HEATH FRANKLIN's Chopper - The Line Up

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

08/05/2015 - 09/05/2015

NZ International Comedy Festival 2015

Production Details

Australia’s Most Wanted comedian Chopper is back in Auckland for two nights only and he’s bringing some ‘known associates’. Be in the audience for a special TV taping as Chopper hosts the biggest names in the festival in one big line-up of comedy.

With a different line-up each night, it’ll be funnier than watching people run downhill in wet jandals.

So step forward and say the words ‘Tickets to Choppers line-up show’ or die wondering just how good it could have been.



Fri 8 & Sat 9 May, 7pm

SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland


Adults $35.00* service fees may apply


0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Comedy ,

90 min

Stop/start TV format subjugates live audience

Review by Vanessa Byrnes 10th May 2015

Australia’s “Most Wanted comedian Chopper” is hilarious. I’ve reviewed him before, and he just keeps getting better. Franklin is totally in the moment, at ease, and able to riff on the most absurd thing as it comes to light. He’s a consummate comedian.

Nothing is off-limits with the observational comedy of this character, and I find myself laughing at the most farcical impersonations of himself and other people. Cats, MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra) and flying etiquette all get the Chopper treatment as he deconstructs the everyday absurdities of how we live now.

This made-for-TV-show that includes nine other acts has a strange setup, though; I could watch Chopper for two hours, but this stop/start format puts the live experience subservient to the camera needs. This is an odd thing to behold. A brilliant warm-up by Chopper dissipates as other comedians of varying quality come to the stage to do their thing.

TV and live comedy really are two different things. One is a time-based art, whereas the other is a product-based entity. It’s very hard to mix the two and maintain an audience’s heart.

Highlights of the lineup however are Sammy J and Randy, a musical-comedy duo of one man and a foul-mouthed puppet (think Avenue Q) who sing and banter with alliteration. They’re ones to watch. Demi Lardner is the only woman in the lineup and she’s very good.

Guy Montgomery brings some good timing but a weird and slightly insolent finish, calling the audience “tepid”. This insult seems to break the rules of engagement. Wilson Dixon is supremely, wonderfully laconic. His depressed country crooner is fantastic and I want more from this supremely good actor.

The overall premise of this 2-hour show proposes that NZ and Australia combine forces to become one nation: The Republic of Anzakistan. It has some merit, and it’s entertaining to see a Kiwi and an Aussie battle it out in jandals over a pavlova race. But for my money I’d still rather have Chopper running the show.


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