Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

08/10/2020 - 10/10/2020

Production Details

Nokise’s brand of joyously cathartic stand up will twist its way into your psyche and leave you delighted. 

Tickets are currently limited due to level 2 restrictions. More tickets will be made available if we move into level 1 for this event.

Joyful, daring and undeniably sharp, God Damn Fancy Man is the 2019 Fred Dagg Award winning show from critically-acclaimed, international festival-hopping comedian James Nokise. Covering a thrilling whirlwind of topics with skilful ease and exhilarating energy, Nokise’s brand of joyously cathartic stand up will twist its way into your psyche and leave you delighted.

‘Nokise is a joy to have on stage’★★★★★ Scotsman
‘Packed full of paternal wisdom, and wit’ ★★★★ Fest Mag Edinburgh

Basement Theatre Studio
8 OCT – 10 OCT 2020
$15 – $35 
Book Now

Accessibility: Please note unfortunately the Basement Studio space is not wheelchair accessible.

Lock-out: Please arrive 15 minutes before show start time. Latecomers admitted into the theatre at Basement’s discretion – no refunds will be given. 

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Enlightened by laughter

Review by Leigh Sykes 09th Oct 2020

James Nokise bounces onto the stage, full of energy and charm, and I immediately warm to him. Before the show began, I had noticed some cards on a small table on stage alongside a glass of water, and now James uses these to welcome us to the show in Te Reo. I’m ashamed to say I don’t follow all of it, but I recognise an interesting pepeha, and James’ knowing nods to the audience help us to giggle along with his humorous delivery.

From this beginning, he builds on some hints of unease in the audience, which have the potential to be an awkward and slightly alienating start to the show, to instead create a springboard that binds us together as he examines the way that some people object to the use of Te Reo.

The outrage he identifies in some New Zealanders at the use of Te Reo leads to an eloquent and witty deconstruction of attitudes towards a range of minorities, and before we know it, we are led on a journey through his own experiences and perspectives that is as funny as it is thought-provoking. He leans into his experiences of ‘playing the cards you look like’ to remind us that discrimination is still alive and kicking in 2020, while wittily examining and owning his own biases.

In doing this, James introduces us to a range of people who have important roles in his stories, including a number of friends and his father. He is wonderfully adept at bringing all of these people to life vocally and physically and maintaining the high energy of the show.

Stories seem to flow effortlessly and spontaneously, but like all really good comedy, the material is well-structured and purposeful. In the midst of describing his experiences in London, James mentions a suicide attempt in an almost throw away manner that momentarily silences the audience. He continues, telling the story in more detail and skilfully helping us to laugh again, while never losing sight of the fact that this is an important topic of conversation.

He leads us through some more anecdotes that seem at once exaggerated (his claim that we can find evidence of the truth of these incidents if we look for it, is true) yet also very personal. James claims not to be political, and he uses his own experiences and perspectives to suggest that personal responsibility is the most important quality for all of us to pursue. He is able to effortlessly make us laugh while still holding himself and us accountable on sensitive and important topics.

On the surface, those topics seem disparate, but they are all bound together with a sense of the absolute necessity of humanity and accountability being at the centre of our interactions with each other. By the end of the show I feel enlightened by laughter, and this is thanks to James’ ability to achieve a fantastic balance of funny and profound. And that’s a pretty fancy trick to pull off.


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