A Night with Beau Tyler

The Classic, Auckland

02/11/2007 - 18/11/2007

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

08/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

Production Details

Directed by Greg Cooper and Jim McLarty
Produced by Nicola Feeney


The Power, the Passion and a Chocolate Ice Cream 

“Truly inspirational. Without Beau’s help I would never have had the
courage to dance like a star. He showed me that failure truly can be your
friend. Five stars to this guy.”
Rodney Hide, MP, 2007 

Amidst the disturbing world of the self-help industry shines a bright new star, although this guru offers a hysterical satire of a movement that continues to pull in the punters and rake in the dollars.

Following the celebrated run of Milo’s Wake Feeney Sweeney Productions, with support from Tip Top and Auckland City, now presents A Night with Beau Tyler, opening for its premiere season on November 2nd.  Beau Tyler is based on Peter Feeney’s popular television character in the Tip Top Memphis Meltdown TVC’s. This live version invites the audience to attend a real-time Beau Tyler Motivational Workshop. 

A Night with Beau Tyler will satirise Antony Robbins type motivators from the self-help industry, a multi-billion dollar business across the world. The show will take an entertaining but thought provoking swipe at the self-help swamis and their role in buttressing the toxic values of selfish capitalism, as they rush to satisfy our ever growing expectations of what our lives should be. 

Feeney’s character has his own unique spin on the pseudo-science that is self-help; where those with the thinnest of credentials can diagnose normal people symptoms with inflated or invented maladies and implement remedies that have never been known to work. In this show Beau Tyler will unveil his new Failure Focussed Power Arrow system.

Feeney’s screen time has not been restrained to commercials – in 2006, he played antagonist ‘Angus Oldfield’ in the New Zealand comedy horror ‘Black Sheep’ (just released on DVD) and before that ‘Dr. Nathan Exley’ in hospital drama ‘Shortland Street,’ as well as popping up in the New Zealand movie ‘Toy Love’. He’s appeared in the British television network Channel 4’s series ‘Cold Feet’ and the movie ‘Not Only But Always’, surrounding the life of beloved comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. He will be appearing in the upcoming US horror movie ’30 Days of Night’ alongside Josh Hartnett, Melissa George and Manu Bennett. In 2003, he was nominated in the Best Short Film Performance category for his work in ‘The Platform’ at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards.

Director Greg Cooper has been involved with theatre for over 16 years, as an actor, writer, producer and director. Cooper was a member of Christchurch’s Court Theatre improvisational troupe ‘The Court Jesters’, and competed in theatresports competitions both at home and abroad. His six years in Auckland have seen him specialize in corporate entertainment with the highly successful ‘Conartists’ as well as playing a pot smoking motorcyclist in ‘Shortland Street’ and ‘Heroic Fawn Number One!’ in Disney’s ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.’ He also co-wrote and acted (with Mark Hadlow) in the highly acclaimed ‘The Complete History of New Zealand Abridged.’ 

A Night With Beau Tyler is guaranteed to not only make audiences laugh and cry, but also think about the extraordinary way that the new age and self-help have, almost cult-like, invaded the way we live and think, and whether it’s such a good thing that our  culture is so attracted to quick fix solutions to deep-seated problems. 


Directed by Greg Cooper
With Peter Feeney as ‘Beau Tyler’
2-18th November (Previews from the 26th October)
The Classic Comedy Bar and Club, Queen Street, Auckland

For more information, visit http://www.feeneymcsweeney.com

Tickets available through Ticket Master  www.ticketmaster.co.nz  Ph: 09 920 0044 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
A Night with Beau Tyler is premiering at Downstage as part of the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival for a strictly limited season from Friday 8 May till Saturday 23 May, Tuesday to Saturday at 7pm.

Prices for the show range from $20 for students to $25 for a full price ticket. A season ticket for both NZ International Comedy Festival shows at Downstage, A Night with Beau Tyler and Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams can be bought for $50 if used on the same night.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office. For up-to-date information, prices and bookings visit www.downstage.co.nz. Downstage is proudly sponsored by BNZ. 

Peter Feeney as 'Beau Tyler'


Theatre , Solo ,

A wild night of gimmicks

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 11th May 2009

Beau Tyler and Sammy J are two wildly different one-hour comedy shows but they have one thing in common: both use puppets. In A Night with Beau Tyler the manipulated audiences are the puppets while more conventional puppets (hand, shadow, and blow-up) inhabit the Forest of Dreams.

Beau Tyler is a Life Coach, a self-help guru, a latter-day Samuel Smiles and Dale Carnegie rolled into one and he’s selling a message of material success and inner happiness all wrapped up in the corporate razzmatazz of CDs, PowerPoint presentations, inspirational quotes (‘a problem ignored is a problem half solved’), and 10 day seminars. The audience gets to do a Group Power Purge after watching a demonstration by an audience member and her support person.

