This was certainly one of the most memorable shows of the festival, because I never knew what was coming next. This show was an hour-long that let you know that when “you unleash the monkey within…anything is possible”. This show performed by two independently brilliant comedians bought me close to some of the biggest laughs of the festival. Quite a feat considering I’d just walked out of Steve Wrigley and Ben Hurley’s show as this one began.
So, Tom Furniss is another of this year’s Billy T Nomninees. This deceptively charismatic young man manages to express his talents for making people laugh, generally with a blindsiding punchline.
Going into this show I had two things on my mind:
OK, so maybe not in that order. But that’s the order in which the questions were answered.
This hour of comedy involved the kind of Audience Interaction that left one poor, slightly racist, lactose intolerant Australian girl quivering in front of a room of comedy fans. We all laughed. She got given a joke book to help her out.
In this hour we heard about all sorts of facets of the life of well traveled (he’d just gotten back from Melbourne) Tom Furniss. We got to hear about the literary endeavors of his British Namesake, and how he chooses to get back at people for writing books in his name. We learned how important it is for the performer to remember to put his phone on silent before taking to the stage, and the kind of expectations he has for a green room.
We even got to hear about his delightfully surprising visit from one Sarah-Jessica Parker, the story of which evidently ended up on the back of some lunchbox literature (yes, I’m getting a bit cryptic, maybe you should go see his show if he re-runs it).
An excellent hour of unexpected punchlines that kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Loved it!
And he wasn’t a liar. There was free Ice Cream. And it was nomsy.
This show gets Four and a half scoops.
For those who asked, the final show count was 56. Don’t forget to check out the Poster For Charity.
Big Wednesday at The Classic
5 Star Comedy Preview
Steve Wrigley and Cyan Corwine – Kevin the Musical
Terry Frisby – The Great Frisby Experiment
RAW SemiFinal 1
Dead Cat Bounce
Stephen K Amos
Jeremy Elwood’s Time Bomb
2 May (Wellington)
TJ McDonald – My life has been a series of poorly made decisions
Jan Maree – Hairy Today, Gone Tomorrow
Cut to the Chase – The Director’s Cut – Reverend Jellie
Urzila Carlson - I’m going to need a second opinion
Ben Hurley and Guests
Jamie Bowen – Munfred Bernstein’s Cabinet Of Wonder
Mr Boon’s Fairy Tales
Dead Cat Bounce
Late Laughs with Urzila Carlson
RAW SemiFinal 2
David O’Doherty – Is looking up
Cal Wilson - Is All Ears
Justine Smith and Irene Pink - The Pitch
Desperate and Dateless - Class Comedian Graduates 2011
Rhys Mathewson vs The World
Jamie Adam, Tim Batt, Steven Boyce - Jokers, Smokers, and Midnight Tokers
Rhys Darby - This way to Spaceship
Des Bishop – Likes To Bang
Gordon Southern - The history of history
Class Comedians 2012 - Final
Brendhan Lovegrove - Bury Me Happy
Late Laughs with Justine Smith
Raw Comedy Final
Tevita Manukia – Knock Knock
Guy Williams – On the verge of nothing
Rose Matafeo – Scout’s Honour
Andrew Clay - Dumped
Greg Ellis - Vance Fontaine in Command Performance
Clayton Carrick-Leslie - Write About What You Know
Tom Furniss - The Free Ice Cream Show
Ben Hurley and Steve Wrigley
James Elliott and John Glass - Monkey Business
Tarun Mohanbhai - Joke In the Box
The Nowhere Show
The Boy With Tape On His Face
Bombs Away! A Musical
Reuben Lee Soul Doubt?
Gish – Takes
Late Laughs with Steve Wrigley
So it’s over. What does this mean? Where do we go from here?
Well, for punters like me, we start getting back to normal with our lives, and wait for the next big thing.
For the awesome Festival Team, including, but far from limited to the wonderful Kylie Aitchison, Lauren Whitney, Spencer Dowson, Debs McKeen, and Kate McGee. These were the five main people I talked to, negotiated with, harassed in the lead up to the festival. I’d like to thank you all for all the great work you’ve put in to the festival, and for all the time you set aside to deal with my petty requests.
Kylie Aitchison: Thank you for letting me do this. With me as a punter, if you’d said “I don’t feel comfortable with what you’re doing” I’d have stopped straight away, I’d have shut the blog down immediately, and just gone to my shows. You didn’t. I’m grateful for that. You gave me permission to try for the Poster For Charity. Thank you for that, both from me, and from the Child Cancer Foundation.
Lauren and Spencer: I’ve harassed you both pretty fiercely over the last year, but to be honest, this whole project sparked out of a suggestion from Lauren last year. I owe you a lot. Spencer, for starters you’ve taken the heat off of Lauren from me most recently. You’ve done a great job for the festival, and promoting me where you can through your wonderful means of communication, even getting a blog of mine up on the website (and hopefully this one too). Thank you.
Debs McKeen, you’ve done an awesome job producing all the big events throughout this festival, whether or not people know the extent of the impact you make on the festival, you should unquestionably be recognised for it. You rock!
And Kate. You’ve been awesome, for hooking me up with the media pass, for coordinating a lot of my tickets, dealing with last minute changes, among many other things. You’ve been awesome to deal with, and I have no idea how you’ve managed to stay so happy and chirpy all the time.
