Tag Archives: NZ International Comedy Festival

NZICF 18 | Tiprat

Luke Heggie cuts right to it. He came out on stage and instantly got to work. Which to be honest, felt a bit rehearsed. I walked in just before the show started so seat space was limited in the small upstairs room in the Basement Theatre, so I was thankful to find seats in the second row. I had figured that Luke would be the comedian to single out people sitting in the front, but was disappointed to find out he barely interacts with his audience. There was  even a moment a group of guys came in late – Luke quickly invited them in and and told them it wasn’t one of those shows where they’d be roasted. Fair enough I guess, but then one of the late comers tripped up the stairs and made a ruckus. Everyone waited for the joke and it never came.

Towards the middle of the show, Luke started making jokes about his kids – which the 50-60 year old in front of me loved. For me, it was the predictable observations that most parents have when they have children. I may have laughed more at the man’s reaction in front of me than to the joke itself.

There was a ukulele sitting on stage all night, which Luke didn’t touch until the last 5 minutes of the show. My advice to him would be to leave it off stage because the joke didn’t land he doesn’t have any rhythm.

I’m not saying I didn’t laugh, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when I left the show. 3/5


See Luke Heggie – Tiprat in Auckland until May 5. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Marcel Lucont Etc. – A Chat Show

A true raconteur of improv comedy, our favourite Frenchie, Marcel Lucont is back with a new show for this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival; Marcel Lucont Etc. – A Chat Show.

Marcel’s new show centers around him interviewing other, lesser comedians, accompanied by a Jazz Trio. Each night brings a new guest.

With his signature maroon suit and turtleneck, a barefoot Marcel graced the stage to greet his audience. Acknowledging the late night show, Marcel began by exposing the low energy of the crowd in true Marcel style. Following which, he poured himself a glass of red wine and began regaling the audience with song before inviting his guest for the evening.

The show is split in two parts; the first consisted of improv, songs, and poems, while the second was the much-anticipated chat segment. With a a clever message from the sponsor in between.

Without giving too much away, I’ll say this – Marcel Lucont is a master of improv comedy and a joy to watch. If there’s one show you’re going to watch this NZ International Comedy Festival, make sure it’s this one.

5 stars

We were privileged enough to speak to Marcel before his arrival to NZ, read the interview.

See Marcel Lucont etc. – A Chat Show in Auckland until May 5 and in Wellington 8, 9 & 11 May. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | Dot Con

James Veitch…A Giant Gummy Lizard’s nightmare!

Known for his love for ducks, investment tips in hummus, and views on the internet; British comedian James Veitch performed the last show of his 2018 Australasian tour in front of a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Q Theatre (it has to be noted, he was in the biggest venue at Q!).

To be a comedian who has presented a TED talk (and the fastest ever to reach over two million views!) is an accolade to admire, thus it was no surprise his Kiwi fans were of all ages and demographics. The hour of hilarity that ensued were the antics of a conman to conmen. If there was one thing to learn from the show, it was; don’t mess with James unless you have time to spare!

Dot Con is a fitting title for the show as James explores his tryst with scammers; from Solomon Odonkoh who wants to move gold, to his American friend Alex’s email account being hacked (they’ll always have Tuscany).

The show is dotted with stories both old and new and fans were delighted either way. James has the ability to breakdown an email chain and reenact the bond he’s formed with the scammer in a way that audiences appreciate.

Dot Con was a show not to be missed and can easily be labelled as one of my favourites for this year’s International Comedy season. It’s easy to see why his videos have gained over 12m views on YouTube.

5 stars.

NZICF 18 | G.O.D (God. Oil. Drugs)

Who says you have to go to church to hear a sermon?

Being heralded as the UK’s answer to Chris Rock, our expectations for Dane’s debut NZ show were high …and he didn’t disappoint.

Gracing the stage to Stormzy, Dane opened his sermon by stating he likes to educate; not just entertain. He then divulged into growing up black in a Catholic household. What followed was an hour of side splitting comedy of observations that contribute to not living in an equal society.

Dane compared the double standards of gender neutrality, fair trade chocolate, and foodies. He also deeply analysed growing up to TLC’s 90’s chart topping single, No Scrubs and how it contributed to a lack of getting girls.

Dane has a unique talent for delivering punchlines and relating to the audience, a talent which only a select group of comedians have mastered. I’d say that he’s my generation’s answer to Eddie Murphy in his prime.

5 stars.

