Tag Archives: NZICF 19

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 | 5 mins with Eleanor Tiernan

Can success be gained without a sex tape? Irish Comedian Eleanor Tiernan explores this foolish notion in her show, Success without a Sex Tape. Picked as ‘one to watch in 2019’ you don’t want to miss the much anticipated NZ debut by this fresh Irish Star. We catch up with her before she takes over the Vault at Auckland’s Q Theatre.

Describe your show in three words or less.
Chill The F*** Out (That’s 4 I’m sorry but if that makes people angry pls go back and read the four words).

What’s the inspiration behind it?
This is my own personal attempt to push back against the subtle pressures to perform being successful for other people while not actually knowing what success actually means.

Where will we find you at the festival?
I expect to be on stage while the shows are on. Other than that, I have zero plans. I was hoping people would come find me and take me places. However, I beg you to please use this power I am offering you wisely. I do not wish to end up in what Oprah would call “the second location”. I will not expand on what that is in case of giving inept killers ideas.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
Ooooh I’ve not been to NZ before but so I guess I’ll use the Bumble function that lets you put a 24hour pause before you have to reply to the person. That will give me a chance to check the clubs out. However, they’ve asked me over so safe to say I am already positively inclined towards it.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
I’ve recently discovered Australian comic Aaron Chen and I find him so funny. I am really looking forward to seeing him in NZ. Other than that I would recommend Jamali Maddix, Joe Lycett, James Acaster, Becky Lucas but I’m sure you already know about these guys.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
“Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – U2

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Soz I’m on a Netflix strike until they give me my own special. They are regrettably unaware of my political stance thus far.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
I’m not on Spotify for reasons of wanting to pay for music and am happy to sound virtue signally about it.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d like to play more games on my phone. There are so many gold coins I could be collecting that I never get because I’m doing things like admin and interviews before comedy festivals.

Word Association:
Comedy – Sex
New Zealand – Sex
Adulting – Love
Basic – Sex
Trend – Food
Joke – Sex

Eleanor Tiernan performs in her show ‘Success Without A Sextape’ and is on the line-up for the Best Comedy Show On Earth, both 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.

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 Alistair Barrie

As one of the top headliners on the international comedy circuit, UK comedian Alistair Barrie has performed in over 40 countries including acclaimed performances in Australia, Cape Town, Mumbai and the legendary Comedy Cellar in New York. We chatted to him ahead of the NZ debut of his five-star-rated show from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Describe your show in three words or less.
Previously well-reviewed.

What’s the inspiration behind it?
A desperate need to be loved dressed up as concern for the state of the world. Or possibly the other way round.

Where will we find you at the festival?
I’ve never been to NZ before so I have literally no idea. All I’ve heard is ‘The Classic’, which could be a world-renowned comedy club or a spectacular cheeseburger for all I know.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
OK. So this is a Tinder thing, right? Not a clue. I met my wife back in the day when you had to disappoint potential partners through the sheer force of your personality alone.

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival?
Paul Sinha is a dear friend whom I first met years ago when we were both starting out in the comedy circuit. Recently, a UK newspaper ran a story on how the white-suited Chaser was trying to widen his skill set to include stand-up comedy. This is funnier than any jokes either of us will make at the Festival. He’s an absolute craftsman. With a terrible tailor.

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Let the Right One In. I haven’t seen it but I believe it’s based on my unsuccessful attempts to get on the TV Gala.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this questionnaire is not entirely aimed at my demographic. I mean, I’m actually reading Game of Thrones*. What a dick.
* I also feel this is slightly disrespectful to my hosts here in Middle Earth.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
You are asking a man who has brought two laptops to NZ cos he couldn’t work out how to transfer his iTunes on to the new one. I only went on Spotify last year to try and listen to The House of Love’s debut without paying for it before I went to see them live, as my cassette player no longer exists. Therefore my top 3 songs are any of the ones on their eponymous 1988 album, from a period known as where all the good music comes from grandad.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Lie awake.

Word Association:
Comedy – The international language of idiocy, although it does appear a lot of the wrong people are fluent.
New Zealand – I’ve always liked the idea there was another place nearby where people turned up with less zeal.
Adulting – A grown up activity in Jamaica.
Basic – an early, patronising computer language.
Trend – Not Classic.
Joke – An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman walked into a bar and agree to complete a short survey.

Alistair Barrie makes his NZ debut with his show ‘The Internation-AL’ 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.

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.

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.

NZICF 19 | 5 mins with Alice Canton

Theatre-artist, performer, and perpetual eye-roller… With almost two decades of professional experience up her sleeve, Alice Canton knows how to deliver the comedy goods. Beginning her career as an improviser, MC and corporate entertainer, Canton has performed and taught throughout New Zealand, Australia and Asia, working with theatre companies including Red Leap Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Barbarian Productions, and Two Productions.

Join her at this year’s Comedy Festival as she takes a deep dive into the world of meme, exploring the most popular images, videos and gifs to spread across the internet and into our lives.

Describe your show in three words or less…
“I feel seen”

What’s the inspiration behind it?
My insatiable appetite for meme’s which is, let’s face it, a full-blown addiction.

Where will we find you at the festival?
Outside the Basement Theatre on the concrete slab talking about concepts.

NZ Comedy Scene – would you swipe right or swipe left?
The direction you swipe when you want to fuck? (I’ve never had Tinder so no idea which way)

Do you have any top picks for this year’s festival? 
Hamish Parkinson and his mum, Lynette, in Me ‘n’ Ma and all the theatre nerds at the Basement

What song or movie best describes the story of your life?
Fantasia – lots of classical music, dancing, and naked horse-dudes.

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Formula 1: Drive to Survive because my bf works in motorsport and Daniel Ricciardo is hot babe.

And your top 3 songs on Spotify?
Boycrush’s Desperate Latenight Energy, Solange’s When I Get Home and Anderson Paak’s Ventura (I just re-read this – and these are albums not songs but ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE ALBUM TO GET CONTEXT)

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I’d rehearse for my Superbowl half-time performance

Word Association: (I decided to answer as emojis instead)

Comedy – 😁

New Zealand – 💚

Adulting – 🙄

Basic – 💅

Trend – 🔥

Joke – 🙃

Alice Canton performs her new solo show ‘Meme Lord’ as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival, running May 2-26. For dates, venues, and tickets, head to comedyfestival.co.nz