The Dark Room, Cnr Pitt and Church Street, Palmerston North

21/04/2016 - 23/04/2016

Taste Merchants, 36 Stuart St, Dunedin

09/03/2016 - 11/03/2016

Dunedin Fringe 2016

Production Details

Children & Other Mistakes is the debut solo stand up show from award winning comic Daniel John Smith.

At 30 years old, he has decided not to have children. With reasons ranging from the state of the world (not great) to his own perceived shortcomings as a father (many) he will present observations of children and memories of his own youth and parents in an attempt to convince you (and himself) that this choice is the right one.

As seen on Aotearoha: Rising Stars Winner – Best Newcomer in the 2014 Wellington Comedy Awards Nominee for Best Newcomer 2015 New Zealand International Comedy Festival – Wellington Nominee for Best Comedian in the 2014 Wellington Comedy Awards 2014 Raw Comedy Quest National Finalist

“A treat to watch… He has the goods” – The Ruminator
“Terrific… There was a darkness is his act that no one could have spotted at the start. He managed to take us, Stewart Lee-like, down imaginary pathways to have us laugh at some truly awful (always clever) ideas.” – Simon Sweetman
“Laughs left right and centre… Make sure you go and see him” – Theatreview

Taste Merchants, 36 Stuart St, Dunedin
Wed 9 Mar & Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:30pm
Fri 11 Mar, 7:00pm   
$10.00 – $15.00
Get tickets » 



The Dark Room
Dates:  21 April – 23 April 2016, 8:00pm

Tickets: Adults $15, Conc. $10

Bookings: and 06 3545740

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

If all potential parents thought it through as much the world would be a better place

Review by Kimberley Buchan 10th Mar 2016

Children and Other Mistakes is a stand-up comedy set that tries to convince the audience that Daniel Smith is not suitable parent material. He has put a lot of thought into this. He has put even more thought into every possible joke about his name. Daniel John Smith. It would seem that such a plain name is unlikely comedy fodder, but to give him credit, it genuinely is.  

We learn a lot about Smith during this purportedly hour long but actually much shorter show. We learn about his family, sexuality, state of mind, and how penises are like cats. While the last comparison may seem oddly disparate, Smith lays out an entirely convincing case for their semblance.

His family seems like an entertaining bunch to grow up around, with much nudity, swearing and episodes memorably featuring rotten bananas. Smith is able to put a positive spin on the impact of growing up non-cis in a heteronormative world, but is not quite able to have the same effect when discussing depression.

Tonight is the first night that Smith has performed this show. It starts out a little shaky, but the performance becomes more fluid and the timing grows in precision as he warms up. He has a mellifluous, easy to listen to voice. The audience reacts warmly to the show and are thoroughly entertained. If you are wary of sitting in the front row, any audience interaction is minimal and unthreatening. 

I have never had the desire to have children myself, so to bring balance I had organised to bring a proud and doting parent to the show with me. After work this parent texted me to say that she wouldn’t be able to come out and enjoy an hour of entertainment and freedom as one of her children was vomiting everywhere – thus hammering home one of Smith’s many points. 

Smith also explores what he would be like in the eventuality he had what sounds like a brood of children. He likes the idea of built-in care workers for his aging self and the availability of fresh young organs. He is joking, but these points have been earnestly used by parents trying to persuade me of the benefits of motherhood when they question my lack of interest in cultivating extra humans.

Smith has put a considerable amount of effort and thought into examining whether not having children is the right choice for his life and what kind of parent he would be and therefore what kind of child he would unleash upon the world. It seems to me that if the people who choose to have children put the same amount of thought into their decision the world would be a better place.


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