Invercargill Brewery, Invercargill

27/04/2017 - 27/04/2017

Southland Festival of the Arts 2017

Production Details

7Days regular and star of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer dissects the people he desperately hopes his daughter doesn’t turn into… from reality TV “stars” to people who post inspirational quotes.

There are a lot of annoying people on this Earth! Winner of the Billy T Award and the NZ Comedy Guild Best Female Comedian (twice), Justine Smith is one of the funniest people you’re likely to meet. With a flick of the eye and “To be honest…” she will have you in stitches!

Join two of New Zealand’s funniest comedians for a whirlwind tour of southern towns.  
Facebook: houseseriesingill

The House Series presents
Thu 27 April 8:00pm Invercargill Brewery
Fri 28 April 8:00pm Stewart Island Community Centre
Sat 29 April 8:00pm Little Theatre, Gore 
Dur: 2h

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

Subtle irony and comedic tsunami

Review by Chris Chilton 28th Apr 2017

No doubt. The scariest place to be at a comedy show starring Justine Smith is at a table near the front with a notebook and a pen.

It’s a jungle in there, and hunter can become prey at any moment.

There’s all that surreptitious scribbling in don’t-look freehand while you keep your eyes fixed on her, hoping that she’s not going to cast her gaze in your direction and catch you in the crosshairs. But inevitably there’s that dreaded moment when you’ve got your eyes down reviewing your scrawl and she sees you before you know you’ve been busted.

“Are you taking notes, sir?” she shoots in your direction. “Are you reviewing this? Well, I don’t give a fuck.”

A colleague – let’s call him Phil – shouts in jest from the other side of the room: “Chuck him out!”

Ms Smith retorts: “You probably know everyone here anyway. Give me a high six.” 

And this is how she rolls. Instinctively, getting funnier and faster as she riffs off topic. She’s a comedic tsunami – quite the opposite of Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, whose laconic, deadpan style is self-deprecating and borderline neurotic.

The South American war refugee’s nervy awkwardness is likely part of a well-oiled act that works in some rooms better than it does in others. Tonight, in the chilly climes of the Invercargill Brewery, he’s not feeling the Latin mojo and seems to be acutely self-aware that he’s not owning the audience, despite a rich seam of very clever lines. 

He’s just finished telling a story about unprintable fake names used by people talking to call centres when he announces: “Even when I tell recruitment companies I’m a comedian they think …” [punchline not included]

Pop culture figures prominently in Gonzalez-Macuer’s schtick. He references bands and lyrics from the 90s – The Feelers and Creed feature. He wonders aloud what one of the Feelers must feel like when they call up Work and Income and [pni]. 

His form of noisy crowd control is more understated than most, but no less funny. “I talk over people’s conversations all the time during comedy shows,’’ he says. “It’s very rude of me.” Alas, this subtle, ironically apologetic rebuke is lost on many of the punters, who are possibly distracted by a technical issue that renders the left channel of the PA system intermittently silent during his set.

The sound projection issue is well sorted by the time Cyclone Justine Smith hits the stage, breathless almost before she even starts.

Straight away she’s hitting major power chords with the female demographic, improvising a Beyonce dance and bagging angry, hungry, skinny catwalk models, Bachelor NZ contestants and the previously mentioned reviewer.

Smith confides that her underwear is just like her man … [punchline not included] She explores the communicative gulf between men and women, and gets applause when she explains her two reasons for not having children … [pni].

Talk of disappointing sexual encounters segues into 50 Shades of Grey … Justine Smith’s double-X-chromosome-rated form of ‘hypertruth’ rings a bell with a good many of her crowd. They get the tale of her first mammogram; her description of herself in real estate market terms is a classic …[pni].

Scripted, unscripted or just thinking out loud, Smith is one very fast, very funny comedian.

With a theatrical threatening glance towards the reviewer as she disembarks the stage, Justine Smith disappears into the crisp Invercargill night air, in search of ghost probes, leaving her entertained audience wanting more. 


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