Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

13/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

Suter Theatre, Nelson

22/10/2016 - 23/10/2016

Wanaka Masonic Hall, Wanaka

08/04/2017 - 08/04/2017

Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

Nelson Arts Festival 2016

Festival of Colour 2017

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

Sometimes life comes apart. When it does, laughter is your greatest weapon. 
Back from a big year on the UK and European stand-up circuit, including the Edinburgh Fringe and supporting Rhys Darby; Jamie Bowen rolls back to the NZ Comedy Fest with Heart Goes Boom.

This new show is a hilarious and heartfelt hour of comedy, all about laughing the hardest when things go tits-up.
Proof that we probably shouldn’t take life too seriously, because at the end of the day no one makes it out alive.

As seen causing a ruckus on TV3’s 7Days and AotearoHA.

Dates: Tue 6 – Sat 10 May, 2014
Venues: The Basement Studio
Tickets: Adults $20.00 
Conc. $15.00* service fees may apply
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) 

Dates: Tue 13 – Sat 17 May, 2014
Venues: Cavern Club 
Tickets: Adults $20.00 
Conc. $15.00* service fees may apply
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (842 538) 

“Honestly one of New Zealand’s greatest stand ups” TVNZ

WINNER Best Live Show, NZ Comedy Guild Awards 2014 & 2015
NOMINATED Fred Award, Best Local Show – NZ International Comedy Festival 2014 & 2015

Nelson Arts Festival 2016

Suter Theatre
Sat 22 & Sun 23 Oct, 2016
FULL $39
GROUPS OF 6+ $35 pp
(Group bookings only available at Theatre Royal Nelson)
COMEDY SPECIAL see both Ben Hurley & Jamie Bowen $65 (available only at Theatre Royal Nelson)
Plus TicketDirect Service Fee
Book Now!   


Sometimes life comes apart. When it does, laughter is your greatest weapon. This is a hilarious and heartfelt stand-up comedy show, taking us on a rollercoaster ride through Jamie Bowen’s own crises. Proof that we probably shouldn’t take life too seriously, because at the end of the day no one makes it out alive.

Jamie takes us well beyond comedy in the local pub – his show packs an emotional punch and yet he knows how to get an audience rolling with laughter. He’s a high-flier in the NZ comedy circuit and regularly tours internationally.


Saturday 8 April, 8.30pm
Sunday 9 April, 8.30pm
Friday 7 April, 8,30pm


Wanaka Masonic Lodge



Written and performed by Jamie Bowen

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1hr 30mins incl. interval

Questioning of the universe through grief-tinted glasses

Review by Trish Sullivan 23rd Oct 2016

Jamie enters with an unexpected tangled mess of mic lead. He wonders if the tech team did it on purpose, but it provides comic material for at least the first few minutes of the show. He goes on to explain his clothing choices for tonight, excusing his incredibly white shoes, and making light of the judgments we may or may not have already made about him, and his award-winning beard. The comedy flows well. It is natural and engaging.

The Festival Guide said we would be taken on a journey. We certainly are: a journey through the London underground, dodgy Spaniards, Tinder dates and beach proposals. But Jamie’s real skill comes out in is his ability to take us with him on the worst journey of his life, the death of his father, whilst making it all really rather hilarious. It’s touching, but funny. Heartfelt but comical. 

This life-changing event and its role in Jamie’s questioning of the universe, runs as a theme through the show. His observation of the normal through grief-tinted glasses is quite brilliant. Everything he says is relatable and real. Our ninety minutes of comedy is apparently Jamie’s longest show, but is truly entertaining from start to finish. He gives us permission to laugh out loud, and that we do. I find Jamie a true master of his art and I will be following his work and recommending his next show to friends.


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Startling intensity

Review by Shannon Friday 14th May 2014

This is the first stand-up show I’ve been too in a long time that actually made me think about stuff in my own life. 

Bowen’s show is based on his experiences having his life fall apart: going from opening to Rhys Darby on the comedy circuit to flying back to NZ for his father’s death, a subsequent breakup and then a breakdown.  It sounds horrible and awful, and it was at the time, but in Bowen’s skilled hands, the experiences are touching and wonderfully funny.  

Bowen brings a startling intensity to his show. At first glance, he slots pretty neatly into that Wellington hipster / could-be-a-lumberjack category of guy on the street.  But his physicality changes constantly through the night, first as his hilarious alter-ego of a really camp Spanish man, his father, and a truly terrible maths / life-lesson teacher. 

I’ve seen Bowen’s energy described as manic, but it is too disciplined for that.  What he does so well is demand that his audience keep pace, like in his bit about life being a series of different sized boxes.  We want to laugh early, but the impact is so much greater when we have to hold on for the whole thing.  It’s a virtuoso bit of comedy, and I love it. 

Heart Goes Boom is constantly skimming some heavy and deeply personal stuff.  Bowen keeps dipping into the serious just long enough to land before exploding back into funny – that ‘manic’ energy again.  It’s a tough job done well; the crowd tonight doesn’t always want to go there, but we do.  And the reward is always worth it, such as when Bowen describes his dad’s last words. 

The one quibble I have is with the venue.  There is so much ‘great moment’ comedy in this show.  And Cavern Club’s bathroom is just off the stage, so anytime someone has to use the toilet, it breaks the rhythm of those moments.  I can’t help but feel that a venue that allowed for a little more status for the comedian would help Bowen immensely. 

There’s also a throwaway bit about selfies that makes me cringe a bit – really?  Girls who take duck-lipped selfies are sluts?  Come on, man, you’re smarter than that. But given the potential for so much to go OTT in this show – from being a jerk on planes to what life in London is like – it’s amazing that this is the only point that grinds.

Still, these are quibbles, and I strongly recommend you check out Jamie Bowen while he’s around.  If he can take tragedy and turn it into such engaging stuff, I can’t wait to see what happens now his life is looking up. 


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