The Mayfair, New Plymouth
  • May 27 – Opera House, Wellington
Find out more here.