Tag Archives: NZICF

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 | The Improv Bandits – No Scripts, No Gimmicks, No Safety Net!

The Improv Bandits first show of the 2019 New Zealand International Comedy Festival opened with plenty of enthusiasm and laughs to go around. As part of the Auckland comedy scene for the past 20+ years, they have a solid grounding – the show began with energy and candour as the Bandits engaged with the crowd early on.

Arguably one of the more challenging comedy approaches, improv has its fair share of challenges, and the Improv Bandits did not disappoint with their quick-thinking and cohesive stage persona. Part of what fuels improv is audience interaction, and here they excelled; Although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t filled with mild terror when they approached the back row near where we were seated, in pursuits of audience input, I’ll pass on that, thank you.

We enjoyed a showcase of stand-up variety classics in Who’s Line is it Anyway style, with the teams’ dynamic and cohesive rapport. They were quickly to take queue from one another’s’ prompts, and managed to keep the flow going for a solid 1 hour of entertainment. Although a little predictable at times, The Bandits utilised common improv tropes, exaggeration of crowd-supplied anecdotes and many a pun – the borderline wholesome experience was well-worth braving the frigid winter weather for the hour of hilarity.

3.5/5 Stars

The Improv Bandits perform at the Herald Theatre as part of the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival from 2 – 26 May. For more infomation about their scheduled shows as well as the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!

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.