Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

01/03/2019 - 02/03/2019

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Production Details

After sold out shows around Australia and sold out shows across 20+ Countries across Europe including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival comes Ben McCarthy’s Nevermind Tour.

The Nevermind stand-up comedy show includes storytelling of Bens Latest tours around his Homeland Of Australia and Across 20+ countries in Europe, Observationaland relatable humour of the everyday life and personal stories in well …………… Nevermind.

Join Ben On his latest stand up tour and for the first time in New Zealand and go on the road to Nevermind.

Cavern Club
1 & 2 March 2019

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1 hr

“I want to sit and have a drink with him”

Review by Barnaby Olson 02nd Mar 2019

The Cavern Club is probably only half-full when we settle in for Ben McCarthy’s Fringe Festival opening of Nevermind, but the fifty or so people that are there are already starting to warm up. The bartender is busy and there’s an excited chatter in the room. It feels later than seven o’clock.

I’ve not heard of Ben McCarthy, but a snippet I overhear from a punter next to me – corroborated by McCarthy himself during the show – tells me he has been touring extensively for some time.

When the show starts it doesn’t feel like it. There’s a slight nervousness in the room, perhaps a side-effect of the relatively small crowd’s eagerness to have a good time, and McCarthy himself seems to be swept up that nervousness a bit too. He’s going a bit faster than seems necessary, his eye contact is minimal and he feels a little far away. It’s also worth saying that initially he’s not given any help by the sound equipment.  

As we all settle in however, it all starts to click. McCarthy loosens up and begins to play with the crowd. No one is spared a micro investigation but it never feels mean spirited or confrontational. People are willing to talk to him and several are practically jumping at the chance to contribute to his show. So the pace that initially I found slightly off-putting becomes a strength, as – like the name Nevermind suggests – the content jumps and skips along in a sort of playful, scattered way.

In the end McCarthy even attempts some pathos and the audience feels, at large, ready to accept this new degree of vulnerability that he’s playing with. There’s a concentrated section of the crowd that is clearly really enjoying themselves and it seems a good time is had by all. If the energy of the last two thirds of McCarthy’s work can be harnessed and extended, then I think there could be something special there to be developed in future shows.

My companion for the evening sums up, I think, McCarthy’s appeal when she whispers in my ear mid show: “I want to sit and have a drink with him.” There’s a languidness and humility to his act that draws people in, it seems, and I would suggest that this should be the bedrock of any of his future work.


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