Tag Archives: Sky City Theatre

NZICF 18 | Arj Barker: Organic

Typically terrible Auckland traffic.  Running late for show, unexplained absence of my plus 1 …  All variables that may equate to a possibly unfortunate evening …

Luckily my Saturday night offered me salvation in the form of laid-back, renowned comic genius named Arj Barker and his show from the NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – ‘Organic’.

An opening with air-craft safety demonstrations, Arj demonstrates his seasoned prowess and farcical technique, with topical comedic artistry.  With popular monikers and references to identifiable cities such as; ‘Boring Brisbane’ and Auckland – ‘The City of Sails’,  he uses his loll Californian drawl to his advantage.  Which is also evident in his relaxed dress, style of comedy, as well as his delivery …

Hilarious comparisons between marriage and murder.  The life-cycle of gluten and the consequential lack of pleasure whilst adopting an anti-wheat lifestyle, Arj taps into the raw and organic nature of our everyday lives and provides us with astute and observational humour in the process.

“You step in shit, at least you still have one good shoe … ”  Just one of the many amusing slogans/life affirming quotes (which incidentally you are able to purchase in sticker form after the show) that Arj Barker hits us with, throughout his witty and wild ramblings.

To me, his strength lies in his ability to coerce the audience in visualizing a specific (and sometimes ludicrous) scenario, albeit without props, but through pure wit and imagination.  His comparisons between death and marriage, through the medium of music; a’la Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and Chopin’s ironically titled “Funeral March”, were admittedly on-point and certainly hit the funny frontal-cortex of many an audiences brain.

Concluding with an inspiring musical composition that ties together the theme of the show; organic living, produce and of course the soul of the apple …  All in tune with his signature Californian rhyming,

Arj Barker knocks the last organic apple off the tree and leaves us all wanting more!


*** Arj Barker: Organic is now playing for 2 more nights Friday 19th -Saturday 20th May

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.

Stephen K Amos Laughter is my Agenda

SkyCity Theatre
May 2 & 3

Head to SkyCity to check out charming comedian Stephen K. Amos. There’s really no theme to Stephen’s show except that we’re there to laugh and have some fun and we certainly did that.

Audience interaction is a major part of his act and there’s definitely comedy gold to be mined from his audience and that’s where he shines.

His conversations with the audience had us in fits of laughter.  His observational humour in full swing at the expense of our Trans-Tasman cousins and his spot on Aussie accent had us in stitches.  Who wouldn’t love a comedian who can poke gentle fun at the Aussies.

Born to Nigerian parents and raised in the UK, Amos’ early family life provides a lot of his material- totally hilarious and sometimes a little bit naughty. He had the packed out auditorium laughing so loudly at times he had to wait until we had all calmed down so that he could move on.

His show is supposed to last for an hour but when he went over time the audience didn’t mind at all

Sadly this reviewer had to leave straight after the show but I’m told he was still making people laugh in the foyer after the show.

If you fancy a great night out and sore stomach muscles from laughing then Stephen K Amos is the show to go and see as he says, “Laughter is my agenda” and he delivers.