Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland

15/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


We follow Comedy All-Stars # 1 during the second week of the festival with Comedy All-Stars # 2, Thu 15 – Sat 17 May featuring our headline act from the UK, Chris Martin. He sold out his season at The Classic in the 2013 Festival and returns in 2014 for solo seasons at Q Theatre in the city and a week at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington, returning to the BMC Comedy Club in the final week to wrap the festival.

“One of the UK’s best young observationalists” – The Guardian

“Destined for greatness” – The Sunday Times UK

Comedy All-Stars #2 will be hosted by local hero and 2010 Billy T Comedy Award Winner, Rhys Mathewson who is returning to the Festival after 2 years on the UK Pro comedy circuit including seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Supporting acts include impressive 2013 Raw Comedy Quest winner, Maarten Idema.

As an added surprise we will also introduce to the show, for the first time, the winner of the 2014 Raw Comedy Quest which winds up with a Grand Final on Sun 11 May at Q Theatre. This will be his or hers first professional engagement as a comedian.

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

Comedy All-Stars # 2 at the BMC Comedy Club
With Chris Martin, Rhys Mathewson, Maarten Idema and guests
Dates: Thu 15 – Sat 17 May, 8:30pm
Venue: The BMC Comedy Club,
Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
Tickets: Adults $35, Conc. $29.00
Bookings: 09 970 9700 //

New and established talents

Review by Gabrielle Beran 16th May 2014

After the deafening self-intro, sound levels settle and MC Rhys Mathewson proves to be a highlight once again. After seeing his solo show earlier in the festival, it is a joy to revisit some of his witty anecdotes and his banter with audience members takes a hilariously strange turn when he discovers several tables of punters all know each other but didn’t know each were at the show.

Those who have witnessed several horrendous cases of audience heckling across the festival will be please that Mathewson runs through the ‘rules’ of how to be an audience member at a comedy show and the crowd remains well behaved. Quick comebacks, great physicality and a broad range of thoughts from the Pope, condoms and sausage rolls prove popular. 

First act is 2013 Raw Comedy Quest winner Maarten Idema. Before tonight I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of him, so not sure what he’s been up to since his win last year. The dead pan comedy and clever puns for the thinking man at times hit right on the mark, but often pace of delivery doesn’t quite match the mind-set of the room; sometimes too quick, leaving large silences between ends of jokes and the audience catching up, or too slow and the audience figuring out the punch line before it is uttered. Maarten is clever and with more gigs under his belt should delight most crowds. 

Next up, in his first ever professional comedian gig, is James Malcolm. This 18 year old is the winner of last Sunday’s 2014 Raw Comedy Quest in Auckland. With a cheeky and sweet wide-eyed delivery, James winds his way through teenage obstacles such as texting and girls, fast food and family, and a touch of pop culture, all delivered with ease. Enjoyed his youthful observations and am looking forward to seeing where he goes from here. 

The second half does start to drag a little, due to a post interval ‘drunkening’ of the audience and consequent pockets of general chatter breaking out. At one point table-mates wonder if the next comedian is not ready or has a long trek from the dressing rooms.

Chris Martin has appeared three times at the NZ Comedy Fest and is at ease with the Kiwi audiences. His set is entertaining and covers a wide range of topics from first kisses, his current girlfriend, how to have fun with Yahoo Answers and issues with hotels while on tour. He is engaging on stage, very likeable in pace and delivery and is adept at keeping the audience chuckling along through his observations. 

Don’t let the North Shore venue put you off – most city-siders claim it’s too far away for a night out and they are wrong. From Ponsonby Rd to the BMC (Bruce Mason Centre) in Takapuna takes only 10 minutes on the motorway and parking is plentiful behind the venue. Check it out only two shows left, tonight and Saturday 8:30pm.


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