Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

20/05/2017 - 20/05/2017

NZ International Comedy Festival 2017

Production Details


Start ’em young, we say!

This year’s line-up of talented high school students have made it through their intensive comedy training and are amped to unleash their stand-up skills on an audience. Every year the quality of the comedy from these performers blows our mind.

As seen with previous Class Comedians graduates Rose Matafeo (TV3’s Jono and Ben // Funny Girls), Rhys Mathewson (Best Bits // 7 Days) and James Roque (TV3’s AotearoHA // Jono and Ben), you never know who might start out as a Class Comedian and move on to become your next favourite comedian.

All proceeds from this show go towards running the Class Comedians programme.

Sat 20 May
Full Price: $25
Concession: $20
*service fee may apply
Wheelchair accessible

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1hr 30m approx

Confident, sometimes surprising and funny

Review by Leigh Sykes 21st May 2017

During his introduction, Brendon Green reminds us that the Class Comedians programme has now been running for over a decade, and has been responsible for introducing quality performers such as award winners Rose Matafeo and Rhys Matthewson, as well as the winner of last year’s Raw Comedy Quest. Green is immediately engaging and makes sure that the packed audience of family, friends and comedy fans is in the right mood to respond positively to this year’s crop of comedy talent.

The ten teenage comedians offer us their perspectives on a variety of familiar and more unexpected topics, taking in friendships, relationships, siblings, parents, jobs, religion, a (possibly imaginary) rat that lives in one performer’s head, the delights and foibles of New Zealand and the delights of sleeping on couches.

The performers explore these varied topics through their own true experiences, and it is great fun to see the families and friends who are referenced responding to the stories. The Mum immediately in front of me cannot stop laughing at the description of her own frailties, which makes everyone else join in. Each performer has a personal perspective and he or she uses it to deliver their set with poise and conviction. It is astounding to find at the end of the show that the youngest performer here is fifteen, a fact that doesn’t quite seem possible given the assuredness of the performances.

All the performers deliver their material confidently, but, given the personal nature of comedy, there are some performers that appeal to me just a little more than the others.

The first is our MC for the show, the introverted Chloe, who contemplates her attempts at making friends with a suitably hesitant and downcast delivery. Having delivered her own set, she goes on to introduce and respond to the other performers as the show unfolds. It is here that she shows a wonderful ability to capture pithy and insightful responses, all of which have the audience laughing heartily.

The next performer to stand out for me is Adam, who takes on the unexpected and potentially difficult topic of sleeping on the couch. He delivers a well-crafted set that covers a lot of ground and then ties it all back together again with assurance. He uses his ability to channel his mother to great effect, and is charismatic and confident.

Isabella is the next performer to shine for me, and she takes a very different tack, flitting from topic to topic with seeming randomness. What ties everything together is her immaculate timing, which generates huge laughs as the audience catches up with her quick, and sometimes rather surreal, wit. Her meditations on the fact that birds have no arms are very funny, showing a very effective physicality that enhances her verbal dexterity.

Alice is the final performer in the show and she delivers her material with great confidence. She sends herself up, meditates on some of the things that make New Zealand such a cool place to live and cleverly targets some of Auckland’s recognisable quirks and foibles. She hits her marks with flair and keeps the audience engaged throughout her well-constructed set.

There are one or two instances where a performer sails close to the edge of a potentially sensitive topic, with some observations on gender identity in particular falling a little flat for me. Other than these few instances, the material is of a quality that is a great advertisement for the Class Comedians programme. These graduates have obviously worked hard and learned a great deal, with the result that we are able to enjoy a show that is confident, sometimes surprising and funny.


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