Tag Archives: NZICF

NZICF 18 | Not Suitable for Children

Despite being jet-lagged from an 11-hour flight the day before and running on fumes, The Umbilical Brothers managed to thoroughly impress and entertain with their special brand of effervescent physical comedy.

It’s not often I find myself with nothing to criticise, but it’s a struggle to find things I didn’t enjoy during this show. The Umbilical Brothers produce an impressive array of sound effects, using just themselves and a couple of mics. Lots of well-timed (mostly) to-and-fro, ‘Dane’ and ‘Shaved’ are cheeky and barefaced in nature with a comedic charm, I was totally immersed during the show. The aptly titled show contains a blend of nsfw banter, innuendo, and a Disney “cameo appearance”- of sorts, making for a perfectly-paced, cleverly composed entertainment piece.

The Umbilical Brothers will be performing “Not Suitable for Children” until this Saturday the 19th of May. I highly recommend checking out the show before it ends.

Purchase tickets to see the duo HERE.

4.5/5 Stars

For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website. Running 26 April – 28 May 2017.

NZICF 18 | What A Country!

A word of advice: next time Wilson Dixon is in town, go see him. Laughs are guaranteed, and you’re going to walk out satisfied whether you like his country style of music or not.

If you haven’t seen him before, Dixon blends comedy with music, performing country songs with impressively clever lyrics and breaking them up with some seriously great banter. His whole persona revolves around the United States, from the Western accent (though he’s actually a Kiwi) to the outfit (cowboy boots, check; cowboy hat, check; vintage sunglasses, check).

The topic of Dixon’s new show builds on this theme, placing the United States under a spotlight and questioning its many quirks, from Trump to the stereotype of “redneck” Americans. Songs such as Ain’t No Good provide hilarious – and astute – insight into real issues such as heartbreak, blind dating and domestic disagreements.

Perhaps what is best about Dixon’s performance, however, is the deadpan manner with which he performs his entire set. You’d be lucky to see this man crack a smile, and not once does his tone range from anything but mild, nor his pace stray from its consistent slowness. There’s an art to that, for sure.

Dixon certainly isn’t new to the comedy scene, but this could just be his greatest act yet.

Wilson Dixon plays 1 – 15 May at Auckland’s Q Theatre as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo. Buy your tickets now.

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.

NZICF 17 | Justine Smith – An Hour Roughly

Justine Smith is probably best described as a raconteuse.

The chill of an Auckland Autumn night became a distant memory as we packed into Vault at Q Theatre for an hour of hair-raising tales and no-holds-barred humour, spiced with frequent colourful language and served with lashings of opinionated style. The show flies by and feels like a fraction of a night out with an entertaining, lively new best friend.

Loosely based around the theme of Nature and Nurture, Justine’s show opens with a musical introduction to her family – in fact, family is a recurring theme throughout the evening, as she explores the story of her adoption in sometimes brutally honest style.

Justine’s time spent travelling in her twenties and, later, working in the hospitality industry have sharpened her banter like none other. Life, love, travel, work, men and children – no subject is safe from her hilariously frank observations and sharp-tongued opinions.

Go and see her if you like your stories lurid and your laughs frequent – just maybe don’t ask her about the third time she got arrested… Get tickets HERE.

3/5 Stars

JUSTINE SMITH performs at Vault at Q Theatre until Saturday May 20th as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival from 27 April – 21 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!

NZICF 16 | Nick Cody – Come Get Some!

Nick Cody brings his routine ‘Come Get Some’ to this years NZICF, in what I can only describe as a relaxed, enjoyable evening of comedy. Cody is very much your Aussie Bloke type character, with a general love of beer and sports; he reminded us of this several times during the show without seeming annoying – a feat in itself. He also has some very strong opinions when it comes to TripAdvisor.

His humour style is rather straight-forward and accessible; with anecdotes of his travels, a lost bicycle, and his lack of a drivers licence at 28 years of age. Cody maintained a steady pace throughout, not losing steam at all during the hour.

It had the comfortability of chatting to a mate at your local (or ‘overhearing’ an entertaining conversation), and I’d recommend checking out his show for a casual night out. By the end, I wanted to recommend some pubs for him to visit while in the city. He’s the kind of person who seems like they’d really enjoy a decent pint.

3/5 Stars

Get Tickets for Nick Codys’ show Come Get Some! HERE.

NZICF2015 | Man Up

Back with another one woman show, Urzila Carlson delivers impressive gags that break down the boundaries of gender stereotypes in “Man Up”

Carlson likes her shows to deliver a certain message. Man Up, her sold out Comedy Festival Show, explored not only getting off of our phones, but the roles of gender, sexuality and cake toppers within society. Urzila made it clear though: don’t stare at strangers for too long. She couldn’t take the guilt if you happened to be attacked for acting like a weirdo.

The show is filled with multiple questions but one in particular was the most thought-provoking: why can’t men cry? Carlson explored, with great humour, how men are told to “Man Up” and harden up their entire lives. Following the urban dictionary definition, because that’s what the kids are doing these days, she regales the audience with various examples of when it is and is not okay for men to cry. Marley and Me: acceptable. Bambi’s mother dying: acceptable. Richie McCaw’s retirement: absolutely not.

Urzila finds herself being asked two questions as a mother: Who is the father and who will teach her child how to ride a bike? Answer: Urzila.  After describing the disaster of a bicycle, the audience thought the scenario couldn’t get any funnier. That is, until Carlson gave us a full demonstration of how she fell off the bike in slow motion, just enough time for her wife to come out and question her existence.

The ending of the show was perhaps my favourite part of the night. Carlson revels in the glee she gets as others squirm at the nature of her sexuality. This came in handy when her wife became pregnant with their child. Whilst people are uncomfortable with discussing someone’s atrocious issue, they have no problem asking who the father of a lesbian couple’s unborn child is.

Because who’s the daddy? Urzila is.

NZICF15 | Stephen Witt – Diddle

Popcorn the Clown by day, Stephen Witt by night, and Billy T nominee all year round, this comic is back with a bang for the 2015 International Comedy Festival.

Named the “future of New Zealand Comedy” by Mike King, Witt is bringing his second show to the Q Theatre Stage. With an appropriate title, “Diddle” was anything but a flop.

I had never been to a Comedy Festival show before, and when I heard about Witt’s show, I was intrigued. Who in their right mind name’s a show “Diddle”? Was he going to flop his out? Alas, he isn’t and he didn’t. Instead he flopped out an hour of original and witty humour that had the audience reeling.

For a start, his fresh-faced perspective of everyday happenings left me wondering whether it was appropriate to laugh. A stern face and quick scan of the audience was followed by a cheeky grin and, what became the catch phrase of the evening: “Okay? Alright? Okay. Alright”. His favourite topic of conversation though, was his upbringing in South Auckland. With a faux sense of nostalgia, he relayed stories of parties and ex-girlfriends, one of whom he’d taken on a sunset date which she had called “gangsta”. He’d had to break up with her after that.

Another story that caught the audience’s attention was about Stephen’s day job. The unassuming clown Popcorn was given a ceremonious welcome by a five year old, who proceeded to tell the entire party that Stephen had told him about his small “diddle”, pun intended.

After seeing Witt live, the name definitely makes sense. His awkward, lackadaisical sense of humour partnered with his quirky facial expressions make him a bit of a diddle. That’s just how we like him.