GET IN MY HEAD Arj Barker
29/04/2016 - 30/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 01/05/2016
What are you waiting for? Hop on in, and let’s ride. There’s plenty of room in here. Join me and together we’ll contemplate everything from the social evolution of humanity, to the intriguing and elusive nature of non-sexually derived boners.
I’ll even mention fondue at some point, and that’s a promise. So take a load off your mind, and get into mine already!
Best known as Dave from Flight of the Conchords, Arj Barker’s stand-up is both insightful and pointed, like a mind-reading thumb tack, if there was one of those.
“A true alchemist who takes observations and transmutes them into comedy gold” – Independent on Sunday, UK
Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,
Relatable and insightful musings
Review by Simon Howard 02nd May 2016
Three years after his last appearance at the New Zealand Comedy Festival, Arj Barker returns to the Opera House with his latest hour of stand-up. Whilst his previous show Go Time had a strong message and theme at its core, Get In My Head is a more generic hour of Barker telling stories about a wide variety of topics.
Best known for his role as Dave in Flight of the Conchords, Barker the stand-up is a million miles away from the character he played in the HBO series. He is at ease from the first minute of the show, breaking straight into observations on his everyday experiences as a 41-year old American comic.
Whilst there is crudeness to many of the subjects he discusses, he is an affable presence whose jokes rarely venture too far from the comfort zone. He is only too willing to pause himself and contemplate whether his joke has crossed a line and gone too far.
An hour with Arj Barker feels like an hour spent listening to a friend discussing life and their views on the world. Whether it is the pre-digital age of taking photographs or small children having to board aeroplanes first, there is a relaxed vibe, which to his credit feels effortless.
Barker likes to reminisce, comparing quirks of modern life to how things were before the internet came along. His musings on the world around him are at times relatable and insightful, yet often they don’t feel fully developed and lack a punchline.
The end to the show neatly recalls many of the concepts Barker has been discussing and ultimately leaves a satisfactory taste. Undoubtedly an extremely talented comedian, I leave with a desire for Barker to push boundaries further and form a more coherent and thematic show on future visits.
Copyright © belongs to the reviewer
Review by Nik Smythe 30th Apr 2016
Arj Barker surely knows we know who he is mainly thanks to his televised relationship with our own local heroes made good in the Big Apple on HBO, Flight of the Conchords. It goes without saying to the extent that he makes no mention of it during his generous comical hour.
I really only bring it up myself as a point of interest to cover paragraph space, in a review for that sublime sort of standup artist whose material and style speak for themselves. External descriptions or analyses of this ostensibly easy-going middle-aged West-coast American are unlikely to achieve any level of understanding comparable to what you get just by seeing him at work.
Nothing flamboyant or flashy about him, Arj is just a normal gen-x guy pacing around in jeans and sneakers, espousing his views and opinions and dishing out the occasional morsel of advice. There’s no topic beyond or beneath him, although he openly worries about whether or when he might find he’s crossed that ominous line of offensiveness with his casual observations on Stephen Hawking, for instance.
As naturally as his stream of consciousness flows with seeming effortlessness, a fairly eclectic range of topics are covered, from bragging youth to home sperm-freezing, to reminiscing about pre-digital photography culture, the evils of media propaganda, celebrity hatred and how fame and riches doesn’t bring happiness, and so on, et cetera.
With his classically intimate, chatty style it’s evidently easy for people to get carried away vocally engaging with him like they’re just talking shit at a party. An adroitly frank interaction with one particular more-inane-than-usual-even heckler diffuses a potentially awkward stand-off and thankfully prevents any more annoying outbursts taking place.
His material and manner aren’t exactly game-changing, but for whatever reason having your ear bent for an hour or so by Barker is ultimately a satisfying experience. Myriad concepts explored and punchlines exploited along the way are masterfully recalled, making the whole ramble somehow seem to make more sense that it probably actually does.
Copyright © belongs to the reviewer