Nick Cody | Come Get Some!

Nick Cody, often reference by his red beard, brings a great hour long show to Auckland. I hadn’t heard of him previously, and wasn’t too sure what kind of comic style he would bring, but as he opened the show with the notion of “you took a risk so thank you”, he kind of put me at ease, and by the end of the show I can tell you, don’t worry, as the so called “risk” is worth it. There were so many good, golden nuggets in his show which kept coming. He let us in on his life and the recent adventures overseas he had with his comedian lifestyle, along with everyday bits that we all have to deal with at some point.

I enjoyed his natural story telling, which allowed the laughs to come freely, and the odd punchlines. It just worked so well in a nice, intimate setting that is the Vault at Q Theatre. The setting definitely made you feel relaxed and cosy as he laid out the laughing moments for us, and there wasn’t that demand for your laughter as well, that you can get on the odd occasion from some comedians new to the [Auckland] scene. The jokes are relatable for any age group, but probably more specifically those in their 20s – 30s as there is elements to his material relating to dealing with growing up.

It was a great night out overall. Take a risk and check him out.

TICKET PRICES

Tuesday & Thursday $18.00
Friday & Saturday $20.00
Concession $18.00
Cheap Wednesday $16.00

Contains adult themes & occasional coarse language.

Stephen K Amos | The Laughter Master

Stephen K Amos is a brilliant comedian. His material is filled with laugh out loud moments, that leaves you feeling like you did a bunch of ab workouts by the end of the show. The show was about an hour and a half, and I laughed throughout it. Stephen K Amos has an amazing talent of making every joke hit home in a relatable way – one way or another.

Every joke is a tale of some adventure that he has been on, and the varying people he has stumbled across in life. It is honest material that he delivers to an audience that can at least relate to one, if not, majority of the stories.

If you think you are funny, and want a chance at heckling Stephen K Amos, be prepared to be laughed into oblivion by the audience. He has a natural tack for making you regret your decision to open your mouth, and fair play to him. If you don’t like it then sit back and shut up or as he stated “this isn’t your living room, you don’t have to stay!”. But aside for the attempts by some of our fellow audience members to start off their on comedic journey [don’t quit the day job guys], it was a brilliant night. Unfortunately he was only in Auckland for the two shows over the weekend, but if you have the opportunity to see him, go for it as you won’t regret it.

He will be in New Zealand for a few shows the start of May, so have a look via the NZ International Comedy Festival website and book a ticket.

TICKET PRICES

Full Price $40.00
Concession $38.00
Group 6+ $38.00

Contains adult themes & occasional coarse language.

Matt Okine | Review

Matt Okine gets deep in his show for the Comedy Festival 2016. He tackles the big questions, like how did the sensational flavour of salted caramel originate and populate our planet? Why are there so many f**kwits in the world? And other complex issues like racism, sexism, exploitation of animals, and more…

Matt talked non-stop for an hour, weaving stories with anecdotal simplicity using in-jokes about lemons and side-stories about finding a five dollar note with poop on it.

His jokes, strategically placed as they were, kept coming. I appreciate a good story, and Matt was able to tell us intricate details of a day in the life of Matt Okine without missing a beat.

Admittedly, for the sake of a good story, there were some lulls in the lols. Matt gave us a look into his life and into his own way of thinking about the world, as sporadic and cynical as it might be, he indeed left the audience with a strange sense of inspiration.

So I walked out of there thinking, not only has the guy got comedic timing like a genius, I could also have an in-depth discussion with Matt over a drink or two and really nut out the world’s problems: perhaps we will find a way to produce a peppery-chocolate flavour treat, or find out whether his girlfriend is really cheating on him with a lemon.

In all honesty, it was a great laugh. It is amazing how you can give a man an hour with a room full of strangers, a wooden stool and a mic with a stand and a list full of mistakes he has made in his life, and BAM: Pure comedy.

Matt Okine

When: Sat 23, Tue 26 – Sat 30

Where: The Loft, Q Theatre

Get tickets: Ticketek

Ticket Prices: 

Tuesday & Wednesday $22.00
Thursday $25.00
Friday & Saturday $27.00

 

Nish Kumar | Back With A New Show Review

Nish Kumar’s (no relation to JawkwardLOL’s Jess Kumar) show at the Civic this Comedy Fest has enough polysyllabic words to make you feel like a real intellectual when you can keep up. Yeah, take that everyone who said my undergraduate English Lit and Political Studies double major arts degree would go to waste.

He’s well-researched, well-presented and despite a few outbursts rather polite. Sounds more like a guest lecturer than a comedian, but for real he’s pretty hilarious.

