Dai Henwood - Dai-namic Scenarios

Crunchie Comedy Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland

15/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Dai Henwood

Dai-namic Scenarios


Dai Henwood, the Multiple award winner and loveable lunatic from TV returns to the live stage in “DAI-NAMIC SCENARIOS”.

After 10 years of successful stand-up comedy, 2006 saw Dai Henwood hit the New Zealand TV. His show “Insert Video Here” has become a cult hit on C4 Music Television. The success of this show has seen Dai perform sell-out live shows around New Zealand. It is time for all the stories from the small towns put onto the big stage.

“DAI-NAMIC SCENARIOS” is a show covering all aspects of Kiwi life. Dai takes the audience on a high-energy ride from herbal pills to hungis and Shrek the sheep to Jin the otter. The show includes his unique style of interpretive dance and a healthy dose of 90’s rock and roll. If you want to find out what “superman” is and how Greenpeace is connected to the KKK then this is a show not to miss.

Dai has been a regular performer in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Shows such as The Story of Funk and Champagne Table Tennis have seen him perform in the Edinburgh Festival and the Tokyo Comedy Store. At home the NZ Comedy Guild Awards saw Dai Henwood win Best Male Comedian in 2004 and 2005 as well as Best Performance on TV and Best MC in 2006.

He has been described as:
“Side-splitting” Sunday Star Times
“Posses a beautiful physical Gift” Christchurch Press

Dates:  Tue 8 – Sat 12 May, 7pm
Venue:  San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington City
Tickets:  Adults $20 Conc. $15 Groups 10+ $15
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

Dates:  Tues 15 – Sat 19 May, 7.15pm
Venue:  Crunchie Comedy Chamber, Aotea Centre, THE EDGEâ, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $25 Conc. $20 Groups 10+ $20
Bookings:  icketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Robustly cheerful

Review by Thomas LaHood 10th May 2007

Sometimes it can be hard to find a point of difference between stand-up performers.  Until you get a feel for their material, they tend toward an inexpressive sameness in appearance – either slightly overweight guys in t-shirts and jeans, or men in suits.*

But Dai Henwood is quite… different looking, somehow – "like a big, hairy baby", as he puts it himself.  His unique, fervent energy radiates from his frame the second he enters the stage.

And what an entrance!  Bursting forth in tasselled cowboy chaps and a brightly-coloured lycra unitard, Dai launches into his opening routine in the guise of professional wrestler P-Funk Chainsaw.  P-Funk is a powerful opener, a pint-sized prize fighting pit-bull with the voice of Mike Tyson and the stare of Antonie Dixon, but dressed like Freddy Mercury, and somehow conjuring overtones of George W. Bush.  Proudly he declares his intention to open a can of whoop-ass on chicken kebabs, hippies who do capoiera on his back lawn and… anyone else who wants to come get some.

This tenacious oddball is onstage for only a short time, but hardly lets up for a second, closing with a god-awful rap that is not especially witty but impressively just keeps going… and going… and going…

And finally gone, to be replaced by Dai Henwood, the genuine article, the man himself, sans affectation and dressed more appropriately in… t-shirt and jeans.  As his introductory voice-over opines, he is a "recovering character comedian", reaching deep inside himself to find the confidence to simply be himself on stage.  Good for him, but I was sad to see P-Funk go.

Thankfully, Dai in jeans is still quite extraordinary.  The hairy baby image is hard to shake, and he is prone to peculiar bouts of ass-shaking and camp dance routines that give him a kind of horny satyr-like eroticism.  Especially when he drops lines like "hairy skin and hot metal DO NOT SLIDE" while discussing his childhood memories of wearing stubbies in the playground.

Most of Henwood’s material comes from reminiscence rather than griping which makes for an amiable and infectious humour.  He mines retro technologies and clothes and finds plenty of choice material there.  Drawing from personal experience seems to give him plenty to work with and it’s a full set, with clear through-lines and the occasional tangential riff.  He does some remarkably convincing impersonations of people on drugs, notably his roadworkers on pot and party-pill poppers visiting Cobb & Co.

His delivery is easy and robustly cheerful – when he gags about Manual Training and trackpants with stirrups it’s like being entertained by a naughty cousin at a family reunion.  His repartee with the crowd is sharp without being bullying, and he’s clearly enjoying himself as much as we are.  His set is full of appreciative praise for life in New Zealand and appeals to the radical, laid-back side of our national identity.

Finally, Dai performs his signature dance number to Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’, because he "thinks we need it in our lives".  It’s a silly piece that feels a little tired and unnecessary – perhaps because he has been doing it for seven years! – but still ends the show on a high energy note.  And then he departs as cheerfully and boldly as he entered, exhorting us to "concentrate on looking for love and laughter!"  More like him, please.

*(Female performers are rarely noticed at all but tend toward a ‘stroppy’ or ‘flirty’ look, either a bright pink t-shirt or something to accentuate the bust.) 


Thomas LaHood May 14th, 2007

Hi there! Without wanting to get too tangled up here I will clarify - yes, it's a lament, and 'some of my best friends' are female comics who have given up in despair. Secondly it's an attempt to gender balance a more general statement about the archaic, unimaginitive samey-ness of NZ stand-up. While I acknowledge the anger and hurt expressed in these responses I maintain that the stereotypes I have outlined - both male and female - do exist and are overrepresented. Thank you for your feedback.

Melody Nixon May 14th, 2007

I'm interested, Mr. LaHoop, [and forgetting about the "flirty/stroppy" tangent -- waay too offensive to dwell on right now] are you condoning or lamenting the fact female performers are "rarely noticed at all?" If the former, do explain to us why this is something to celebrate! Go on! And if the later, perhaps this is proof of derisive humour potentially being ineffectual at challenging stereotypes?

JayVirt May 13th, 2007

Get Germaine Greer to review his next show, that'd sort him out

Michele A'Court May 12th, 2007

Wow. You just managed to dismiss a whole gender in a footnote. That’s quite an achievement. (Thomas LaHood's review of Dai Henwood.) Tell me, is it just women you like to lump into one homogenous "rarely noticed" group or are there other socio-political minorities you like to do this with. How do you feel, for example, about all black comedians? All gay comedians? I’m fascinated by your two categories: “flirty” – meaning, I suspect, that they appear to like you; or “stroppy” meaning they appear to not like you. Do you only categorise the women who do comedy in this way, or is this how you judge every women you meet? I’m not sure which kind of female comedian you might find me. Probably not “flirty” as I don’t own a pink t-shirt. Though I do sometimes enjoy a little cleavage. No, it’d be “stroppy”, given that my overwhelming urge at this moment is to punch you in your misogynist head.

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