Hoani Hotene, Danny Sewell & Booth The Clown – Really Good Normal Show

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

17/05/2023 - 20/05/2023

NZ International Comedy Festival 2023

Production Details

Hey! What are you reading this blurb for? The title sums it up, this is a REALLY GOOD and VERY NORMAL show.

You know, the classic format of three talented and beautiful comedians cycling through really good material in a very normal show!

Rest easy knowing you are in the hands of Danny Sewell (Winner – Breakthrough Comedian 2021, New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards) Hoani Hotene (Winner – Raw Quest 2022) and Booth the Clown (Winner – Best Up & Comer 2022, Wellington Comedy Awards)

Yes there’s a clown in this show, clowns are VERY NORMAL.

Book: https://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/really-good-normal-show/
Price: $19 – $22
Time: 10PM

Comedians – Hoani Hotene, Danny Sewell & Booth The Clown

Comedy , Theatre ,

60 minutes

You’ll leave feeling really good, if a little less normal

Review by Wesley Hollis 18th May 2023

When you hear a title like Really Good Normal Show you expect to be in for a night of something really good that’s anything but normal. And indeed this show proves to be full of spectacularly bizarre moments. With three award winning comedians performing their best stand up, and some not-so-normal antics, this show will have you laughing all night and wondering just how anybody could come up with such interesting and varied content. 

The deal of attending this show is sweetened as soon as you walk into the theatre and you are handed a marshmallow by Hoani Hotene, who is on stage with Danny Sewell and Booth the Clown to greet the audience as they come in. Hoani warms the crowd up pre-show with some casual audience questions, and before you know the doors close and it’s time to get going.

The show is introduced with a voiceover, and we get our first taste of how effective lighting and sound is in this performance. Throughout the night, light and colour communicate the mood on stage and spotlights help to draw our eye to the performers. The music and sound effects range from triumphant classical music to hip hop to a supporting laugh track, fully transporting us into different scenes.

After a rather heavenly introduction (once you’ve seen the show, you’ll know what I mean) there’s a dance number that revs up the performers for the rest of the show. My immediate impression is that these are three great friends, ready to do some hilariously dumb things together. 

The show begins with some good old fashioned stand up, and Hoani Hotene is the first one on the stage. He warms the audience up with some chants and makes a few jokes about his fellow comedians which is a nice way to familiarise us with the other acts as well as Hoani himself.

Hoani is a laid back, confident and intelligent performer – it’s easy to feel safe in his hands as an audience member. Much of his humour has an experimental feel, jumping from topic to topic with everything from observational humour to impressions. I was pleased to hear him perform some of his award winning material as well as some new material I hadn’t heard before.

Booth the Clown is up next. They start with some comedy about being gender fluid and the lifestyle of a clown/mime. And rest assured, we get to see some clowning as well. Booth has an undeniable talent for being able to entertain the audience without needing to speak a word (though when they do speak it’s every bit as engaging as their miming).

They treat us to some interpretive dance, and I am amazed at their ability to portray relatable everyday moments in a way that is both funny and accurate. Even a simple costume change is given some pizazz. Booth has a way of bringing the extraordinary out of ordinary moments.

Danny Sewell is the last comic to perform but in my opinion he would have been a spectacular opening act. His comedy with its quick set-up-and-punch-lines manages to get some of the biggest laughs of the night from a fairly small and quiet audience. There are a few incredulous moments – Danny knows how to give his comedy an edge without making it offensive or divisive. There are many classic Danny jokes, including a story about his worst comedy performance, though it’s hard to picture him bombing as he effortlessly delivers laugh after laugh on tonight’s stage. Danny’s comedy could be described as pure talent.

If the first half of the show is really good (which it is), then surely the second half is where the ‘normal’ part kicks in, with a whirlwind of bizarre moments from three masters of the absurd. What happens when the mic stops working? Don’t worry, these three have a creative solution. What about those of us who enjoy late night shows? Don’t worry, Really Good Normal Show has you covered, with a shocking twist or two.

There’s even a chance for Artificial Intelligence to give comedy a go, proving that these three performers can entertain even when there are no people on the stage. Props and costumes are an important part of the whole show but particularly this half, bringing life to characters and elevating scenes to hilarious new heights.

Overall, this is a show for any lovers of classic stand-up who want to see something fresh, innovative and new. I commend everything about the way this show has been put together, from the well written and rehearsed comedy sets, to the lighting and sound design, to the props and costumes. Fans of local comedy will find a lot to love here, especially anybody who is familiar with Chop Shop. Hoani, Booth and Danny are often seen performing around Wellington (and beyond) and I highly recommend keeping an eye out for their future performances.

But first, come along and catch Really Good Normal Show – I promise you’ll leave feeling really good, if a little less normal.


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