Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington
24/02/2022 - 26/02/2022
Miranda Camden and Richard Dowling
Miranda Camden and Richard Dowling are Doing Thirty!
A Canadian and an Irishman walk into a bar and realize they aren’t the same kind of 30-something.
Comedians Miranda Camden and Richard Dowling are former flatmates, good friends, and both foreigners to New Zealand but are on vastly different ends of the 30’s experience. Doing Thirty is an hour of stand-up comedy that will bring you the highs and lows of leaving your 20s behind. Miranda will dive into what it’s like to be mistaken for 22 when you’re single while Richard discusses the joys of attending toddler birthday parties with his fiancé. Neither of them seem to understand how dating apps are supposed to work.
Miranda Camden started comedy in 2018, but is already a regular MC and support act. Her style of comedy has been described as unapologetic, which is a pretty amazing feat for a Canadian. A Wellington comedy staple, with Best MC and Best Up & Comer nominations in 2020 at the Wellington Comedy Awards, she’s not shy about discussing the trials and tribulations of her dating life. The good, the bad, and that one guy that compared her to a fast food icon.
Irishman Richard Dowling started in the Wellington scene in June 2020 and has quickly become a regular around the city. He became a Wellington Raw Comedy Quest semi-finalist while his performances numbered in the single digits, a 2021 finalist in this year’s Wellington Raw Comedy Quest and has performed regional venue in NZ. He has a very laid-back style and aims to give the audience some food for thought while delivering the laughs.
Cavern Club, 22 Allen Street, Te Aro
Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 February 2022
General Admission $15.00
Fringe Addict $12.00
Ticket + $5 $20.00
Ticket + $10 $25.00
Theatre , Spoken word ,
Enjoyably witty and engaging
Review by Wesley Hollis 26th Feb 2022
As someone who is rapidly approaching their thirties, naturally I am curious as to what the fuss is all about. With this in mind I head down to Cavern Club on a Friday night to watch Doing Thirty, starring Richard Dowling and Miranda Camden. As a lover of the Wellington stand up scene, I am excited to see what they have to offer.
The opening act is Irish comic Siobhán Flannery, who discusses what life is like in Ireland being part of a Catholic family. I feel some of these jokes might play better to an Irish or Catholic audience, but many of them do still land. She goes on to discuss aspects of what day to day life is like when you’re in your thirties which some members of the audience seem to sympathise with – I can only imagine I have all of this to look forward to – which warms the crowd up well and introduces us to the main idea of the show: the joys and pitfalls of life in your thirties.
The first performer from the main act is Richard Dowling. Richard mentions that being Irish in New Zealand means that people always want to hear you talk, and this is certainly the case tonight. His laid-back attitude and witticisms put me at ease and have me laughing along. There are moments where the energy drops, but overall he seems very comfortable commanding attention while he is behind the mic.
There are a few mentions of drug use and sexual references, so if you enjoy your comedy mature but not to the point of being crass, you will enjoy Richard’s jokes. I am also a big fan of puns, and his act has some top-notch wordplay and dad jokes to offer.
There is a brief interval in which Siobhán takes to the stage again before introducing us to the next act: Canadian comic Miranda Camden. I immediately like her style – a snappy, fast paced delivery that has you sitting up in your seat. Her act raises issues such as periods, feminism and double standards for women – topics that may be uncomfortable for some, but which are part of an entertaining and necessary conversation in modern comedy.
I would like to see a little more variety in her act – much of the set is about sex and dating as a woman in her thirties – but if that’s the sort of comedy you’re into then this is very much for you. There are a few moments where there are awkward pauses but Miranda has a masterful way of pulling this back by drawing attention to the awkwardness, which always gets a laugh. I also enjoy the topical mentions of the global pandemic and current anti-mandate protest in Wellington.
The show comes in just shy of an hour. Overall, I feel the comics give a strong performance, though I can see this show being even better and tighter with a little more development (or maybe just on a different night). Cavern Club itself is a good choice of venue, with a stage that is easy to see and a good sound set up. Being a small venue, the physically-distanced audience is on the smaller side and some occasions that call for a response from an audience are rather muted. I can see this show taking on an all new energy with a larger, more confident crowd.
I can happily say I find this show to be enjoyable, with witty, engaging performers who I hope to see go from strength to strength in the Wellington comedy scene.
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