Don’t be alarmed, he may use big words but his jokes aren’t so overly complicated that you miss the punchline because you’re too busy trying to make sense of it.

Kumar takes some difficult topics, like ethnic divides, gentrification (Jess’s favourite topic/buzzword ever), existential crisis, and colonialism, and relays his thoughts on them in a witty way that doesn’t alienate his audience.

Even if he’s talking about how if a white British guy turned up in a country, everyone there who wasn’t white were screwed…to a room full of white people. He’s not confrontational, but he’s prone to political rants that walk a tightrope between hilarious and hard-hitting.

However at some point he forgets a primer for a closing joke that he deftly (questionable) manages to work back in in order to close the show with somewhat off on a high. Was it on purpose? We don’t know, maybe? But if it didn’t slow the momentum of his show down then sure, some might say it was an avant-garde way of anticipating and quelling a lull.

Random thoughts during the show:

  • Jess is definitely the drummer from Coldplay- that’s why she’s so money ballin’.
  • Must remember the name of the documentary – damn it something…forgotten. But seriously if you’re reading this and can remember the name of the documentary he talked about, please tell me.
  • Hmmm are hipsters a trend? More a fad, no? (Here’s that one postgrad class on popular culture kicking in.) Unless it has lasting effects on culture it isn’t a trend- it’s a fad. Kik, bebo and myspace? Fads. Social media? Trend- because it’s a fundamental change on how we communicate. But Hipsters well- crap I missed a joke, OR the name of that documentary- either way I lose- I gotta stop having boring internal monologues like this.
  • I was too drop sacks to whoop when he said long reads, but I get down to long reads. I’m all about that long-form journalism. It’s what I do for a living, after all.
  • Shit that was funny and pretty enlightening- everyone should get to one of his shows.

Nish2nd

BACK WITH A NEW SHOW

WHEN: Sat 23, Tue 26 to Sat 30 Apr, Tue 3 to Sat 7 May
WHERE: The Classic, Auckland
GET TICKETSTicketek
TICKET PRICES:

Monday – Thursday $25.00
Friday & Saturday $30.00

*service fee may apply

 

 

Frickin Dangerous Bro | G.O.A.T Review

Frickin Dangerous Bro, or rather ‘three brown guys who make funny’ (my words, not theirs), the sketch-comedy trio comprised of Jamaine Ross, James Roque & Pax Assadi started their G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) comedy fest show off with a bang at the Basement Studio.

The premise is simple enough, three guys on stage performing live sketch comedy written by themselves for an hour. They’ve got props, excellent scene-setting music and of course themselves.

Does it all work like a well-oiled machine? No.

But is it funny? Heck yeah.

Sure they may have rehearsed but the only way in which that comes across is when they get a sketch going they know what’s happening in that sketch.

Otherwise you’ve got them checking their own set list and helping each other remember next lines should they be forgot. And expect a a fair few forgotten lines, missed cues, character breaks and mistakes, friends.

It’s all part of the charm of the show, they bounce off each other and off the audience and daaaamn it’s lucky they’re quick-witted or the audience might not have let them survive. Especially Assadi and Roque who manage to shut down a heckler without coming off as onstage bullies ha. Ross is caught between calling the other two out and not wanting to be excluded from their fun.

Their different personalities make for good group dynamics, both when bantering with the crowd, each other and during their skits.

The skits range from slice-of-life type storylines to wtf-did-I-just-watch type storylines. While I wouldn’t say the writing is altogether solid, jokes (which often work by subverting stereotypes and messing with what’s expected) do hit their mark if sometimes get stretched a bit thin and repeated a few too many times.

But through it all you’re frickin’ laughing and that’s all that frickin’ matters.

Random thoughts during the show: 

  • Lol I can count how many brown people I see in the crowd on one hand.
  • The ‘We like Billy T’ lady had the most perfect timing of the evening tbh I’d go to another show just to see if another audience member tops her- and also because the show’s hilarious and I doubt each night will be completely the same.
  • Is that an Avondale College tie?
  • Not for nothing but one of my favourite sketch comedy makers are the Laughing Samoans… just saying, for no reason related to the show or anything. [Side eyes emoji.]

160404-fresh-as-flick

FRICKIN DANGEROUS BRO

WHEN: April 23-Saturday April 30th 7.30pm (No shows 25th & 26th April 2016)
WHERE: Basement Studio
GET TICKETS: iTickets 
TICKET PRICES: 

Full Price $18.00
Concession $15.00
Group 4+ $15.00
Cheap Wednesday $14.40

*service fee may apply

 

Rose Matafeo | Valley of the Lols Review

Rose Matafeo has an hour of lols, in her Auckland show Valley of the Lols, for anyone interested this comedy fest. We loved the name, no matter the backstory.

