Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

14/05/2013 - 18/05/2013

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

30/04/2013 - 04/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Just when Eli thought he’d mapped out an acceptable alternative to mainstream adult life around computer games, boys and light work, he has a crisis.  Somebody’s moved the goal posts and introduced the Marriage Equality Bill.  Faced with sudden adulthood, Eli takes a hilarious and insightful look at his new responsibilities as a gay man. 

Proposition: Great! is a whimsical journey of stand-up and songs through the mind of a young man experiencing a quarter-life crisis; musing on being an adult when he still enjoys playing Pokemon and drawing with felts. 

Matthewson has been pegged as one to watch.  A recent Unitec Drama graduate, he has already shown himself to be a prolific writer and talented performer gathering accolades and awards. 

In 2012 Matthewson was nominated as Best Newcomer at the NZ International Comedy Festival as part of Minority Report

In 2011, his show Square Eye Pair won Best Comedy at the Auckland Fringe Festival.  From there he toured nationally and on to the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it garnered rave reviews.  Produced by Rhys Darby and wife Rosie Carnahan, he went on to win a small role in Darby’s new, much anticipated sitcom. 

To round off an impressive run of performance, Matthewson has been nominated for the 2013 Billy T Award for comedy. His star has not just ascended, it is positively flying! 

As part of the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival


Date: Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May, 7pm
Venue: Cavern Club, 22 Allen St
Tickets: $15 – $18 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings: 0800Ticketek  www.ticketek.co.nz 

Date: Tue 14 – Sat 18 May, 7.15pm
Venue: The Basement Studio, Level 1, Lower Greys Ave
Tickets: $15 – $18 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings: 0800Ticketek  www.ticketek.co.nz

For the sweetest deals and hottest comedy news throughout the Festival head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz  

The genuine humour of honesty

Review by Stewart Sowman-Lund 01st May 2013

Eli Mathewson is gay. We get that from the very start of his brand new, and first full one hour solo stand up show, Proposition: Great, which runs until Saturday night in Wellington.

Although his name may be relatively unknown to most people in New Zealand, Mathewson is one of this year’s Billy T Award nominees, and has completed a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as touring with the acclaimed Fanfiction Group in Australia earlier this year.

Coming onto the stage at the Cavern Club, the first impression I get is that perhaps nerves are getting the better of him. There is a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing, and the word ‘like’ is used so many times in the first five minutes I would say he’d be close to a world record. To be fair, as he said near the start, he is only 25 and this is his first full hour of solo stand-up, but as an audience member it is slightly irritating.

However, thankfully, his confidence seems to come quite quickly, once he realises that what he is saying is genuinely funny and the audience are responding well. After this bumpy start, and his identifying that there are more fans of Sailor Moon than rugby in the audience (“This is my sort of crowd!”), he quickly moves on with the show.

It is obvious from the start that most of the material in the show comes from his homosexuality – his coming out, finding a boyfriend (“I would only use the word partner to claim insurance,” he quips) and pressures from society.

Although not the funniest comedian, what makes him so enjoyable to watch is his open honesty and sincerity. And although there are some moments in the middle where the laughs are less common, you know that every word he speaks is truthful (unless he says otherwise), and his speaking to the audience is like he is shouting to the world about himself. He comes across as very likeable (despite his denying this), and for someone so young he gives his show a very good go.

We are treated to amusing anecdotes, music, and a truly heartfelt and warming story that can only be summed up as love. As he said near the start, he is still not quite an adult at heart, and perhaps once he better finds his footing, he will improve.

I certainly believe he deserves his Billy T Award nomination, and think we will be seeing a lot more out of one of New Zealand’s newest, youngest and gay-est comedians.


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