Diane Spencer: Tam Pompom

Comedy Underground, 305 Queen St, Auckland

02/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

Happy (Cnr Tory & Vivian), Wellington

20/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Grow some BALLS; it’s a small world after all. 

Since being highly commended in the 2007 Raw Comedy Quest 2007 finals, Diane Spencer has developed into one of the most promising young female comedians New Zealand has to offer.  Originally from the UK, Diane immigrated here in 3 years ago and TAMPOM POM, her first solo comedy show, explores the funny side of a starting a new life.  This is a show for anyone who has taken a risk, anyone who wonders what it would be like to plunge into the unknown, anyone who has found themselves in a situation they could never predict.  Diane Spencer’s comedy has been described as "highly original" by Theatreview, her charming manner, dynamic storytelling and energetic on stage presence make for an entertaining hour.

Dates:  Saturday 2 May, then Weds 6 – Sat 9 May, 10pm
Venue:  Comedy Underground, Wallace Trust Gallery, 305 Queens St
Tickets:  $20, conc $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) www.ticketek.co.nz 

Dates:  Wednesday 20 May – Saturday 23 May, 10pm
Venue:  HAPPY Bar
Tickets:  $18, conc $16
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) www.ticketek.co.nz

1 hr, no interval

Shock value and cringe laughter in challenging comedy

Review by Priyanka Bhonsule (Hutt News) 21st May 2009

It’s seems implausible to hear quite filthy things out of the mouth of someone so pretty but that’s what you get when a middle class English white girl has gone through so much tragi-comedy in her life.

Diane Spencer is a force to be reckoned with: she comes out on stage in a girly outfit, she’s got a soft voice and then bam! Before you know what’s going on, genitalia, pleasuring devices and sexual acts have all been covered in the first few minutes.

Nothing is sacred, no subject is too taboo – the deaf, the blind, visual artists, foreigners, immigrants and more are covered in this blistering hour and a half act.

It seems because she’s experienced some of the things above she has a right to mock it. For example, she dated a blind guy for a while; she’s an immigrant; her dad’s half deaf and so on.

Also, as a female comedian, Spencer says she can get away with certain jokes and that’s true. Certainly no male comedian would venture towards menstruation or menopause without the possibility of alienating at least half his audience.

There is actually a storyline of sorts through the show as Spencer tells us why she moved here from her hometown in the south of England. It was for love and when that didn’t work out she offers us the ‘best bits’ from her dating experiences as a woman in her late-20s.

The opening night wasn’t a sell-out and while this offered a vibe of intimacy and a chance to develop rapport with the performer, it was easier to tell when a joke just did not float.

The best way to describe her show is ‘cringe-laughter’, where you’re sitting with your jaw kind of half-open, hand over your mouth thinking, ‘Did she just say that?’ followed by, ‘Oh my god that’s true/ funny/ gross!’

Don’t get me wrong – Spencer’s set made me laugh; I just wasn’t sure whether I was laughing at the humour or the shock value. Because the show is clearly all about the shock value. While other comedians test the water and then throw in a vulgar joke or two, this confident redhead dives right in.

If filthy words and situations make you squirm, best stay away; however if you like to be challenged by your comedy, if tried-and-true observational gags just don’t cut it for you, then Spencer is your hot ticket.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Bold and subtle

Review by James Amos 03rd May 2009

Good old fashioned British comedy – full of wit, charm, and filth!

Tam Pompom, yes, the title put me off a little too … But once Dianne Spencer gets into the swing of things I remember why the British comedies of the eighties and early nineties are rated (by me) far above anything coming out of America at that time.

Spencer has charm like a light bulb, it brightens the stage – she’s a real joy to watch – both bold and subtle at once, which reveals real confidence.

She discusses why she came to NZ and why she stayed, she fills us in on the dates she’s been going on recently and other exploits as an actor and part time burlesque dancer.

Much of the show is about her relationship problems and about her relationship with her genitalia – please don’t be put off by this because she really is very funny. "She’s real kinda down to earth y’know?", I’m thinking, juxtaposed against this posh sounding English accent.

Perhaps the show should have be called Sex Ed with Dianne Spencer, because I hear probably the most useful piece of information there is to know about women (or about Dianne at least – but I’m hopeful that it transposes well to others of their kind) when she tells us about the six out of ten guy with the chilly at the friends wedding.

We all know that stand up comedians make up most of what they say about themselves to suit the story; this is fun and we suspend our disbelief imagining that its all true. The bit about the party popper, however, breaks the illusion for me. Not because it is going too far, but because it is just too implausible. It would be great if Dianne could come up with something else for this bit.

She mentions that this is her first solo performance. I look forward to seeing much more of her stand up comedy in the future. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


The Invisible Reviewer May 10th, 2009

I sat and watched this young delicate "English Rose", her voice pure aroma and her language the thorns. There is something inherently sexy about hearing a "received" english accent used (or should I say abused?) by language that would turn your hair grey. She is easy on the eye certainly, but she tackles the stage and the audience like a UFC cage fighter. Many female comediennes I've seen over the years, appraoch the stage with the "like me... oh please like me..." attitude. Diane Spencer (all references to another famous Spencer aside) came out and kicked the stage in the nuts. Before the audience can recover she unleashes a tirade of comedic blows that left the audience dizzy, had a referee been in play, a standing 8 count would have been required. She is very clever, very witty, sharp combinations of comedic bliss. Well done Ms. Spencer, money well spent, I suspect I'll need to do a few more stomach crunches before I venture into the comedy ring to see you again, if only to prepare myself for the workout you are sure to put them through. Bloody good advice for all and sundry there! Dont take her slight frame lightly, Diane Spencer is a comedic heavyweight.

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