The Spiegeltent in Christchurch, Christchurch

24/01/2020 - 26/01/2020

World Buskers Festival 2020 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details

Before the Screaming Starts

“If Flanders & Swann and Flight of the Conchords and Garfunkel & Oates had a six-way time-travelling gang-bang that somehow mixed all their DNA, the offspring might end up sounding something like Flo and Joan.” – Steve Bennett, Chortle

Following last year’s sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, London’s Soho Theatre, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and an entire national UK tour, the iconic musical comedy sisters FLO & JOAN have a new hour of their dark and waggish songs to parade about the place.

R13:  Coarse Language, Adult Themes

The Spiegeltent
24 – 26 Jan 2020
Tickets from $35

A 1.5% payment processing fee applies to all purchases made by card.
All tickets for this event are general admission, seats are unallocated.

Theatre , Music , Comedy ,

1 hr

Comic masterpieces with musical variety

Review by Tony Ryan 25th Jan 2020

The opening night of sister-act Flo & Joan proves a delightful start to the 2020 Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival in Christchurch.

As I arrive at the stunning festival Spiegeltent in the heart of the city, there is already a long queue waiting for the doors to open. Inside, the venue is buzzing and, like several performances of various acts over the next few weeks, is fully sold out.

Flo and Joan’s act is described as comedy and music, and they prove to have considerable and diverse talents in both these fields. It’s a well-honed act with easy spontaneity, superb comic timing and impressive unity of ensemble. There’s genuine diversity in the music of their songs, and the wittiness of the lyrics is engagingly and sharply delivered.

‘Lady in the Woods’ begins in an almost folk ballad style, delivered with deadpan directness until, thirty seconds into the song, we have the line “God gave her the woods” followed (with equal gravity) by “but he took away her legs”, and so “the legless lady in the woods” begins a build-up of a string of alliterative adjectives, each with its own hilarious verse and with the comedy multiplied by the growing stream of ‘L’ words – original, clever, stunningly performed and very funny indeed.

‘Relatable (aka I Drank too Much)’ begins with a “glass of vino” with “my friend …” (being “the only name that rhymes with vino”), and goes on to describe a night out that contains some worryingly relatable episodes, particularly to some of the millennials in the audience, judging by their reactions.

Between each song we get gently humorous and engagingly delivered commentary and repartee which then leads into another comic musical masterpiece. Despite the relatively large venue, there’s a real feeling of intimacy in the presentation, and the two women are so relaxed that there’s an intuitive incorporation of audience reaction throughout the hour-long show. This is their first New Zealand performance and there are times when they are clearly surprised by the difference in the audience reaction compared to their previous ones. But they have the skill and experience to turn such moments into newly comic material in a way that draws us in.

Singing (both unison and effective harmonies), keyboard, tambourine, egg-shaker, body percussion and a full range of recorders (from bass to sopranino) add both musical variety and genuine comic ingredients to the show – a great start to this year’s festival offerings.


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