A Quality Piece of ARS* (Annie, Reuben and Simon)
Inch Bar, 8 Bank St, Northeast Valley, Dunedin
11/03/2018 - 12/03/2018
Three Dunedin comedians will, strangely enough, be doing comedy! Their sets are much more thought out then their event description, so you have the guarantee that the shows better than this blurb. Don’t believe it? Come check out Reuben Crimp, Simon Kingsley-Holmes, and Annie Hayes making up for this vague description.
Dates/times Sun 11 March, 9.45pm-10.45pm; Mon 12 March, 8.30pm-9.30pm
Ticket price range Koha
Booking details http://www.dunedinfringe.nz/
Something on offer for all senses of humour
Review by Dylan Shield 12th Mar 2018
Tucked away in an adjoining room of Dunedin’s Inch Bar, a trio of comedians run the gauntlet most dreaded by those in their line of work: the intimate gig. Playing host to around 25 of Dunedin’s most dedicated comedy appreciators (this is 9:45pm on a Sunday, remember), Inch Bar’s little-but-lively performance space is packed to the rafters for the debut of A Quality Piece of ARS.
First cab of the rank is Reuben Crimp, tackling the graveyard shift of the evening. It’s no mean feat warming up a crowd from scratch, especially with a relatively short set, but Crimp handles the daunting task in style. Making the most of the expectant – if daunting – audience, Crimp covers a multitude of topics and emotions in his all-too-brisk 5-10 minutes of stage time, taking us from the self-deprication of dealing with teenage bullies, on the way to the show, all the way through to genuine sadness at the loss of a loved one, before wrenching us back out of the gloom in an instant by explaining the ‘real’ reason their life support had to be switched off. It is with split-second timing, confidence, and brilliantly off-colour gags that Crimp sets us up for a good time.
Annie Hayes is the next to take centre stage, offering a different flavour from that of her predecessor. Hayes goes beyond the realm of self-deprecating jokes into that of self-deprecating speech and body language – something that serves her sense of humour very well. Just when you think a lacklustre punchline has been served, Hayes reveals the true punchline with the underwhelmed brilliance of a Karl Pilkington rant.
Despite her material being strong, however, she is somewhat inhibited by her reliance on a cheat sheet of cues. This has a tendency to affect her delivery, which results in an unfortunate downward spiral of self-confidence and a few quality gags being lost by the wayside. A need for polishing notwithstanding, Hayes achieves some of the show’s biggest laughs.
The night’s final performer, Simon Kingsley-Holmes, takes to the stage and it’s not long before he wins my pick for favourite comedian. Having a few years’ experience under his belt, both in the dreaded Land of Aucks and on home soil right here at Inch Bar, Kingsley-Holmes’ comedy chops are well and truly on display (and I’m not just talking about his sideburns). With the most professional delivery of the evening, alongside the wit and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it comedy stylings reserved for those breastfed on Fry and Laurie and Blackadder, I’m left laughing so hard my throat hurts (as, I imagine, do the ears of those sitting in front of me).
Inexplicably, though, a lot of what I would deem to be his best gags seem to go by with only a chuckle from my fellow audience members. Maybe by this time on a Sunday, focus has waned a little, and some of the more philosophical gems are being lost in the mire. Doubtless this won’t be the case for future (slightly earlier) iterations of their show.
All together, A Quality Piece of ARS is a thoroughly enjoyable way to wrap up one’s evening, with something on offer for all senses of humour. Viewer coffee consumption is advised.
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