Tag Archives: Tom Sainsbury

been | Electric Kiwi Billy T Jams

Last Friday night reigned in a showcase of epic comedic proportions.  From a pool of 19 hopefuls, 5 successful up-and-coming comics were chosen to take part in N.Z’s answer to the best in show awards – The Billy T Jams (sponsored by Electric Kiwi).

Previous year’s winner Kura Forrester, hosted this year’s parade. With a warm Maori welcome and loud booming presence, she shared antidotes from her humble roots from Tokomaru Bay to Lower Hutt …

First up on the nights’ bill we had Josh Davies, a diminutive bespectacled Weezer frontman lookalike, who supposedly cursed by a gypsy woman, regaled us with tales from his afflicted childhood, amusing experiences at a blind kids school camp, and running ‘Spy Kids’ film gags.

Following in quick succession, Ray O’Leary had us all in an uproar, with his customary deadpan delivery of sharp and quirky one-liners and dry sarcastic wit.  His monotonous internal dialog was refreshing and distinct to his personality. From bravery on being on stage, to the uncanny presence of wheelchairs in supermarket, Ray was great at creating visual scenarios that were perfectly pitched and hilarious to his audience.

Next act of the evening was Brynley Stent – who opens her set with a quiz show format, that of popular daytime program, ‘The Chase’.  Energetic and innovative, she begins with a ‘Shoot, Shag or Marry’ scenario, which quickly flips to an absurd question of ‘What would you like for dinner’?  Brynley performance is highly entertaining and engaging, with the use of popular music (‘Hungry Eyes’ as an example) and reenactments of everyday mundane situations; eg:Modern advancement in technology presently in supermarket checkouts, Brynley takes it to the next level; sexualising even the inane act of card insertion, albeit in an unique, quirky and fabulously funny way.

~  Back from the break in eager anticipation of a belter of a second half;  James Mustapic leads the way with childhood memoirs and moments of self-deprecation; jokes stemming from his openly gay lifestyle, regular use of public transport and white culture, his set resonates with those with shared experiences, being non-straight or binary and sometimes confused …

Last on the bill we have … Lana Walters.  Newly in relationship, blissfully happy and accepting of current weight issues.  She imparts fondly, her experiences with shower heads, water conservation and cop-dating with hilarity and zeal!

A surprise guest in the form of past fellow Billy T nominee – Tom Sainsbury, rounds off the evenings’ festivities.  Rolling off with correspondence from a local council newsprint; conversation shared among it’s wildly creative and interesting town folk -It is both absurd and amusing.  A highly suspect ‘Top Ten of things to Do In …’ had us all questioning our next endeavour to Tauranga  🙂

All comedians have their shows playing in full format at the upcoming NZ International Comedy Fest 2020. Be sure to catch them in all their glory and see what all the fuss is about!


*** Billy T Jams was showing at the Q Theatre 28th February.  NZ International Comedy Fest kicks off 30th April and runs to 24th May




FRINGE 18: 5 mins with Hamish Russell

How can we peer into the world of female friendships? Use two men in wigs?  Tom Sainsbury (Paula Bennett parody) and Hamish Russell (Drag Wars 2016 winner) put on a couple of wigs and sashay onto the stage.  Wigging Out promises lip-sync dripping with awkward relatability, melodramatic monologues and self-deprecating asides. Along with plenty of sequins and slipping eyelashes a whole new level of outrageousness ensues.

We speak to Hamish Russell, ahead of popping his  Basement cherry with Wigging Out.  Hamish dipped his pointed toe into Auckland’s drag scene in 2016, and in the same year picked up the drag wars crown.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland? If yes, what are you looking forward to about performing in Auckland?
This is my first Fringe ANYWHERE. Apart from the odd drag performance over the past two years I haven’t been on stage since university. I’m looking forward to everything! The crowds, the other shows, and getting to share a stage with Tom Sainsbury, a true hero.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Heels, humour and heaving.

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
The show is the beginning of my Fringe journey so drawing from this experience, most bizarre thing would be the transformative power of wigs.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Cool Behaviour, Drowning in Milk and MacKenzie’s Daughters

Where will we find you during the festival?
Backstage with a makeup brush in my hand, or in front of a high powered fan.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
A packet of plunger coffee, butter and a jar of pickles.

Tell us about your spirit animal?
I want to say my spirit animal is a fox but that’s really only because we share the joy of being orange. In reality my spirit animal is probably something more like a manatee or a walrus. Something slow moving but always near water.

Word Association:
Fringe – Hysterical
Fridge – Fue
Auckland – Hubbub
Festival – Laughter
Lights – Sweat
Chocolate – Life-blood
Winter – Imminent
Theatre – Necessary

Hamish Russell performs in Wigging Out at Basement Theatre 27 Feb – 3 Mar as part of Auckland Fringe Festival. Buy your tickets here.

NZICF 17 | 5 mins with Bridget Davies & Tom Sainsbury

Bridget Davies & Tom Sainsbury are relatively new to the New Zealand comedy landscape.  Both comedians in their own right and finalists at last year’s Raw Comedy Quest, they’re coming together for 5 nights, for their show ‘At the Drop of a Mic’.  With hilarious tales about everything from single life to relationship life, and trout – they’re promising something for everyone.

Describe your show in three words…

Hilariously funny show

What’s the inspiration behind the show?

Our lives and how ludicrously tragic they are.

What are your top 3 festival picks?

Justine Smith

Brynley Stent’s Gloriavale show

Fan Brigade

Tell us about your most memorable time on stage?

Bridget: Performing stand up on Q Theatre’s main stage.

Tom: The time our set collapsed around us and we just had to keep going.

Amy Schumer is known for heckling the odd heckler, what’s your approach?

Die on the inside and cry afterwards and give up hope.

What’s your social media of choice?


Word Association:

Comedy – Tragedy

New Zealand – Best

Trump – Dickhead

Holiday – Sleep

Pineapple – Lumps

Sheep – Baa

And finally, describe the last meal you ate:

Bridget: Hasn’t eaten yet today.

Tom: Neither.

BRIDGET DAVIES & TOM SAINSBURY perform at Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Tue 2 – Sat 6 May as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. from 27 April – 21 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to comedyfestival.co.nz