Kitty O'Sheas, 28 Courtenay Place, Wellington

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


New Zealand’s sexiest comedian is back to fix your life before you wreck it. Alexander Sparrow promises to bring you the wisdom he’s earned from 21 years of avoidable mistakes* – and there’s a lot to be learned.

From 6 – 10 May at Kitty O’Shea’s as part of 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival, Sparrow will have you rolling on the floor laughing, crying, and making a fool of yourself… although that is not recommended, you might put your back out like the time he… Hot off the back of the hit show How To Pick Up Women, Alexander is here to tell you exactly why he’s been unable to do that, as well as why going commando in shorts is a bad idea.

*like claiming to be New Zealand’s sexiest comedian.

Alexander Sparrow is a writer and comedian. His previous shows include Alexander Sparrow: Narcissistic Diva, How to Pick Up Women, Alexander Sparrow: One Night Stand, and Definition of Me.

“Alexander Sparrow shows us why he is New Zealand’s sexiest comedian” Theatreview
“Alex will be a comedian everyone will be talking about” Wellingtonreviews
“Excellent . . . keeps the audience enthralled” The Ruminator

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to

Dates: Tue 6 – Sat 10 May, 7pm
Venue: Kitty O’Shea’s, Courtenay Pl
Tickets: Adults $15, Conc. $12

Yet to fly

Review by Hannah Smith 07th May 2014

It Was Supposed To Be a Joke purports to be an hour of self-help in which Sparrow tells us not to make the mistakes he himself has made. Why exactly we would want to take advice from a guy who has done the things Sparrow has done, and failed in the ways that Sparrow has failed? This is unclear. But Sparrow has an hour or thereabouts of cautionary tales and guidance to share with us, and share he does. 

The content is loose. There is some pseudo-risqué material (incest jokes, disability jokes) which is told with an only half-convincing tongue in cheek. An audience participation section outlives its welcome with insufficient payoff, and while Sparrow makes a joke of his coverage of conventions of stand-up – “Crowd-work = done” – it feels like he is ticking the boxes to generate content.

The show would benefit from a more coherent overarching theme to give it some shape, and lend the material a sense of purpose. An hour-long solo show is a big undertaking and, as a relative newcomer on the stand-up scene, it is impressive that he has pulled it together to make this happen, But there is a  sense that the material is being padded.

Sparrow has been a prolific performer between the Fringe and Comedy Festivals of the last year, and it may be that he hasn’t had time to build and refine the content for this show.   

A grand finale of a comic dance sequence showcases his physical commitment, and gets the audience laughing, then a clip of him performing in an Australian Street Stars talent show is all kinds of awkward and strange and wonderful. This could have been married more tightly to the rest of the show and woven into the overall piece.

There is something really interesting about the tension between wanting to perform and be the centre of attention, and the vulnerability of failing – and there is room here to tackle that idea head on. 

It Was Supposed To Be A Joke needs further development before it will really sing, but Sparrow is clearly hungry for it, and so we must hope he will put in the work required to make this show fly.


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