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Print Version

NZ Fringe Festival 2013
Kade Nightingale and Jeremy Rolston in PANIC!
presented by Nolston Entertainment Planet Earth

at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
From 14 Feb 2013 to 16 Feb 2013
[1 hr]

Reviewed by Hannah Smith, 15 Feb 2013

Double act Jeremy Rolston and Kade Nightingale have the late night comedy slot at the BATS Out of Site venue (corner of Cuba and Dixon streets). Don't be misled by the ‘late night' handle though, PANIC! is not risqué in the slightest, it is a one hour variety show from two very engaging and likeable performers.

Nightingale is a gangling comedian with a deadpan delivery style, striking a balance between physical and spoken comedy, whilst Rolston is a cheery bloke who does magic tricks and has a bit of a chat.

The structure is sketchy – a little bit of back and forth banter between the pair on the subject of human PANIC, before separate slots on stage. Nightingale relates anecdotal material with a perfectly pitched degree of under emphasis that always finds the laugh.  His serious style, in combination with previously mentioned limberness and expressive face, make for an onstage persona that usually hits the mark.

Rolston, on the other hand, does magic tricks and sleight of hand, but with such likeable stage presence and a regular everyday bloke patter that you don't feel like you have been Derren Brown-ed or David Copperfield-ed – more like someone nice has played a bit of a joke on you. He is a competent magician, but his sections are carried by charm over content. 

The show bills itself “a night of hilarity as they explore and display the ways we react when in PANIC!” but this is a tenuous link to connect their disparate material.  While the PANIC! concept had little to do with the bulk of the content, and is barely relevant as a structural element holding the set together, this is only a problem in that it draws attention to itself. 

There are plenty of lovely moments – and a pas de deux between the two at the end is a highlight, drawing the biggest crowd reaction. 

While there are moments of self-consciousness, and at times it feels like they are trying too hard, these are a performers with lots of potential, and lots of charisma.  The show is funny and in places sweet.  Enjoy.
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 Sam Purchas