Comedy Guide // Week One

It is upon us! The best time of year, for your soul and  your abdominal muscles. By the end of the next three weeks, we won’t want to laugh anymore, and the comedians listed below will be at fault. Here are our top picks from week one  of the NZ International Comedy Festival.

James Acaster

One of NZ’s most popular international comics is back. We missed him last year, and we’re excited to see the world premiere of his new show, Reset, in Auckland this week. Go see James Acaster if you like dry, clever humour, and comedy hours that end with all the loose ends tied up in a very neat knot. It’s satisfying and it makes you feel smarter while you chuckle. He’s always a sellout, so don’t muck around.

Felicity Ward

This Australian comic’s show is called What if there is no toilet? Let’s face  it, we’ve all asked ourselves that question at one time or another. Go and see Felicity Ward if you like observational comedy that’s a little bit twisted. She uses her own experiences with depression and anxiety as material for her shows. One critic said, “Mental illness isn’t supposed to be this much fun.”

Brendon Green

One of our homegrown guys, and one who’s show we look forward to every year because he’s great, and yet he still manages to get better year in and year out. Go and see Brendon if you like your observational comedy mixed with a little absurdity and truckloads of charm. If you don’t laugh yourself silly, you will want to be his pal.

Jamie Bowen

For the last two years, this unassuming chap has been up for the Fred Award, the NZICF’s most prestigious prize. He is clever and thought-provoking and self-deprecating, but not in an annoying way. Go and see Jamie Bowen if you like deadpan, thoughtful, sometimes complicated humour.

Stuart Bowden

Okay, you’re not all going to like this. It’s going to get weird. Stuart Bowden is an Aussie comic and performer whose specialty is physical comedy. He has written a show called She Was Probably Not a Robot, and it’s about the end of the world. He is the sole survivor of the human race, and he is travelling the world, in search of his girlfriend, on an inflatable mattress. The reviews say it is hilarious and sad and weird and that you will leave smiling and that you will not forget it. Go and see Stuart Bowden if you laugh at weird, offbeat things and are appreciative of a vast imagination.

Beth Vyse

Here’s the definition of dark humour, a show about cancer, called Funny as Cancer. Comedian and performer Beth Vyse has drawn all of the humour out of her successful battle with breast cancer and put it into one hour-length show just for us. Go and see Beth Vyse if you like laughing through your tears.

We’ll be writing about our Comedy Fest experiences as quickly as we possibly can, so keep an eye out for what we loved as the week goes by.

Check out the full festival programme here: