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NZ International Comedy Festival
Benjamin Crellin’s: APOCALYPSE SOON!

at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
From 13 May 2009 to 16 May 2009

Reviewed by Hannah Smith, 15 May 2009

The end is nigh(ish)!

According to the best calculations of the Christians, the Muslims, the Mayan calendar, and Kiwi comedian Benjamin Crellin, the time of the Apocalypse is at hand.

In his witty and well-researched set Crellin considers the current state of world affairs and draws the conclusion that this is the end of days, Armageddon is approaching, and the Antichrist walks amongst us - in a pair of tacky stilettos.  After all, the 'anti' Christ must be the exact opposite of Christ, right?  Rich, white, superficial, stupid - and a woman.

This is comedy with a bite. Natural disasters, global warfare and widespread disease are not topics that lend themselves naturally to laughter, but Crellin has an acerbic and intelligent wit that finds humour in dark places and he is not afraid to share it.  His musings on the horrors we see on the evening news have the audience chuckling with guilty laughter, even as the comedian himself eyeballs us and expresses what is at heart a valid fear for the end of the planet.

Crellin is no more afraid of offending than he is of tackling the big topics.  His jabs at religious fundamentalists and the mentally ill toe the borderline of acceptable humour, but he has a keen awareness of his audience's sensibilities and when he goes too far soon manages to bring us back in again.  And it is difficult to be offended when so many of Crellin's jokes are aimed at himself.

Crellin is clearly a comedy pro. He is a confident and comfortable performer who builds an easy rapport with the audience and delivers an hour of material that is clever, funny and thought-provoking. His set also contains what I am sure is the best pun of the festival - I will not tell you what it is, you will have to go and see it.

Highly recommended for all people who are currently alive but scared one day they will be dead.
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 James Amos