Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

10/05/2015 - 10/05/2015

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015

Production Details

We all have different paths we could have travelled – Rhys Darby trained for the army; Dai Henwood used to DJ at weddings; and Guy Williams played basketball professionally… it was just lucky for us they all ended up in comedy.

Billy T Award Winners Rose Matafeo (Jono And Ben at Ten) and Rhys Mathewson (Best Bits) didn’t know stand-up was a career option before they did Class Comedians. So who’ll discover their talent for comedy this year?

After intensive training, this year’s talented students are ready to unleash their stand-up skills.


Sun 10 May, 5pm

Loft at Q Theatre, Auckland


Adults $25.00
Conc. $15.00
* service fees may apply


09 309 9771

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Comedy ,

2 hrs

Big issues amid the humour

Review by Kathryn van Beek 11th May 2015

Hatched by the NZ Comedy Trust, Class Comedians is a brilliant plot to ensure that New Zealanders keep laughing for many years to come. 

As part of Class Comedians 2015, high school students [in Auckland and Wellington] are given the opportunity to undertake a three-month crash course in comedy. The programme culminates in a showcase performance at The New Zealand Comedy Festival.

This year’s host, Rhys Mathewson, is a Class Comedians alumnus – and now a Billy T Award winner and familiar hairy face on Best Bits and 7 Days. He opens the evening with his Class Comedians set from when he was 15. It’s a good set, and it’s going to be hard to match. But Class Comedians is renowned for unearthing and nurturing new talent (fellow Billy T Award winner Rose Matafeo is another graduate), so there’s a fair chance we’re in for something special.

There are 11 comedians on tonight, each delivering a short set. Cameron McIntosh from Rutherford College is up first, putting his rubbery body to good use by demonstrating a food allergy nightmare though physical comedy.

Ayla Masson from Pakuranga College highlights the perils of letting teenage drivers loose on the roads, before Eamonn Tee of Western Springs delivers a punny set in a natural, relaxed style.  

Rachel Roberts from St Cuthbert’s College maximises her impressive stage presence, taking the micky out of private schools before following up with a hilarious song that could get her a job writing for Bob’s Burgers.

Mathew Sherlock from Takapuna Grammar takes the thematic baton of privilege and runs with it, knee-capping paleo dieters, anti-vaccers and Devonport mothers as he goes.

Aarron Todd from Long Bay College (originally from Wigan, England) tells a marvellous tale about that annoying person we’ve all met – hyper literal guy. Aarron Todd has a confident and polished delivery.

Kendall Cole from Rose Hill College and Astra Smith from Selwyn College both poke the tender spot of body image. Kendall definitely doesn’t want any croissants, and geek chic Astra has everyone feeling for her when she confesses she’s only just found out that she’s supposed to worry about what her eyebrows look like.

Next up Susie Roberts, another British expat from Long Bay College, gives a convincing argument on why children are demons.

Gabriel Jones of Takapuna Grammar delivers a surreal piece about seagulls and his deep-seated reasons for hating them. Although Gabriel could stand to learn a little more about basic seagull biology, his presentation is excellent and his piece ties together well.

Finally Harry Thompson-Cook of Rutherford College unleashes his lover boy / lonely boy persona in a genuinely funny set that is partially delivered through a t-shirt.

Despite all the humour the comedians touch on some big issues, with race relations and income inequality both getting a fair look-in (and in Gabriel’s case, traumatic parental neglect at Rainbow’s End).

So who might be a Billy T Award winner in years to come? At this point, it’s anyone’s game. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Fingers crossed that this talented bunch keep plugging away with comedy – and that we see the yellow towel over their shoulders sometime soon.


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