Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

04/05/2015 - 05/05/2015

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

01/05/2015 - 02/05/2015

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015

Production Details

Themes of redemption and renewal come naturally to Colin Hay, as he is in the midst of a remarkable renaissance. While his voice and visage are still familiar to millions from his tenure as lead singer/guitarist and principal songwriter of pop sensation Men at Work, the past twenty years have found him re-introducing himself to new generations of fans through constant international touring, and film and television exposure.

Hay is funnier than most stand-up comedians, so he’ll split your sides and then drop a heartbreaking ditty on you” – The Houston Chronicle

Please note: This show contains strong language

Auckland Dates: Fri 1 May & Sat 2 May, 7pm

Venues: SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland

Tickets: Adults $55.00* service fees may apply

Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

 Wellington Dates: Mon 4 & Tue 5 May, 8.30pm

Venues: Hannah Playhouse, Wellington

Tickets: Adults $55.00* service fees may apply

Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Beautiful World
Family Man
A Simple Song
Who Can It Be Now
Did You Just Take The Long Way Home
If I Had Been A Better Man
Scattered In The Sand
I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You
Mr. Grogan
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
Down Under

Theatre , Comedy ,

1hr 50mins, no interval

Don’t wait. This life is worth tuning into.

Review by John Smythe 05th May 2015

Scottish by birth, Australian by choice (well his Dad’s but he’s glad) and lead singer /songwriter with Men at Work in his heyday, Colin Hay has named his show for a song he wrote in 1994: ‘Waiting for My Real Life to Begin’; a song people choose to get married to apparently. 

But Hay seems very comfortable where he’s at and is full of stories about where he’s been. Not for him the hyped up style of a whizz-bang comic. He starts with a song – ‘Beautiful World’ – and his chit-chat comes over as incidental while he plugs in one of his three guitars, and taps at the complex array of foot-pedals and switches, before launching into the next number.

Punters used to one-hour shows in the Comedy Festival, be warned: this show’s almost twice as long. On the upside it’s a solo concert and a stand-up show rolled into one and the way he blends them is pure gestalt: the whole adds up to more than the sum.

At first impression he looks rough and tough; that’s how he tends to be cast in his screen acting work and he’d look right at home in a kilt, wielding a broad sword. What emerges, however, is a gentle soul with an abiding love for his dear departed Dad and Mum. We come away with a remarkable comprehensive picture of his childhood, dissolute youth, weed-fuelled career as a musician then the multi-skilled aftermath.

Can he really still be waiting for his real life to begin when he is subtly staging a low-budget This Is Your Life? This is it, Colin. Life’s not a rehearsal. And of course he knows that. But how many of harbour that feeling (along with our ‘imposter syndrome’)?

Intriguingly, although he was a boy (11, I think) when the family left the small town in the south-west of Scotland for ‘The Lucky Country’, Hay retains a strong Scottish brogue yet he totally nails a range of Aussie accents in his storytelling. His demo of how to speak like an Australian bloke is classic. So is the shark story. And the goat one.

There’s a baker’s dozen songs in his set list, including a couple from his new album, and he sings with a welcome clarity. While he plays up the reverb capacities of his equipment a couple of times, his picking and strumming is equally lucid. And every now and then he hits a tone that echoes Bob Marley.

Wellington’s opening night audience is treated to a bonus when Hay invites his niece Evie up to accompany his last two songs – the soulful ‘Maggie’ and rollicking ‘Down Under’* – on violin, and what a brilliant duo they make.

Don’t wait. This life is worth tuning into. 

*‘Down Under’, you may remember, was subject to a lawsuit alleging it infringed the copyright of the ‘Kookaburra’ song. That maybe why it sounds a bit different tonight. Or maybe it’s just that it’s not the full band version. Either way, it makes for a great finish to a fine show.


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Real life entertainment

Review by Matt Baker 03rd May 2015

I was dubious, when I first heard, as to why Colin Hay was performing as part of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. As Madonna proved last month, being a performer, regardless of the endurance of your critical and commercial success, does not necessarily equate to any skill in delivering comedy. However, be it his Scottish roots, Australian upbringing, or worldly wisdom, Hay is not only a great musician, but also a genuinely funny performer. 

Hay not only continues to maintain the essence of his introspective storytelling that made him an internationally appreciable musician, but also continues to advance this narrative in his music, bringing years of extraordinary life experience and crafting it into universally recognisable material for his audiences. [More]


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Cool comic and musical icon

Review by Dione Joseph 02nd May 2015

If you think you don’t know who the hell Colin Hay is … don’t worry. You do.

Remember that classic Aussie anthem ‘Land Down Under’? Or ‘Who Can It Be Now’? Yep, that’s right that’s Colin Hay. He was part of ‘Men at Work’ the 80s group who took Australia by storm and certainly their songs travelled well across the world. And that’s putting it mildly. 

But after the band broke up Hay found himself in a career that traversed film, television and, yes, comedy too. Born in Scotland, bred in ‘Straya’, this mostly America-based singer-comedian offers his audience at Sky city a delightful two hours chock full of some of his best songs, witticisms and confessions that are as heartfelt as if they would be if shared across a dinner table.

Since 1991 Hay has been playing to crowds (anywhere from a mere handful to a stadium’s worth) and although this is not a full house it doesn’t really matter because as Hay himself points out, “All the really important people are here.”

Mixing comedy with music is a tricky genre though it seems to becoming more popular these days. But while it works for some it can utterly fail for others, but every now and then there are those who don’t have to do much because not only are they natural comics but they’re brilliant singers too.

Hay is one of those singers and ‘Waiting for My Real Life to Begin’ is a great set. No joke seems forced; memories of parents, past record labels, encounters at the market all roll off Hay’s tongue with ease and he knows his audience. From the comments on the locals at the South Melbourne market who remarked on his uncanny likeness to the singer Colin Hay (!) to the benefits of touring with Ringo and experiencing the life of high-flyers, he takes us from the wee town in Scotland where he was brought up and the perils of loving a nine-year-old to writing platinum songs for Scrubs.

He might not have done it all but he’s certainly made a fair fist of it.

The show is supposed to be only 75 minutes but to the delight of the audience it continues to extend with Hay responding to the crowd’s enthusiasm by playing song after song. Alone on stage with his three guitars (none of them appears to have been pre-tuned, clearly the repercussions of falling from superstardom) Hay takes over SkyCity theatre with a coolness that reminds his audiences that this is a musical icon who can still bring the crowd to its feet. 

Tonight is your last chance to see him in Auckland so make sure you do get down.


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