Barnie Duncan – Just Jolks

BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

23/05/2023 - 27/05/2023

NZ International Comedy Festival 2023

Production Details

Presented by SquareSums&Co

Barnie is known for making shows that involve things that don’t usually belong in the world of stand-up. Giant taps. Turntables. Pulsating LED signs.

In this show, however, Barnie will just tell jokes. There will be a mic stand, maybe a stool… that’s it. No whoopsie-doopsies, no la la la, just jokes. For an hour. Just Jolks.

“Barnie is bound for future award glory. You’ll struggle to stop laughing” – The NZ Herald

“Doctor Brown, The Mighty Boosh and Sacha Baron Cohen in one man” – The National, Scotland

Winner – Best Performer 2022, Whangarei Fringe Festival
Nominee – Fred Award for Best Show 2019, NZICF (Tap Head)
Winner – Best Comedy 2018, Adelaide Fringe Festival (Different Party)
Winner – 2017 Anywhere Theatre Award, Brisbane (Weekend at Barnie’s)
Nominee – Best Newcomer 2015, Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Calypso Nights)

Price: $20 – $25
Time: 6.30PM

Comedian – Barnie Duncan

Comedy , Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

60 minutes

Enough said. You have to be there.

Review by John Smythe 24th May 2023

This is one of those ‘you have to be there’ shows. It’s not so much what he does but how he does it that makes it brilliant.

Anyone familiar with Barnie Duncan’s works – Constantinople (with Trygve Wakenshaw), Juan, Two and Tap Head, for just three examples – may be surprised, disappointed even, at the implication of this year’s title: Just Jokes. Well, spoiler alert!: that’s just a joke. Barnie could no more stand at a mic and tell jokes than keep all his clothes on throughout a whole show.

His ‘pre-show’ busy-ness – ducking backstage to get things he’s forgotten, conjuring a banana to go with his water, taping a white line between the mic and the audience – do seem to promise the physicality we may still hope for until he declares this will simply be “an hour of classic stand up comedy”. Yeah, right.  

The round white floor rug he wears as a cloak for his official entrance, and its round gold cushion accoutrement, serve more than one purpose within the hour. Amid the witty verbals and delightful, often discursive, physicals there are things to think about, like the treaty obligations he must honour as a performer, the line he may not cross in these hyper-vigilant times, and why do comedy anyway?

Meanwhile such ventures as being a cyclist, having colonoscopies, his relationship with sunglasses and touring in Oslo are traversed. And there are jokes: the crowning joke, the Caesar Salad joke, the spaniel joke, the highness joke, the Ryan Gosling joke … He even gets a laugh with just the microphone and nothing else.

As for what Barnie does with the banana … Enough said. You have to be there.


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