The Classic, Auckland

25/04/2014 - 10/05/2014

Hannah Playhouse, Wellington

13/05/2014 - 17/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


That guy who sold out all his tickets at last year’s festival is back with a new show. James Acaster arrived at our festival in 2013 with little fanfare and made an instant impression at the opening night Gala. The NZ Herald said “the ‘who-was-that?’ hit of the night”. He went on to sell out his run at The Classic Comedy club adding an extra show due to public demand.

What New Zealand audiences didn’t know is that they were the guinea pigs for a brand new solo show that Acaster then took to the Edinburgh Fringe in August where, for the second year running, he was nominated for ‘Best Show’ in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

So, due to public demand – and the need to prepare another new show for the Edinburgh Fringe this coming August – Acaster returns to headline the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival with an extended 2 week run from 25 April – 10 May at The Classic followed by a double feature season with fellow comedian Stuart Goldsmith from 13 – 17 May at the Hannah Playhouse in Wellington.

So what can he tell us about his 2014 show? Well James Acaster has something he’s been meaning to tell you. He’s been putting it off for some time. You might want to sit down. And that is all he is giving away.

“Beautifully constructed ‘art of stand-up’ stuff” – Sunday Times UK

“one of the sharpest comic minds to have emerged in recent years.” – The Guardian

“By the end of the hour you’re totally sucked into his minute, quizzical world and it’s a wonderful world to visit” – Time Out

JAMES ACASTER (England) – jamesacaster.com As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to comedyfestival.co.nz

Dates: Fri 25, Sat 26, Mon 28 April – Sat 3, Mon 5 – Sat 10 May, 7pm
Venue: The Classic, 321 Queen St Tickets: Adults $20 (Mon) to $30 (Fri & Sat), Conc. $25
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) // ticketek.co.nz

WELLINGTON (Double Feature with Stuart Goldsmith)
Dates: Tues 13 – Sat 17 May, 8:30pm
Venue: Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Tce
Tickets: Adults $30 (Tues) to $36 (Fri & Sat), Conc. $32 Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or ticketek.co.nz

See also the ‘5 Star Comedy Preview’ (Wed 23 Apr) at SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland

Double Feature with Stuart Goldsmith in Wellington

Theatre , Comedy ,

Provokes laughter when least expected

Review by Heidi North 26th Apr 2014

A geeky angular James Acaster walks on stage. Twice nominated for the Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Festival (2012, and 2013) and nominated for Best International show here last year, it’s not surprising the crowd goes wild.

He looks us over, brushes his slightly-too-long fringe aside. Kneels. He doesn’t smile. “Hello,” he murmurs, still kneeling, “I’ve always wanted to find a loophole.” 

And so our hour with James begins – well not quite. As the ‘loop hole’ he mentions means his show hasn’t officially started until he stands up, right? So he explains, it’s a low-pressure start to the gig.

He needn’t have worried. His deadpan, clever and original riffs on life, the universe, and all the bizarre in between hold the audience in the palm of his hand, provoking laughter when least expected. 

His is a refreshing humour, sharp without resorting to any cheap tactics to get a laugh. His set relies on the intelligence of the audience and he is not a comedian desperate for each laugh. As one point he’s elaborately setting up a gag around divorce (it’s not your usual set up around divorce) and an audience member bursts into laughter, “There’s nothing remotely funny about that!” James protests.

His is a comedy show for those who usually cringe at the idea of stand up. There is nothing crude here, just tiny inconsequential everyday things that he’s magnified so we can take at look at how truly absurd they are. His set is sleek: he draws us into his odd world, spins a story full of set ups and works the pay offs beautifully right through to a very satisfying finish.


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