Christchurch Arts Centre - The Backstage Social Club, Christchurch

24/01/2020 - 02/02/2020

World Buskers Festival 2020 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details

NZ’s brownest, funniest, and cockiest comedy trio make their long-awaited Christchurch debut with a sketch comedy mixtape.

In their 5 years of making audiences laugh all over the country, FDB have never made their way to Christchurch. But after popular demand that changes this year! Separately, Jamaine Ross, James Roque, and Pax Assadi are fantastic stand-up comedians. But together, they’re a comedy Voltron that is New Zealand’s most racially diverse live sketch comedy trio, and they’re FRICKIN DANGEROUS BRO.

As seen on NZ Comedy Gala – AotearoHa: Rising Stars, The Spinoff TV, and Maori TV’s Only In Aotearoa.


R16: Coarse Language, Adult Themes

The Backstage Social Club – The Arts Centre
24 Jan – 2 Feb 2020
Tickets from $25

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 , Sketch , Comedy ,

1 hr

An outstanding start to the festival

Review by Erin Harrington 27th Jan 2020

This year’s Bread and Circus World Buskers Festival has a strong focus on comedy, which means that Christchurch audiences, who are generally starved of top-level national acts, have the opportunity to see what it is we’ve been missing out on. We’re fortunate to start the festival with Auckland-based sketch comedy group Frickin Dangerous Bro, who offer a greatest hits reel of sketches and gags from previous shows. This event is staged in the cosy (read: sweltering) space of the Backstage Social Club, which has been kitted out in a far more aesthetically pleasing manner than previous festivals.

Short version: Frickin Dangerous Bro is great and you should give them your money.

Pax Assadi, James Roque and Jamaine Ross quickly establish their Christchurch connections (and aggravations); Ross plays his ‘hometown hero’ card hard, and gets extra points for his Aroha Bridge t-shirt. The sketches themselves are well structured and intelligently written with ample space for riffing (and corpsing at each other’s riffing). Some curl off into absurdity, or invite a sense of anticipation as the three try (and sometimes fail) to stick their landing.

Many of the sketches poke at issues of race and ethnicity, culture, immigration, hypocrisy, and class; others just focus on absurd scenarios, idiots being idiots, or white people doing white people stuff. The trio are supported beautifully by Audrey Porne, a local stand up who takes on a variety of roles, most notably a woman who is distraught that her brown boyfriend acts too white. 

The casual atmosphere and playful tone of the evening belies the craft in the writing and performing, although in some places near the beginning there’s a lot of cross-talk until the patter settles. The trio spend a lot of the session engaged in banter and crowd work, deconstructing how well sketches have gone and involving the audience in their success (or not). It’s a warm and relaxed environment, which invites participation without pressure.

Terrific chemistry aside, the three have a beautiful ability to make the audience, and the show, feel special and bespoke. Christchurch comedy audiences are notoriously reserved – although this is more a case of engaged ‘active listening’ rather than lack of interest – but this criminally small group is pretty loose and vocal for a Sunday night. (‘Day drinking?’ asks one of the three. Probably?) Kudos to the AV tech, too, who plays a key part throughout and takes a bit of abuse on the chin.

This is my first show for this year’s festival, and it is an outstanding start. That said, I’m a bit weirded out by some of the audience who don’t quite get that they are not supposed to clap at the fact that we (i.e. Christchurch) have a reputation for being very, very white. Jeez, Fendalton, read the room.


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