FASITUA AMOSA is Ruufless!!

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

24/04/2010 - 01/05/2010

Club Ivy, The Garden Club, 13B Dixon St, Wellington

12/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

Fasitua Amosa (Ruufless!! The Basement, Auckland, April 24 then April 28-May 1. The Garden Club- Ivy Lounge, Wellington May 12 – 15) is a man with an agenda.
“I’m not being racist but there are so many Palagi and Maori comedians in this country that I felt like I needed to add my voice to the mix,” says Amosa.  
“Because my opinion is that Pacific Island stand-up’s been like the little brown fly stains on a big white wall – a little bit here and a little bit there. I just want to add some more brown. Then spread it around.” 
True, there are the likes of The Naked Samoans, Bro Town, Sione’s Wedding and the Kila Kokonut Krew. But when it comes to Island stand-up comedians, you’d struggle to count them on one hand. 
Amosa (28) has already had comedy success, selling out previous International Comedy Festivals, with Once Were Samoans (Kila Kokonut Krew) and starring in TV3’s Millen Baird Show. But this is his first solo show. 
“I started out last year doing a few gigs at small clubs in Auckland but decided to take things further when Scott Blanks from the Classic seemed to think I had some potential. I took it as a sign.” laughs Amosa. “I was raised a Christian, I’ll take anything as a sign”
Amosa brings with him a natural stage sensibility, developed over 10 years as a theatre, film and television actor. 
 “I see this as an extension of my day job – if you can call it that,” he says. “But because it’s my own script, it’s just me and what I think. And that can make it pretty terrifying. It’s like suicide – but you get to live.” 
Amosa brings a unique New Zealand-born Samoan perspective to his material, saying “it’ll be fresh, without necessarily being FOB … I promise you won’t have seen an Island comic like me before. There’s a reason the show is called Ruufless!!” 
“Vile” M Lhaws
“Offensive” M Lhhaws
“Rayshist” M Lhhhhhhhhhaws

Dates: Sat 24 & Wed 28 April – Sat 1 May, 10pm
Venue: The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, City
Tickets: Adults $22 / Conc. $18
Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, www.ticketek.co.nz / www.comedy.co.nz  
Show Duration: 45 mins 

45 mins

A unique perspective

Review by John Smythe 14th May 2010

The aggressive, expletive-riddled amplified introduction to Fasitua Amosa’s show, Ruufless!, is in total contrast to the bright-eyed, amiable, cheeky, laid back and quietly wise comic who steps up to the mic.

While he brings us fairly standard observational humour, his view of the world is unusual, given his father was a Presbyterian minister and theirs were the only brown faces for miles around where he grew up in South Canterbury. Likewise his more recent life in West Auckland differs from the Palagi experience shared by most of his audience, and the few Pacific Islanders present have the great pleasure of seeing their own lives reflected.  

It is tales of playground insult-trading and fighting that gets him onto his ‘ruufless’ theme and his list of ‘ruufless’ people who, “When they have a problem, they don’t cry about it, they just …” – cue punch line (sometimes a literal one). By last night, however, John Key’s ruthless backflip on his promise not to raise GST could have been added to with a reference to Tuhoe and the Uruwera National Park.

(Incidentally, while everyone was getting carried away with the PM’s gag about being Tuhoe’s dinner – and they would have gagged on him, surely – no-one noticed his next comment about meeting the challenges of government, tagged with: “But nothing’s beyond the creativity of this one, trust me.” Such ruthless abuse of the language, to equate creativity with deviousness and deception …! But I digress.)

Also in need of updating is his satirising of the Auckland logo, given a whole new proposition is on the table now following a rather dodgy judging process.

Amosa’s 8 year-old reading of the Bible’s Old Testament – while being denied certain TV shows – certainly alerted him to the ruthlessness of so-called humanity. A riff on stereotypes – on how different ethnicities, genders and age groups see each other – is thought-provokingly entertaining too.

His unique perspective also comes from being half Samoan and half Tuvaluan (a geographically disappearing homeland) but seeing himself as “a Bounty Bar” alongside an Aunty still angry at the Dawn Raids. And he reveals why the hugely popular Pasifika Festival is held in Central rather than South Auckland.

But Amosa is at his most ‘ruufless’ in dissecting the David Bain case, where he challenges us to admit that deep down we agree with him that “weird means guilty”. Ruthlessness can be covert and insidious, too.

He does a ruthless rendition of how dramatic actors can get in real life, displays his vocal prowess with send-ups of film and TV promos, talks about loving food and ends on a gag about name suppression.

It’s good to get to see the world as other see it and/or have your own perceptions affirmed, and that’s what this show offers.
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. 


Michael Smythe May 15th, 2010

"Such ruthless abuse of the language, to equate creativity with deviousness and deception …!"

I saw John Key's failed attempt to participate in the comedy festival after shafting Tuhoe before the cabinet even discussed Chris Finlayson's report as compounded by the bare-faced audacity of completing his routine with the words "trust me". But I cannot agree that it is etymologically incorrect to equate creativity with deviousness and deception.

Vilem Flusser's 'The Shape of Things: a philolosphy of design' (1999 Reakton Books) points out that 'design' can be associated with cunning and deceit. The German word for art - kunst - shares the same root as 'cunning'. He writes: "ie: 'artist' means a 'trickster' above all. That the original artist was a conjourer can be seen from such words as 'artifice', 'articificial' and even 'artillery'."

So when John Key says, "But we will work our way through these, there are always challenges of Government, nothing is beyond the creativity of this one - trust me!" he is mangling the language a bit but, more importantly, he is happily admitting to leading a band of bullshit artists.

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Lewd, racist, real and true

Review by Venus Stephens 25th Apr 2010

Fasitua Amosa dances onstage to the fanfare of some… pop track. I’m indifferent to the tune, and see no need to source its name. In my opinion, today’s pop music is a bit naff.
Not to his detriment, Amosa Amosa and his pop tune have the audience onside; everyone knows the song. I gauge from the hollering they love it as much as he does… No, I think they just love him.
The Basement is nearly packed to capacity. It’s cool to see an array of ethnicities at this gig; the deeper shades of brown are noticeable as I queue to be seated. I have conscious sonar for my own.  In this context, queues are good.
One can always tell when there are PIs (Pacific Islanders) or Maori in the house, there’s a distinguishable timbre to the way they laugh. It’s obvious, from the reaction received in his intro, there will be a lot of ‘timbre cracking laughter tonight.  
Race features heavily in Amosa’s set, somehow he has a grace that gilds over the blatant spawn of ‘dark-side racism’. Perhaps he has credit with God; he is after all, a Minister’s son with an intimate connection with, as well as to, the Bible. His quips are fast and loose, he’s easy on the eye, and confident on his feet.
Fasitua Amosa has an impressive CV of Theatre, Film and Television credits behind him. By his measure, his career to date spans 10 years.
It’s obvious (to me) that he is a very cultured individual, his lewd/racist stand up routine belies the family and hometown flavour that has fostered him into the individual that performs onstage tonight. By odd juxtaposition, that exact same thing makes his performance so real and true.
I suppose the adage, “been there, done that,” has its delayedadvantages, as too does, “Whatever doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”
Whatever, whenever, where-ever, I will be keen to see the next instalment of Ruufless! comedy by the Samoan stand. If I may hint, it would be fantastic to see more written work from his pen; the press briefs supplied to me prior to this review show Fasitua Amosa is not only a really good actor/comedian, he’s an ace writer too.

More power to him, go see his Ruufless! show…it is mint. Support NZ Comedy! 
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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