Advait Kirtikar – New Show, Who Dis?

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

07/05/2024 - 11/05/2024

NZ International Comedy Festival 2024

Production Details

Advait Kirtikar

As an amateur comedian,
Every year I write a new show,
For people who’ve never heard of me.

My New Show answers the question everyone’s asking me – “Who are you?”
It’s OK, I don’t really know who I am either.

Join me, The Awkward Indian Guy Act, for my ‘New Show’
Because again, I Just Don’t Want To Be Alone For An Hour
And find out ‘Who Dis?’

Venue: Cavern Club
Dates: 7 – 11 May
Times: 7PM
Prices: $18 – $25
Booking link:

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

50 minutes

Pleasantly simmering between nervous and flaring.

Review by Dion Hunt 31st May 2024

There is a good-sized audience for a Wednesday night, and it is brought to life when our host and guide for the next 55 minutes emerges into the spotlight in what I first thought was uncertainty but quickly realised was his natural energy – something pleasantly simmering between nervous and flaring.

This isn’t the first time Advait Kirtikar has featured a show in the NZ International Comedy Festival but this year the stakes have been raised – Kirtikar is one of four nominees for the much coveted “Billy T Award” for an outstanding emerging performer.

Kirtikar remarks on how his appearance runs in tandem with how he sometimes feels in society – like the well-known hidden character in the “Where’s Wally?” series of books – and he gives a brief nod to not completely accepting his adult-diagnosed autism and being mildly socially awkward in crowds of Advait plus one. This is a theme he will return to throughout the show and is often the undercurrent of his stories.

A wistful warning that his energy will remain at an almost pedestrian pace is an interesting way to win an audience with whom Advait assumes little connection. Often a comedian enters with a bang and a crash in order to throw their audience off-guard and thus gathers its collective attention. In this instance, we were invited to laugh with our host and because of our host and not just at him.

Advait’s stories are endearing and genuinely laugh inducing, sometimes to the point I laughed into the next joke. Throughout the show, I’m wanting to go back and replay bits that hit my funny meter right on the button. There is a constant element of understatement that is deftly mixed with sporadic pops of “is he allowed to say that?” which keeps the audience cleverly elevated.

A beautiful woman making a poignant comment about one of the most intimate of things, his novelty socks, becomes an axis for the show. Here we discover the lengths that Advait will go to, to connect with enigmatic beauty and possibly to make human connections in general – but only when he chooses to.

Indoor climbing is a passion of Advait’s and climbing and associated paraphernalia are used almost as an ironic safety net as well as well intended inuendo. A frequent return to his pursuit of beautiful women, dating them and frequently saying the wrong thing to them (or nothing at all), threads its way through the supermarket, Wellington’s waterfront and an engagement with religious door-knockers.

Riffing on race and religion, simple targets for anyone, was cleverly used to punctuate the show and are not thematic or used to spotlight Advait’s cultural background. In fact point-of-difference is Ty what makes this show a sorbet on a smorgasbord of top shows this year. It is a sensitivity and intelligence mixed with a connection to what it’s like to be human and say the wrong thing, to feel other and to dream of getting it all right one day.

I walked away knowing some intimate things about our host, some I wouldn’t learn in an average evening, but wanting to see him succeed in the future as he had tonight. Both in comedy and in the pursuit of dating a beautiful woman to the end of asking that final question at the right time in his life.


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Amusing and entertaining if blurred by pace

Review by Margaret Austin 08th May 2024

Advait Kirtikar is watching his audience arrive from the back of the Cavern Club and by 7.00pm he’s ready to mess with us, especially the front row. Kirtikar’s red sneakers and red and white striped top are a part answer, he tells us, to the identity problem suggested by the title of his show: Who Dis?

We get a riff on his name including a range of the typical mispronunciations he gets. Shouldn’t we be relieved that every syllable gets pronounced?  We get to hear about autism, though he doesn’t quite own up to it. Are you autistic or do you have autism? is one of his linguistic observations. 

Then he reaches his main topic of the evening – girlfriends. And how to get one. Or several. Pick-up lines are important, though none of his seem to work. But note: supermarkets and wall climbing activities are likely spots for encounters.

There are further cultural references and questions deriving from them, before Kirtikar is drawn irresistibly, it seems, back to his chief preoccupation of dating possibilities. By now we’re not going to take pick-up lines too seriously and, in any case, they smack of desperation. “Did I say anything that would end with an exclamation mark?” he asks. Well, maybe!

Ultimately, though surprisingly, religion comes to the rescue. Our performer acknowledges Jehovah’s Witnesses but comes out on the side of the only true religion – Hindu. He doesn’t even leave us guessing why.

I have just one quibble with this performance. Kirtikar’s delivery is fast-paced and words are run together, making for a degree of inaudibility. It’s possible that use of the microphone doesn’t help – it’s a craft that needs a lot of practice.

Performers of every kind must remember that audiences are hearing their material for the first time. Diction is supremely important. We don’t want to miss a word, which is why a slightly slower pace of delivery would enhance an already amusing and entertaining performance.  


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