NZICF 18 | Alexis Dubus vs the World

A pleasant hour of orchestrated confusion sums up Alexis Dubus verses the world.

Dressed in a velour suit and armed with a miniature ukulele, Dubus started the show with his song, ‘Versus the World’. A fitting theme song for an hour filled with poems, spoken word, song, and witty humour, all performed in a variety of styles.

An ode to Grain Waves, a hatred of Bananas, and To be a Comic, were just some of the poems recited during the show. Dubus played a subdued, graceful character on stage; a stark contrast to his alter-ego, Marcel Lucont.

His poetic stories were clearly inspired by his travels as comic; often grounded and of low-status. His poem, ‘To be a Comic’, was a reflective piece revealing the truth behind making it as a comic, the polar opposite of the perceived glitz and glamour of show business. And his stories of staying in a hostel in Perth revealed the realities of his life on the road.

A special mention must be made of his performance of Never confuse Shampoo with Champagne, it was one even Sinatra would be proud of!

Like a box of chocolates, there’s always a selection that isn’t as good as the others. The show delivered but there were aspects that didn’t work for me. However, the tone and laughs were consistent throughout.

Alexis Dubus is an elegant wordsmith and a master at manipulating the English language. The orchestrated confusion made it a pleasant show to watch.

3.5 stars.

Read our interview with Alexis.

See Alexis Dubis in Alexis Dubus vs the World in Auckland 28 April and Wellington 8 – 12 May.  Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 18 | 5 mins with El Jaguar

Originally from the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico, luchador wrestler turned comic, El Jaguar is returning to New Zealand with a brand new show, Telenovela. Be prepared to weep on command, get caught up in a love triangle, grow a thin moustache, and fall in love with all the characters and their cheesy accents.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Melodrama! Margaritas! Mexicans!

What’s the inspiration behind it?
The desire to write, direct, and star in my own Mexican soap opera.

Where will we find you during the festival?
If not in a death battle with Giapo the gelato king, then probably flyering my show on Queen Street.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
El Jaguar swipes both ways.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Is Foster Brooks coming?

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
If ‘Shape of Water’ had Dwayne Johnson playing all the characters.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Season 5 of M*A*S*H.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
“Weird” Al’s Hamilton Polka,Xanadu” by ONJ, and the Coco Soundtrack.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Probably sleep. Or frozen Cokes.

World Association:
Comedy- piñatas
New Zealand – laser kiwi
Woke – snooze button
Adulting – food porn
Basic – as
Trend – Minature Schnauzer crossed with a Malteaser.
Joke – see above.

El Jaguar plays 16 – 19 May at Auckland’s The Classic as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

NZICF | 5 mins with The Umbilical Brothers

Aussie duo, The Umbilical Brothers, return to New Zealand with their latest live show, Not Suitable for Children. Inspired by that time they created a kids TV show for the Sesame Workshop in the US; the show is packed with violence, sexual references, innuendos, coarse language, and maybe some face painting…. And you guessed it, it’s most definitely, Not Suitable for Children! We chat to them ahead of their shows.

Describe your show in three words or less..
Fry your brain

What’s the inspiration behind it?
We made a kids’ TV show for Sesame Workshop in the US. All the while our comedy brains were thinking about things that could go wrong. The result is a really wrong live kids’ show – so wrong that it’s not for kids.

Where will we find you during the festival?
Hopefully nowhere near children. That came out wrong…I mean no kids should see this show. Apart from that, we’ll probably hang around a lot at the classic, failing to be as cool as the stand-up comics.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Which is the good one? Look, we wouldn’t dare take any kind of swipe at NZ comedy. You’re the only ones qualified to swipe, even if it is incestuous.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Luke Heggie, Urzila Carlson, Jimmy McGhie, Guy Montgomery, Aunty Donna, any act you’ve never heard of (it’s important to try new things), and if you’ve got any time or money left – us.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Stuck in the Middle With You

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
A screen showing the words “You do not have access to this service”

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Further Than Planes Fly (Eves Karydas), Genesis (Justice), Watch You Go (Tyne-James Organ)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Awesome! I’d take the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

World Association:
Comedy – Debatable
New Zealand – Original Zealand OK, but not as scenic as New.
Woke – Groggy but alive
Adulting – Just Kidding
Basic – Double-bassic
Trend – Vicious dinosaur attack
Joke – Trending New Zealand Comedy more Woke than Basic Adulting Joke

The Umbilical Brothers play 15 – 19 May at Auckland’s Rangatira at Q as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.