The Classic, Auckland

06/03/2013 - 09/02/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details


What does a half Tongan, half Irish comedian from the North Shore have in common with an aging Palagi Street rapper from the mean streets Bucklands Beach? The answers is 60 minutes on the same stage in a with “Brothers in Palms”, playing as part of the Auckland Fringe from March 6th.

Popular and award winning standup comedian Tevita Manukia makes up the Tongan and Irish component of the two man show, with 58 year old comedy rapper John Carr comprising the other third.

Both men are well known on the Auckland Stand-up scene. They have appeared many times in the same “line-up” in comedy shows this is their first collaboration, and their first entry into the edgy world of fringe festival comedy.

Tevita is the only Tongan Comedian working on the pro-circuit today. He was voted Most Improved Comedian (2010, 2011) by the NZ Comedy Guild. Tevita has great stage presence and possess a very unique rhythm to his delivery which enables him to charm and engage the audience, then take them to places other comics may not be able to. Tevita is likeable and very funny.

John Carr is a latecomer to stand-up comedy but has quickly become an audience favorite at The Classic, where he performs most often. He is also well known in New Zealand performance poetry circles, picking up wins in the “Poetry Idol” competition at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival in the Poetry Slam at Going West Books and Writers Festival in recent years.

Brothers in Palms promises not only a vibrant blend of diverse stand-up styles, but also an hilarious, foot stomping, cross cultural, stereotype smashing hiphop finale that will have audiences pumping in the krump pit.

Tevita Manukia does well with the graveyard shift at the conclusion of the show. He manages to keep it fresh, and keep us laughing, long after many shows would have died and begged to be put to bed.” – Adey Ramsel, Theatreview

“Carr, who has a hugely impressive old white rapper routine, is brilliantly funny.” Tracey Cooper Waikato Times

March 6th – 9th, 7pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Location: The Classic Comedy Bar Studio, Queen Street, Auckland City.
Tickets: $20 Bookings: 09 373 4321 or  

Wonderfully self-aware

Review by Cherie Moore 07th Mar 2013

A rapping white man in his fifties and a flowing haired Tongan Brian Tamaki look-a-like seem an unlikely pair for a comedy duo. Brothers in Palms is a two part comedy show playing at The Classic this week as part of The Fringe Festival.

The first half of the show is performed by ‘Jdog’: the rhyme spitting, story telling, Dad figure who’s actually cool enough to not be cringe-worthy. Jdog is so dry I sometimes find myself wondering whether he really does spend the early hours of Saturday mornings with his ‘crew’ at the Otahuhu bus station.

His rhymes and rhythms are reminiscent of Green Eggs and Ham. Sadly he’s a rapper without music or a beat behind him – or so I think. Jdogs’ song Yo X 3 is the finale of the show, and here enters the Dougie beat. But while Jdog has found his beat, unfortunately his timing is still a little elusive.

Jdog does admit that this rap is new and that he’s trying it out for The Fringe – so with more development time and perhaps adding in more of his awkward dance moves, this could be a delight. It would be great to see Jdog loosen up a bit physically and vocally and employ some more stylistic elements of rap music.

Second to the stage is Tavita, after a slightly awkward moment where Jdog isn’t sure if he has arrived in time.  My one disappointment with the show is that these two performers haven’t really shaped it into anything cohesive. There is a real opportunity to present a piece that has these two seem part of a whole, but it comes across as two separate stand-up sets.

Tavita has great presence on stage and there’s something about him that draws you in. His set is relatable and at times self deprecating. His ability to laugh at himself makes taboo subjects fun, and the things that don’t quite land would with a bigger audience.

Both parts of the show are wonderfully self-aware and despite the small audience both comedians connect with everyone and are appreciative of our participation.

So go along! Don’t expect to see a slick show connected from beginning to end, but do expect to be entertained! It’s well worth the night out.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council