Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

19/02/2023 - 21/02/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details


Three acts. Three award winners. Three very cool people.

This show will be super laid back, good vibes, and a lot of fun.
It’s just three experienced comedians, giving you their best 20 minutes.

No more, no less.

So swing by, hang out, have a drink – and most importantly – stay cool.

“Seriously Funny” – Theatreview

WINNER – 2021 Breakthrough Comedian – NZ Comedy Guild
WINNER – 2021 Best Male Comedian – Cartel Comedy Awards
WINNER – 2020 & 2021 Best Joke – Cartel Comedy Awards
WINNER – 2022 Wellington Raw Competition

Cavern Club, 22 Allen Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Sunday 19 – Tuesday 21 February 2023

Danny Sewell
Hoani Hotene
Fin McLachlan

Comedy , Stand-up comedy , Theatre ,

1 hr

A strong evening where laughs abound from a wide and fascinating range of topics

Review by Wesley Hollis 20th Feb 2023

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy, even performing myself on occasion, so I am excited to kick off my experience of this year’s Wellington Fringe Festival with Cool Stand-Up For Cool People. With three award winning local comedians giving us their best 20 minutes of material each, what’s not to love? I head down to Cavern Club on a Sunday evening to find out what all the hype is about.

The stage set up is simple, as is the lighting and the way the comedians dress. No fancy bells and whistles to distract from the sheer quality of the performances, just a microphone stand and three talented individuals. The venue is small, so the seating arrangement for the audience is close to the stage, but the comedians never make this uncomfortable or single out unwitting members of the audience to answer questions. It is, as promised in their advertisement, a “super laid back” show.

Danny Sewell takes the stage first. An experienced comedian I have seen perform many times before, Danny is always one of the strongest acts in any show he stars in. I love his ability to get the crowd cheering from the second he steps on stage. From that moment forward, the audience is attentive and responsive to his jokes and questions. Even in the odd moment a response falls flat, he knows how to flip this so the silence itself becomes something to laugh about. He is a confident and relaxed stage presence, with the ability to be his own hype man and to laugh at himself in equal measure.

Hoani Hotene is the second act. I had the pleasure of watching Hoani perform in the National Raw Comedy Quest 2022 (which he went on to win) so I am excited to see him perform again. He opens strong, poking fun at some family members in a relatable way, before moving on to cover everything from personal stories to strange impressions. With Hoani’s performance, I never know what to expect next. He is good at playing around with pacing – some bits are fast and enthusiastic, others are slowed down with pauses for dramatic effect. I am thrilled to see some of his award winning material in the show, but his set contains plenty of new material as well.

Fin McLachlan is the final performer of the night. Another comedian who I watched at the National Raw Comedy Quest 2022 (and a finalist no less), Fin is one of the most fun, personable and charismatic performers I have seen on stage. While his set does contain a couple of snappy one liners, what Fin is good at doing is building up to punchlines, and doing deeper dives on certain topics. Much of his material focuses on bisexuality and the consequences of being queer, which as a queer comedian myself I find very relatable. Often, his jokes will include some clever wordplay – including a particularly strong finishing joke, which was a great way to close out the evening. 

Overall I would describe this as a strong evening of comedy from some experienced comedians, where laughs abound. It’s easy to find these guys funny – there’s nothing particularly edgy about the humour here, and while there were one or two moments of dirty or adult humour this isn’t heavily relied on. A wide and fascinating range of topics is covered throughout the night which speak to the heart of what it means to be a human being in the modern age. What really makes this show special is the performers’ talented use of abstract thinking and their confident style of presentation. I would recommend this show to any fans of stand up, whether or not you have seen these comedians perform before. To any new fans, these are some essential people to know about on the Wellington comedy scene, and for any established fans there is a great mix of new and old material to be found in this show. Trust me when I say, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by coming along to watch Cool Stand Up for Cool People.


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