Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


Following his debut at the 2012 NZ International Comedy Festival, Chris Martin returned in 2013 with a new solo show for a sold out week at The Classic in Auckland and San Fran Bathhouse in Wellington before embarking on the Comedy Convoy.

With a firm following established, Martin returns from the 25 April – 3 May and, due to popular demand, will now perform at the larger Loft at Q Theatre with his new show Responsibilliness.

Fresh from supporting UK headliner Milton Jones on his 2013 national tour, Chris will explore the difficulties of being a man-child using his upbeat over analytical logic.

“One of the UK’s best young observationalistsThe Guardian

Destined for greatnessThe Sunday Times UK

“Tight, well structured, funny and

Considered one of the hot new prospects on the UK Pro circuit, Martin has been stepping up in the rankings with numerous TV appearances and some supporting gigs for the likes of Jack Whitehall, Terry Alderton and Pete Firman on their National UK tours.

Since his career began not so long ago, Chris has several other television appearances under his belt including Best Ever 3D Moments (Channel 4), Great TV Christmas Moments (Channel 5), World Cup’s Most Shocking Moments’ (BBC3) and Most Annoying People (BBC3). He has earned various award nominations and he also hosts a regular monthly podcast with fellow comedian Carl Donnelly, which was voted in the Guardian’s “Top 10 Comedy Podcasts” (

Chris Martin opens at New Zealand’s home of live comedy at the Loft at Q Theatre on Sat 25 April for 1 week only before joining up with Carl Donnelly for an International Double Feature at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington from Tue 6 to Sat 10 May.



Making his debut at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in Auckland (25 Apr – 3 May) and Wellington (6 – 10 May), Carl Donnelly is one of a new breed of stand-up comedians on the rise in the U.K.

Good form resulted in a nomination for ‘Best Show’ in the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards, alongside James Acaster who is returning to the NZ International Comedy Festival after his 2013 debut.

“He’s a remarkable talent – a relaxed, easygoing anecdotalist with an eye for funny details. An hour in his company is a true delight.” TimeOUT UK

Carl is a star of the ‘next gen’ of UK stand-ups with a show brimming with hilarious anecdotes and observations on the state of the world and his plans on how we should be dealing with it. In addition to live stand-up Carl has also teamed up with fellow comedian, for the ‘Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin Comedy Podcast’, voted by The Guardian UK as one of the Top 10 Comedy podcasts in 2013. Chris Martin and Carl Donnelly will team up in Wellington presenting a live comedy double feature at the Hannah Playhouse.

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to

Dates: Tues 6 – Sat 10 May, 8:30pm
Venue: Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Tce
Tickets: Adults $30 (Tues – Thurs) and $36 (Fri & Sat), Conc. $32 Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or  

Rising UK comedians likeable

Review by Simon Howard 07th May 2014

Bringing two British comedians together in a double feature is a new and innovative feature for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Chris Martin returns to Wellington after a sold out run at the San Francisco Bathhouse last year while for Carl Donnelly this marks a debut on our fair shores.

Carl Donnelly kicks off the evening with an hour of material focussed primarily around the end of his marriage last year, and the subsequent encounters he has thrown himself into. It takes a while to get into his set as he has to deal with a few unusual hecklers, whose bizarre interruptions give the audience the feeling they’re not much at a comedy show as at a counselling session, where audience members get things off their chest in the hope Donnelly will deal with it.  

Eventually Donnelly gets into the crux of his set and starts to describe stories from his life in the last year. From strange journeys in India to hanging out in Melbourne with a comedian with a tendency for nudity, Donnelly has acquired a veritable gold mine of tales from which to draw his stand-up comedy. The latter stages of the hour really hit the mark, with a notable increase in the decibel meter from an audience who have warmed to this likeable Brit. 

However, Donnelly’s insistence on bringing up any noises from the crowd, such as rustling sweet papers, causes lags. The time lost by these fairly humourless interactions could be better spent delivering another story or two from the series of events Carl has been through. Some of the stories are amongst the funniest I have heard in this year’s festival, and he is warmly applauded at the end. 

After a short break Chris Martin comes out and instantly defines himself against Carl Donnelly. Rather than being fresh out of a marriage, he has just moved in with his girlfriend: his first serious relationship at the age of 27. Again the hecklers think it will be clever to contribute their thoughts and questions to the comedian, and Martin deals with them in a quick and efficient manner. Luckily there are no further interruptions, and we are able to enjoy an hour of stand-up from a comedian who is clearly at ease with his material and delivers just enough laughter to be deemed a success.

He rarely provokes belly laughs but regularly receives polite laughter and smatterings of applause from a reserved opening night crowd. Inoffensive and reasonably endearing on the whole, it is a shame that his final crude story misses the mark. His story of having to take a seven year old girl’s excrement out of a public toilet and put it in the bin so as not to face the displeasure of the lady going in next is funny in places, but seems so implausible and silly that it fails to accomplish the high point both Martin and the audience are hoping for.

The style and delivery of the two comedians complement each other well, and this show should be commended for giving audiences the chance to experience two rising comedians from the UK circuit on the same bill. Chris Martin and Carl Donnelly are likeable comedians who tell stories in a bright and fairly imaginative way.

Donnelly in particular is someone to keep an eye on in the future, his set delivering consistent laughs after a slow start. Martin on the other hand never really scales the heights I am hoping for and is slightly underwhelming by comparison, lacking the killer punch lines and stories to be deemed an outright success.


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