AotearoHA: Rising Stars

Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland

06/11/2015 - 06/11/2015

Production Details

Live at the Bruce Mason Centre

Urzila Carlson introduces a remarkably talented generation of comedy’s Rising Stars, for a hilarious night of fresh stand-up at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna.  

Join us for a massive night of laughs celebrating an exciting bunch of up-and-coming comedians from around New Zealand, with TV3 filming the occasion thanks to support from NZ On Air.  

These hilarious comedians are filling comedy rooms around the country, and it’s time to get them out on the big stage to show you just how bloody funny they are.

AotearoHA Rising Stars features Guy Montgomery, the 2014 Billy T Award winner and co-host of TV3’s Fail Army. Guy is just back from the Edinburgh Fringe and his internationally successful podcast with Tim Batt, The Worst of Idea of All Time just received its two millionth download.

We’ll be showcasing the exceptional 2016 Billy T Award nominees; Alice Brine, David Correos, James Malcolm, Laura Daniel and Matt Stellingwerf; with more performers to be announced.

Alice Brine:
Comedian by night and Software Analyst at Xero by day, Alice Brine is a rapidly rising star on the comedy circuit. She was recently handpicked to be the support act for Anchorman’s David Koechner. This Wellingtonian’s captivating stage presence and quick-witted, high-energy style makes her a crowd favourite. Her show at the 2015 NZ International Comedy Festival, How to Fold a Fitted Sheet with Daniel John Smith, had a sell-out season and together they were nominated for the Best Newcomer award.

David Correos:  
David Correos considers himself an ethnic chameleon. From a Filipino family, he grew up in Woolston, Christchurch. A graduate of Hagley Theatre Company, an international weightlifting champion, he can also down two litres of milk in less than two minutes. David’s now an almost-famous YouTube sensation known for his costume tutorials, trivial rantings and insightful life advice. His Miley Cyrus 2013 VMA Costume Tutorial on YouTube has had over 871,000 views. He was a RAW Comedy Finalist, a finalist in the 7Days Apprentice and was then nominated for Best Newcomer with his first solo NZ International Comedy Festival show in 2015.

James Malcolm: 
James Malcolm’s dream in life is to make it big enough to get on the Wellington High School ‘Wall of Fame’, which currently holds no one that he recognises. James took part in the New Zealand Comedy Trust Class Comedians high school programme when he was 17 years old; and won the national 2014 Raw Comedy Quest just a year later. His dream husband is Chris Warner from Shortland Street and he worships at The Church of Miley Cyrus.

Laura Daniel: 
Originally from Palmerston North, Laura moved to Auckland six years ago and now writes and stars in both TV3’s Jono and Ben and soon-to-launch Funny Girls. She brings to life a menagerie of fabulous comedy characters. Laura’s a core cast member of improv comedy group Snort and has been voicing cartoon character Riley in Mukpuddy’s new series The Barefoot Bandits.  Over the last year she has performed in a range of theatre, stand-up, sketch and improvised shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, NZ International Comedy Festival; and won Best Performance in Comedy at Auckland Fringe Festival.

Matt Stellingwerf: 
Hamilton-born and Wanganui-raised, a farmer’s son and trained criminologist, Matt Stellingwerf is a man of contradictions. He expertly brings these contradictions to the stage with his low-key style and confidence. He finds humour in topics as diverse as Norse mythology, history, sex, Shakespeare, and this crazy interview he once conducted with a serial killer on Death Row. Matt has won four NZ Comedy Guild Awards, was Best Newcomer nominee at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival and was also a Billy T Award nominee in 2015.

AotearoHA Rising Stars
Friday 6 November, 8pm
Live at Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
Book now at

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

Diverse and diverting

Review by Michelle Robinson 07th Nov 2015

Stereotypes are being pulled apart, thrown around and stuck back together by the next generation of the Kiwi comedy circuit. Young, gays, women and ethnic minorities are carved up on stage in a domain traditionally filled with white men.

The 14 freshly-minted comedians who perform in Takapuna’s Bruce Mason Centre have a lot going on and often, some strong messages to share.

Singing duo Fan Brigade sure have a lot to say – well, sing about. Their song ‘It’s Great to Be a Woman’ tackles tough issues like rape and domestic abuse in a way that is still light-hearted and witty, which is no mean feat. And they manage it all while giggling and strumming a ukulele. 

They do it better than TV3’s Funny Girls writer and actor Laura Daniel, whose wry humour is at times lost on the audience. The point the Billy T Award nominee is lamenting on ‘not wanting a wedding’ is a bit laboured, but she redeems herself with a cute staged proposal involving a bottle of mouthwash.

The prize for taking the mickey out of themselves while raising their voices should go to Frickin Dangerous Bro. Pax Assadi and Jamaine Ross are hilarious in their rendition of naughty boys from a low decile school. As the teacher, James Roque tries reading the boys the story of the Three Little Pigs. “Not those dumb f***s,” they complain, going on to justify their scorn. During a lesson on quantum physics they even crack themselves up with a metaphor involving All Black Sonny Bill Williams.

Meanwhile another Billy T Award nominee, David Correos, seems only to have to stand there to get laughs as he asserts himself as a “Mexican Stan Walker”. He doesn’t have a message as such and neither does baby-faced fellow Billy T Award nominee James Malcolm, but Malcolm’s performance is perfectly understated. His tale of how to let a girl down gently without resorting to yelling “Girl, your gay-dar is way off!” is sweet. But professing his fondness for a youth pastor he is “preparing for priesthood” is certainly edgy. 

Eli Matthewson is more confrontational in his scepticism of the church which he likens to being inside a kebab shop when you’re not drunk. His dislike is understandable, having been raised a Christian while being gay; he playfully offers appropriate apologies. His assertion that gays are born when a family line has reached its “genetic peak” is a statement MC, TV3 comedian Urzila Carlson is happy to chime in on.

Carlson holds her own with tales of trying to find shorts in China where she is told by a shop keeper what her fittable options are limited to. She has the audience in hysterics with her impressions of a bikini waxer tackling winter growth, naughty jokes about female firefighters and threatening to stage dive into the audience. 

Four years ago, she was performing in this setting as a newbie herself. She may be moving sideways, she says, but at least she’s not falling prey to tall poppy syndrome.

AotearoHA Rising Stars will air on TV3 sometime in November.  


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