Beau Tyler’s gimmick is that he is the apostle of failure and that failure builds character, and that one should surround oneself with failures, and one shouldn’t change oneself as that’s exhausting. Once the joke has been rammed home, this twenty-minute satirical revue sketch that has been stretched to 70 minutes runs out of comic juice, despite a clever reversal at the end and Peter Feeney’s slick performance and the amusing PowerPoint presentation.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Powerful comedy

Review by John Smythe 09th May 2009

Wellington at last gets to spend A Night with Beau Tyler, or 70 minutes at least. Promising this ‘hour’ will change our lives forever, he has toured the country for 18 months. Rather than just lecture us with his "Feel the fear and fail anyway!" message, the motivational guru of the Memphis Meltdown TV ads guides us through the transformational process.

There is not much I can add to Nik Smythe’s comprehensive review (November 2007), except to agree Peter Feeney’s BT offers a brilliant spoof of the genre, and note the content has been kept up-to-date – e.g. among the many inspirational quotes from luminaries through the ages, we get this from John Key: "A problem ignored is a problem half-solved."

For ‘Full Participants’ (as opposed to their ‘Support Persons’), audience participation emanates (or do I mean enemates?) from practical engagement with BT’s Failure Accessed Revitalisation Technique. This propels us into his 10 step plan for embracing a philosophy (or do I mean ontology: a way of being) he encapsulates in the glib notion that "In the land of the blind, the on-eyed man is king."

Just when I feel he is hammering the same message in different words – which, to be fair, is par for this sort of ‘self improvement’ course – he takes it to another level: a classic downer that ends up proving his point while laying the ground for a big finish. Clever.

With its judicious blend of extroverted charismatic engagement, PowerPoint presentation and compelling introspection, A Night with Beau Tyler invites us to experience and critique the manipulative technologies of transformational motivation while laughing a great deal: at him, them, and most of all our fallible, gullible selves. That’s powerful comedy.
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The Best Medicine

Review by Nik Smythe 04th Nov 2007

Many will already be familiar with Beau from the Memphis Meltdown television commercial – a brilliant marketing teaser campaign played on primetime national TV since possibly even before the live show was thought of.  

As the audience convenes in the auditorium we are greeted with a series of inspirational quotes from the literary hall of fame – Churchill, Nietsche, Wilde, etc, on the topic of the symbiotic relationship of success and failure, culminating in an impressive testimonial from President Bush of how Beau’s unique programme helped him through the darkest hours of his second term.  After the appropriate hyper-introduction the self-styled self help evangelist, cheesily attired by those male fashion dinosaurs Hallensteins, emerges to the voluminous applause of the crowd (as instructed via the big screen). 

Without giving away the entire system and risking an injunction, suffice to say the basis of Tyler’s self-help technology is that accepting defeat is the key to fulfillment, not focussing on success and thereby setting yourself up for failure.  There’s more to it than that, in terms of arranging one’s social environment and so-on, but you’ll have to see the show or else read Tyler’s alleged no. 1 bestseller ‘Feel the Fear and Fail Anyway!’ 

Expat American Beau and his institutional power-style (‘Great to meet you, welcome to the rest of your life!) are recognisable to anyone who’s seen a Tony Robbins ad, and the bones of his self-help shtick is so on the money that one wonders whether writer/Tyler Peter Feeney has done a number of these courses for material.  Or is the stereotype just that two dimensional that you only need to watch the infomercial to figure out the whole shtick? 

Once we’ve had an eyebrow-raising taste of one of his key patented and trademarked exercises, we settle into a heartfelt account of Beau’s life story,.  At first with only minor sinister undercurrents. He knew he’d hit rock bottom when he got a job as an impersonator of himself, hoping no-one would realise it’s actually him … That kind of thing.  From there, as Tyler describes the events leading up to his massive personal turnaround, the scenario develops in a direction that really brings home the inherent pitfalls and traps of the self-improvement industry. 

Peter Feeney is backed by an inspired and committed crew without whom Tyler could never have made this glorious ‘comeback’.  Directed by Greg Cooper and Jim McLarty, Cooper also takes dramaturge credit whilst McLarty supplies the necessary vocal intro skills – after all, celebrity is nothing without a cheesy deep-voice introducing it.  Krista Nobilo provides the disingenuously cheerful voice of the manager of Tyler’s corporate enterprise.  

The exemplary PowerPoint presentation designed and operated by Michael Craven is the backbone of the seminar: the smoke and mirrors of the modern day public speaker.  Produced by Feeney’s wife Nicola, the whole power-package is complete with the perfect power-photos of Beau by Geoff Short, and the power-theme tune of Peter Hobbs. 

There are genuine insights to be gleaned from this parody, and for some people it could arguably be more beneficial than any serious brand of personal development.  It’s inevitable that a percentage of the audience, myself included, will have attended something resembling what is being inflicted upon us here, so the relative merits between the genuine article and the implications of this outstanding satire can be explored.  In any case, if laughter is indeed the best medicine, then A Night With Beau Tyler is efficacious therapy indeed. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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