CHRIS BRAIN: The Oneforty (NZ)

The Elliot Stables, 39 Elliot St, City, Auckland

27/04/2010 - 01/05/2010

The Garden Club, 13b Dixon Street, Wellington

04/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

Billy T Award Winner Chris Brain returns in 2010 with the hotly anticipated follow up to his 2009 award winning show.
THE ONEFORTY will again showcase Chris as a master of social commentary laced with razor sharp wit. Dark comedy is about to get a whole lot darker.
Chris Brain was awarded the Comedy Central Best Gag of 2009 at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards.
Last year also saw Chris wow sell out crowds on a recent national tour will comedy cohort Rhys Darby and become a hopeless Twitter addict.
This lead to an unhealthy addiction of keeping the masses informed and battling with the restraints of getting his opinions across 140 characters at a time.
THE ONEFORTY is original, unflinching and hilarious, join Chris, the anti social networker as he tweets longform, live on stage.
Cynical, scathing and edgy, Chris proves that controversial can be confined to small spaces.
“Hugely enjoyable” (Chortle UK)
Book now, tickets are strictly limited.
Dates:  Tue 27 April – Sat 1 May, 8.30pm
Venue:  The Elliot Stables, 39 Elliot St, City
Tickets:  Adults $25 / Conc $20 / Groups 10+ $20
Booking:  0800 TICKETEK (842 5385)
Show Duration: 1 hour
Dates: Tue 04 May – Sat 8 May, 7.00pm
Venue: The Garden Club, 138 Dixon St, City
Tickets: Adults $25 / Conc $20 / Groups 10+ $20
Booking: 0800 TICKETEK (842 5385)
Show Duration: 1 hour


Riffing off tweets

Review by John Smythe 06th May 2010

Last night at The Garden Club, Chris Brain experienced his second weirdest gig. The first was in Ashburton and if you ask him about it, he’ll tell you.

His relaxed, chatty style is conducive to discursive audience interaction which he invites, in the standard way, by asking people where they’re from, then – like a comedic jukebox – selecting and ‘playing’ the relevant experiential-cum-observational gags.

It’s after he’s entered to Johnny Cash’s ‘The Dirtiest Job in Town’, found apologetic commonality with Justin Beiber and The Bee Gees, discovered he is in competition with a highly amplified and excited woman comic upstairs at Club Ivy (Claudia O’Doherty’s Monster of the Deep, I presume), and when he is filling us in on the backstory of his Billy T award-winning show last year – based on his depression, drug-taking and panic attacks – that a thickly pissed female voice pipes up from a back: “Is this supposed to be funny? We came here to laugh.”  

The lack of compassion, empathy and humour of any kind exhibited by the troublesome heckler and her stone-faced companion is equal and opposite to the groundswell of support Brain gains as he chooses not to bite, perceiving that an exchange of witty banter is unlikely and not wishing to waste his standard heckler ripostes.

They keep up an undertone of snarly mumble between themselves as Brain battles on, interacting with the ‘friendlies’ near the front and finally getting to his theme for the night: Twitter, to which he is logged in live – as we see via DataShow. He’s explaining how he used to be ambivalent about it until he realised how it was used during the Iranian elections that we get, “Is this comedy?” for the fourth time.

I find myself wheeling in her to ask how would she know since they’ve been talking all through it. Brain is grateful, the audience rallies, and they are dubbed ‘The Evil Topp Twins’ by a gay Geordie guy who has escaped to the front row. Brain gives him instant credit on Twitter as the women are finally escorted out by Festival Staffers and the bouncer.

The format for the rest of the show is that Brain uses his favourite tweets – projected – as thematic prompts for his subsequent stand-up riffs. Unfortunately the warm and loving mood in the room is not conducive to the black humour he attempts on the topic of his Road Righteous Indignation.

He recovers his stride somewhat as he works though: ‘To Catch a Predator’; having a tweet stolen; being a Catholic atheist; suicide bombers, with up-to-the minute observations of the Times Square event; Brian Tamaki; the Mongrel Mob; being burgled; his 10th wedding anniversary-cum-10-year review coming up; why he doesn’t check his Lotto tickets …

I’m not sure the looseness and lack of momentum in the show can be blamed on the earlier disruption, which brought a sense of unity to the smallish audience. My companion and I found ourselves disappointed that Brain had not confronted the Twitter phenomenon more rigorously or creatively, given his show is named for the 140 character limit on tweets.

On the other hand, given the festival brochure suggests Brain aims to be “cynical, scathing and edgy”, maybe the specific events of last night subverted his strategy. [I suspect the DomPost review – see link below – was of the Tuesday night opening.] Or maybe he is in transition mode towards a kinder, gentler, more self-effacing style of show.

Either way it was good to be there at his second weirdest gig.  
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Quirky quips and anxiety

Review by Greer McDonald 06th May 2010

Chris Brain won a Billy T James Award based on a humour that brought self-deprecation down (or up, depending on which way you look at it) to a whole new level. One year on, at his latest show, The OneForty, based around how his social networking addiction had aided in his recovery from battles with severe depression and anxiety, he had news for the audience: it’s not over.

In fact, his anxiety battle was so far from over that in his nervous opening spiel, Brain apologised to the crowd for an impending meltdown that was due to occur oh, about now. And when I say crowd I mean the fewer than 30 people gathered in the Garden Club in Wellington, a truly feeble turnout by the capital to one of New Zealand’s top comedians. [More]


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