To my beautiful half. Thank you for your love, support, and tolerance during this project. It’s been a long three and a half weeks. A longer four months. Thank you for supporting me through this project which became an obsession, and is now a great set of memories, or will be, as soon as the #PosterForCharity has been sold.
To all the acts who’ve supported me, either with comp tickets, or stuff to give away, or even a tiny bit of promotion, thank you all.
To all the acts I’ve seen, thank you for making me laugh.
It is safe to say that you might not see me at the classic for a couple of weeks, while I comedy-detox, but I look forward to jumping back on this bandwagon next year. Whether or not it’s to the same extent, I don’t know. I have a feeling I’m going to need some help next year. So if you’re interested in comedy blogging, let me know.
To all the readers and subscribers, thanks for your support. I hope you liked what you got. If you didn’t, let me know what I can improve on.
Now I suppose all that’s left to say is that it’s time to start bidding on the #PosterForCharity - You know you want to! http://drake.net.nz/LrNzbP
First of all, thank you to everyone who has supported my goal of the last 23 days. It’s been an awesome ride, and I plan to do a lot of shoutouts in my wrap up blog. Which I do hope will be syndicated on the Comedy Festival website.
Tonight was awesome. I had a blast. Tears pouring down my face, my sides hurt, it was an awesome late show.
I know I’m about 6 blogs behind in reviews. In all honesty, I’ve hit the wall. They will come, in a few days, once I’m winding down.
I’m fifty three shows in. Fifty four is tomorrow night. It’s the big one: The night we find out who’s won the Billy T Award, the night we find out who’s won the Fred Award, and many other rightful acknowledgements will happen.
I’ve met and chatted with all of the nominees for the Billy this year, some formally, some informally. You’re all awesome in your own rights. And only two people know who I’m hedging my bets on, but it’s very tight.
The Fred Nominees are all wonderful people. Two of whom I’ve interviewed, one of whom it’s very difficult to interview because HE HAS TAPE ON HIS FACE!
Good luck to everyone up for an award tomorrow.
Tonight I hang up my festival shirts I’ve been rocking on high-rotation for the last three and a half weeks. (Don’t worry, they’ve been washed every night, and I’ve had two on rotation). Tomorrow I crack out the business shirt I should have worn to the Gala, if for nothing more than to show respect to the people who have worked so damn hard to get where they are on the night.
I’m going to go have a shower, and try and catch up on some sleep.
May you all laugh until your sides hurt, and your eyes are red from tears.
Clayton Carrick-Leslie has long since been one of my favourite kiwi comedians. In a court of law one might call that Bias, but I call it “Recognising great talent”. This is the third festival show I’ve seen of Clayton’s and once again I was not disappointed.
Clayton’s sense of humour takes the audience on a long satirical ride of impressions, observations, detective work, and the search for love. His one liners draw great laughs from the crowd, and if one fails, he always has a quick call-back to bring the audience back on-side.
Reusing only the tiniest piece of material from last year’s show, this show of mostly-new material had me in laughter from situations that are all too real - so real it hurt. His observations of the general psyche of both the male, and female mindsets can be quite thought provoking about the motives behind the actions of those who you love most, and it was brilliant.
Clayton Carrick Leslie’s show is running until Saturday at the loft at Q, and is a highly recommended see.
I went into this show, honestly not knowing what to expect. I was greeted by a Four Piece band and one of the most impressive beards I’ve ever seen on a drummer (how he didn’t get his brushes caught, I’m not sure).
This show shows the completely improvised career of Vance Fontaine. A kiwi legend who’s done all sorts of interesting things in my life. Some of the things that appeared in the show I saw were:
It’s clear that Greg Ellis is not someone who shies away from a good challenge. And I like that. It’s well worth taking the time to see this show, even if it’s with the intention of trying to trip up a band who could quite easily become NZ’s Next top Party Band.
I’m going to give them a respectable rating of four well-impressive sets of sideburns.
It’s really hard to review and rate an improvised show, I’ve come to realise during this festival. But what I have realised is I very much like improv, and virtually anything put on by the Covert Improv group and produced by the delightful Wade Jackson is generally brilliant, because the Covert Improv group are well conditioned to go for anything put in front of them.
The premise of this show folllows around a Private Detective (Dick) while he goes looking for something determined by the audience. It’s clear to see the cast are having fun, especially when they try to throw each other off with some of the most obscure references, or lines with some of the seediest double-entendres known to man.
It was a fantastic show, and a great laugh, as every production I’ve seen by this troupe has been. The only tip I will give potential audience members, is to avoid sitting by the right hand side of the seating, too near the live music. Sure, it’s a nice touch, but I found it was a little towards the “excessively loud” range, and meant I only caught about half of the dialogue.
Of a Tuesday Night, I wouldn’t normally be found in a theatre waiting to see a play. This kind of stage amusement is something new to me, outside of the requisite school productions (I was only ever in one, and I proudly played a tomato - where’s my role on Go Girls?), and the couple of Ballets I saw performed because my cousin was it it.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect, maybe a couple of comedians on stage throwing some punchlines around, and everyone claps and laughs. But I was genuinely surprised with the level of performance I saw.
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