BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

16/05/2018 - 19/05/2018

NZ International Comedy Festival 2018

Production Details

Sketches that will make you laugh until it hurties.

“Parker and Sainsbury are so in sync they make it all work… Giggly Gerties is great fun which adds some interesting shades to the usual Parker-Sainsbury palette.” Tim George – Theatrescenes 

Parker and Sainsbury are putting the anal in banal this NZ International Comedy Festival.  

Chris Parker (the tall one) and Tom Sainsbury (the Paula Bennett one) take you on a journey through the underbelly of New Zealand. Kiwis of all shapes’n’sizes will be gleefully lampooned in a tornado of sketches.

Building on their hit theatre shows Camping and DOCing and their web series Bachelor Pad and Stake Out, Parker and Sainsbury are relentless in their endeavour to bring you a gay old time.

This show is part of the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo from 26 April – 20 May. Scroll down to discover other great Comedy Fest performances at BATS recommended for you.

BATS Theatre: The Propeller Stage
16 – 19 May at 9:30pm
Full Price $25 | Cheap Wednesday $20
Concession Price $18 | Group 6+ $17

The Propeller Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.  

Theatre , Comedy ,

1 hr

A richly layered sci-fi-meets-soap-opera epic

Review by John Smythe 17th May 2018

This show is brilliant! Book now (only a dozen Saturday seats left at the time of publishing) then read on at your leisure.  

The title, Giggly Gerties, was either plucked out of nowhere when they had to submit to the Comedy Festival or it’s a sneaky strategy to subvert our expectations. Either way – spoiler alert? – the sketch show it’s billed as turns out to add up to an epic saga rooted in prehistoric times.

Given some of the pleasure in seeing this comes from the slow reveals of more substance than initially meets the eye, a smidgin of spoiler is inevitable in what follows. But there will always be much more to behold when you’re in the audience. If you’re going, I suggest you read the rest of this afterwards.

Dressed in bright red unitards, Tom Sainsbury and Chris Parker launch straight into a Master (Parker) / Robot (Sainsbury) sketch with fully-committed characterisations. Amid the humour arising from such things as Stephanie, the robot, trying to pronounce her own name, it emerges that feelings run deep for her creator and the key question is posed: “What is love?” There is a poignant passion in the attempt to articulate an answer.

A quick wig change takes us back to the Stone Age. This seemingly discrete sketch brings the ethos of modern art gallery openings to the ancient caves and ramps up the UST* – this time between two hunting-averse cavemen. Again, hilarity and poignancy blend beautifully.

Back to more modern times, we are witness to two mums trying to chat about books over a much-needed chardonnay while compulsively lapsing into sharing the problems they’re having with their teenage children. The juxtaposition of mother voice / friend voice (Parker) and comic timing on her emotional rollercoaster (Sainsbury) are simply exquisite.

A superbly clumsy crowd-funding appeal to help them get to an AI conference in Seoul, delivered by technology designers Damian (Sainsbury) and Devon (Parker), disintegrates when major differences surface in the way they relate to their robots. Even as questions of sanity arise, we cannot help but check our own value systems.  

When robot Diego (Parker) meets Stephanie (Sainsbury) their interactions are comically and touchingly redolent of awkward teenagers. But big questions about the fate of what we call civilisation are beginning to emerge …

Suddenly we’re in a teenage boy’s bedroom when his parents want him to come to the dinner table. Sainsbury does the honours first as a patient Dad then as a tough-loving Mum (where have we seen her before?) as Parker delivers a blistering hormone-ravaged adolescent, at his abusive peak in his excoriating rage at his sister, Jessica, over what she’s been saying about him and the Scarecrow that has disappeared from the home paddock.

Now Stephanie and Diego are out on a date, at a karaoke bar where they treat us to the Bee Gees’ ‘Islands in the Stream’ before getting more physical with each other. The quality of the actors’ teamwork is especially exemplified in the way they deal with a lyrics memory lapse, literally without missing a beat.

Devon is not pleased that Stephanie’s been out. Crucial questions of ownership and control versus freedom and independence come to the fore, not to mention the very purpose of Stephanie’s existence. And it’s when Devon meets up with his sister anthropologist Jessie at Seoul airport that all the threads come together and some confronting questions are asked. But the last word – the last action – goes to Stephanie.

Mis-titled though it is (and I’m not sure the costumes couldn’t be less intrusive, or at least be stronger so the seams don’t split), Giggly Gerties is a richly layered sci-fi-meets-soap-opera epic distilled into a deceptively simple yet constantly surprising essence that leaves an extremely pleasing aftertaste. I predict a long life for this one. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council