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HONEST, ENERGETIC AND A GREAT STORYTELLER

Print Version

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014
GORDON SOUTHERN Your New Favourite Comedian


at Fringe Bar, 26 Allen St, Wellington
From 13 May 2014 to 17 May 2014

Reviewed by Shannon Friday, 15 May 2014


Gordon Southern looks like he is having so much fun onstage.  He bounces around right on the edge of control like the front man of his favourite band, The Hives, and his enthusiasm for the band, his wife, New Zealand, and performing are utterly infectious. 

His show is mainly through two or three big personal stories, with amusing detours on the way.  Some early audience interaction gets us nicely warmed up, though I'm found out as a critic on the way.  Southern handles this curve ball easily, tossing in references to what should and shouldn't be covered in this review all night long, along with references to the IT worker, software tester, and Irish/Scottish couple found along the way.  I am always fearful of volunteering information here, but despite how uncomfortable I must have made Southern, he never makes me feel bad in return. 

The show's pacing is breath-takingly fast, bouncing from story to digression and back like a hyperactive pinball machine.  It's tight.  The tangents always loop back around to the main story just before I lose the plot. 

There are lots of high-energy transitions, including “that's a fun fact” sound effects to highlight, guess what: fun facts.  Though it aids the first few times it is heard, the sound effect quickly feels a little random, like it is leftover from another show.

Though truth is a theme of the show.  The line “If that were the basis for a one-man comedy show, you'd find it incredibly contrived and convoluted, but that's what happened” appears several times.  And it's true; every life has a healthy dose of WTF in it.

Gordon Southern is honest, energetic, and a great storyteller.  And the title just might be true: he is awfully close to becoming my new favourite comedian.
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