Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

09/05/2012 - 12/05/2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Production Details


Dormant comic savant, Jeremy Randerson, explodes back onto the comedy scene alongside boy genius, Graham Candy, star of ATC’s 2011 Young and Hungry season, with their new show Dog Star!!! The pair play a couple of house-mates, studying to be guidance counsellors, who end up in a life and death battle when one becomes possessed by an evil alien mask, having foolishly tried it on at the encouragement of the neighbours’ dog.

The May 9th opening night will be the first return to stage comedy for Randerson since taking out the Golden Gibbo award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2004 with his sister Jo, with Carry on Randerson II, which also played in the Comedy Festival in Auckland that year.

Since 2004, Randerson has travelled, been managing director of iconic Kiwi soda company Foxton Fizz, cut the tendon in his left 5th finger, featured in Gaylene Preston’s recent film, Home By Christmas and played Simon-Peter in Nah Zullan, Rhys Morgan, Sticky Pictures and RESN’s web-based piece. “I’m very excited to get back on stage” says Randerson. “While the work’s themes reflect my own recent experiments, the action comes more specifically from experience. The work will essentially be a comedy, but it also looks at the way in which people’s energies are transferred unseen and unspoken between each other, as other wireless systems such as Bluetooth function.”

As part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Dates: Weds 9 – Sat 12 May, 10pm
Venue: The Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, City
Tickets: Adults $20, Conc. $15, Group 10+ $12.50
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or
Duration: 1 Hour 

For a full lineup of performances, booking details & more information, visit  


In Dogstar, the idyllic life of 2 guidance counselling students is devastated by the discovery of a traditional mask, thought to be of West Papuan origin. The piece discusses the premise that bad behaviour is a kind of possession, a spiritual virus picked-up from exposure to infected material or wankers. “The mask acts as a metaphor for “the fall” that (almost) every person goes through, leaving the innocence of childhood. Although, in reality, you realise once a child gets canines, they won’t be supping mother’s milk their whole life either. So perhaps the fall is inevitable, innate” says Randerson.  

Auckland Fringe runs from 15 February to 10 March 2013. For more Auckland Fringe information go to  

27th February – 8th March, 6:30pm (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only)
Duration: 1 hour
Venue: Whammy Bar, St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Tickets: Adults $15, Concession $12, Group $10
Bookings: – ph. 09 361 1000 


Unique approaches to performing

Review by Stephen Austin 10th May 2012

Brian (Graham Candy) and Jesse (Jeremy Randerson) are flatmates and classmates, studying for a degree in guidance counselling, who keep each other sane by debating universal truths in the comfort of their kitchen.  They’re studying hard towards graduation and pushing each other to make sure they’re ready for the big day. 

After graduation, things take a decidedly nasty dark turn when a death mask mysteriously shows up on their doorstep and all hell breaks loose.

Randerson and Candy are both capable comedians and here seem to be enjoying the characters they’ve created; indeed, this show is at its best when it’s just the two of them firing on a theme or debating something slightly ridiculous.  They both have quite unique approaches to performing and complement each other well. 

The comedy almost derails a couple of times, when it starts touching on taboo subjects, especially the thread of Brian’s difficulties with his Middle Eastern girlfriend who he is trying to dump as gracefully as possible.  However, both stick to their comedic guns and make the material work for the most part.

There are some moments in the production that feel a bit awkward.  There is a lot of padding of the two working individually on their social work technique in preparation for their exam, for instance, with lots of humming, tutting and furrowed brows without really driving the pace forward (or particularly eliciting a laugh). 

Some of the physical work feels a tad sloppy and could use an outside eye to tighten it up to help wring all of the full comedy potential out of it.  Also, some simple dialogue issues could be resolved with clearer delivery, especially the important moments at the beginning and end of the show that are delivered facing upstage.

Both performers are very invested in character and the creation of the ideas of the play itself, but it never quite gets there, as the themes within the script itself are never quite resolved. 

The turning point of the play comes quite late, after much character set-up, and seems to just become an excuse to turn proceedings as surreal as possible, as Brian dances with his own darkness.  None of the previously strongly positioned themes seem to come to bear on this possession situation, so it all seems like a massive gear change without any real resolution to the storyline. 

All technical elements of the production are rough and quite slapped together. While appropriate to the play and the Comedy Festival environment, this rather undermines the focus of the performers.  Opening night saw a few glitches in cues and the odd mis-handled prop that I’m sure will improve over the season.

As new work, Dog Star is an excellent vehicle for two rather talented performers, but a bit disappointing that more work hasn’t been put into creating a more rounded story or higher production values. 


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