The 24-year-old Matafeo’s set, full of a somewhat-prepared list of musings-disguised-lols, is delivered with all of the bravado of, well, Rose Matafeo.

She takes the audience, of which she banters with quite a bit, on a rollercoaster of anecdotal jokes that have an unpolished feel yet hit home each time. Jokes range from lols of singledom and loneliness to self-deprecation where you think- I hope she knows she’s not alone. Which is the beauty in the set, because she’s not alone- it’s why the jokes hit their mark each time.

To varying degrees people in the audience can empathise, or at the very least sympathise, with her stories which makes it easy to laugh at her jokes. I mean maybe we’re not butterchicken, or even a spicier curry, (see the show to get the reference) but at some point most of us have put our best faces forward when all we wanted to do is go home and lie in bed.

There’s a seasoned quality about the comedian that goes beyond her seeming comfort on the stage. It’s the comfort of someone who uses and exposes her own insecurities on stage so that people can laugh on a regular basis.

The comfort of someone who can con a crowd into feeling like at some point in their life they’ve experienced a similar thing and maybe they have, or maybe they haven’t but the point is the audience laughed.

To paraphrase and butcher German philosopher Nietzsche, Matafeo’s set could be described as staring into an abyss to find it staring right back atcha. And the longer you watched the more you laughed.

So was the hour a valley of lols? Yes, each joke whether aided by props and some ace music was delivered with the deadpanned way that pulls a laugh out of you whether you want it to or not.

And if that’s not what you want from a comedy show, what the bloody hell is wrong with you?

rosevalleyofthelols

VALLEY OF THE LOLS

WHEN: April 23-Saturday April 30th 7.30pm (No shows 25th & 26th April 2016)
WHERE: Basement Theatre
GET TICKETSiTickets
TICKET PRICES: 

Full Price $24.00
Concession $18.00
Group 6+ $20.00
Cheap Wednesday $19.20

*service fee may apply

 

 

 

MOVE | Review

Kinetic Wayfinding’s latest project, dance-theatre MOVE, combines dance, theatre, music and digital media to convey messages of hope and address issues rarely talked about in Pasifika communities but which greatly affect Pacific youth.

The central story revolves around a brother and sister, Mark and Lupe played by Isaac Ah Kiong and Jennifer Perez, whose lives are rocked by the death of their father.

Ah Kiong plays a convincing young character whose situation sees him move from worried teen to ‘man of the house’ as his romantic relationship with their friend Diamond, played by Darren Tanuie, unfolds scene by scene.

Perez, whose first role was in Kinetic Wayfinding’s Digital Winds, brings a heartbreaking quality to Lupe’s character who goes from average insta-obsessed teenager to battling inner demons.

Inner demons like depression- leading to thoughts of suicide. Perez’s portrayal of a girl fighting against the these emotions is mesmerising to watch.

The cast, though a tad green, was solid. Granted there were some slip ups but you can easily put it down to first performance jitters.

On top of the three friends, there are also embodiments of creative muses; Creativity (Valentino Maliko), Word (Mosese Ah Hi), Dance (Maxine Kalolo), and Music (Sisi Patea). Their performances were stirring, from their fluid dances moves to beautiful singing.

And really once they got into it, and the cast gained momentum together, the show’s pace quickened and the audience is pulled through different emotions along with the characters.

There were a couple of scenes that seemed to stifle the pace a bit, leaving the audience guessing as to the purpose of it,  however overall it was an engaging piece of theatre, executed by a young up and coming cast.

MOVE makes good use of multi-media with random inserts of digital YouTube/vlog type videos by Diamond, shown on a screen beside the stage, serving as comic relief.

The mash-up of popular songs with beautiful original music, not to mention the elements of Pacific music mixed in too was rather beautiful.

The following song was written and composed by Patea, and beautifully performed by her and Maliko during the performance.

 

 

MOVE 

Written and Directed by Iaheto Ah Hi and Leilani Clarke
Moving image and costumes by visual artists Cee Palalagi and Onesian.
WHEN: April 22-Saturday April 30th 7.30pm (No shows 25th & 26th April 2016)
WHERE: Te Oro in Glen Innes
GET TICKETS: Eventfinda or at the door (Adults: $20.00, Concessions $15.00.  Groups (6+): $15.00, Youth 14yrs and under $10.00.)

 

The LOL is silent.

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