The final week of the 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
What an amazing three weeks for all and sundry involved in this intense extravaganza of ridiculous comedic proportions.
Audience attendance rates were astronomical, some shows needing to add extra performances to meet demand.
Week three also brought aroud the last minute replacement to the UK’s Jason Cook, in the Wellington leg of the festival, Tom Wrigglesworth. Tom is nothing shy of incredible, but I’ll get to him shortly.
The first show of week three, for me, was the opening night of Jetlagged. Cruzanne Macalister and I spent 2009 travelling around the world and exploring the great yonder. We collected stories and observations, thoughts and feelings, trials and tribulations. We put our hearts, souls, and life savings into putting this show together. It was brilliant. Admittedly, opening night (sold out), wasn’t the greatest show in the festival, but it certainly wasn’t the worst (despite what one very uptight reviewer has to say). Night two was an almost full-house, and just as successful as the first. Night three, sold out in advance, was an absolutely riotous, outrageously funny hour of comedy. The crowd was very enthusiastic, and Cruz and I both brought our A-game. Too bad they didn’t send any better reviewers on THAT night. Saturday, the final night, was a no-holding-back let-loose kind of night. Another booked out show, with a late-night crowd who were up for anything, and we definitely let them know it was the end of our season. We were ready to go out with a bang. We both went 15 minutes over our 30 minutes each, resulting in a 90 minute show for all to enjoy. I don’t think there were any complaints, aside from the gay dudes out in the foyer, waiting for Club Ivy to turn back into a night club. Sorry guys!
I most definitely look forward to working with Cruzanne again, on future projects. She’s an ace lady. That makes it sound like she’s 82.
Thursday night, I managed to catch the much-hyped Tom Wrigglesworth. People had been describing his show as “hilarious” and actually using the word “amazing”. I was doubtful that any comedy show could be “amazing”. It’s just a guy with a microphone. How can that be amazing? I walked out at the end of Tom’s show thinking “That was fucking amazing”. I added an adjective, albeit an expletive one. Never before have I seen such an honest, heartwarming show that is also clever, charming, and most importantly, very very funny. No matter where you are in the world, if you haven’t yet seen Tom Wrigglesworth’s show ‘An Open Letter To Richard Branson’, you need to see it. Fly somewhere to see it if you have to. You won’t be disappointed.
On Friday evening, it was El Jaguar at the Fringe Bar. I’ve been an El Jaguar fan since he and his unitard first lunged onto the Wellington comedy stage. You never know what’s going to happen, probably because HE never knows what’s going to happen. An absolute master of improv, El Jaguar doesn’t really give you a show, so much as he makes a show around you. High energy, high stakes, and gasping-for-breath laughter are guaranteed when you spend an evening with El Jaguar!
The Comedy Den again. I can’t remember much about this show, although there was a small crowd, who El Jaguar worked and worked and worked to get onside, as the MC. Andrew O’Neil, from the UK, was easily the standout act of the night. Newcomer (and national RAW finalist in 2010) Nick Gibb did a great job kicking things off, but the crowd wasn’t buying anything until Dave Wiggins arrived to start the engines. Although his rendition of The Baha Men’s “Who Let The Dogs Out” awarded him the swiftest Den eviction to date. It escapes me who else was on, so if you performed this night, please comment so I can edit this.
Saturday night. The final night of the Comedy Den at the Fringe Bar. It was supposed to be a crazy safari-themed (why???) party, packed out with comedians and punters, bidding farewell to the festival for another year. Nobody came. The crowd was pathetic, and the acts never really ignited. Is this when Little Moustache performed at the Den? Somebody help! I think they did. Cori Gonzalez-Macuer was on, but his TV star power wasn’t enough to save the night from itself. It didn’t help, that the front row consisted of a group of (probably) drunk ditzy fuckwit girls, one tequila away from date-rape. They were noisy and disruptive, one of whom was texting during the show (in the front row?? You arrogant cunt) and they were only there to see Cori, so paid the other acts no respect whatsoever. My lovely girlfriend told them to “Shut the fuck up” (that’s why I love her) which only met with evil stares from these front-dwelling sperm-canisters. Again, the hero of the night was Andrew O’Neil. He shut the bitches down BIGTIME, but also apologised, so they wouldn’t get any more rarked up. A true pro. Thanks, Andrew, for salvaging what was very rapidly heading towards the worst comedy show in history.
The show ended, the crowd dispersed, and my girlfriend and I went home.
The 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival was over.
A fizzled out way to end an explosive three weeks. I am left eagerly awaiting 2011, and won’t be surprised if the rest of Wellington is doing the same.