JANAYE HENRY Literally Obsessed

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

04/05/2021 - 08/05/2021

NZ International Comedy Festival 2021

Production Details

Aotearoa’s “more is more” babe Janaye Henry is at the Comedy Fest to let ‘em know she has well and truly arrived with her first full hour. Janaye ensures you are getting more bang for your buck with her fast paced, “will you take a breath?” style of comedy. Ultimately, she’s here to unpack a single date she went on and is still thinking about, to ponder aloud if that one man was indeed being racist (spoiler alert: he was) and to share her insights of day to day events.

“Janaye Henry is fierce, funny, and the future of NZ comedy.” Jamaine Ross, NZ Comedian

As seen on her Instagram, The Spinoff, the large comedy poster she insisted her family hang at home and a daily walk she’d prefer no one saw her on (it feels private). Also as seen in this literal show.

You’ll want to be able to say you saw Janaye Henry’s first show. Got plans? Cancel them – you do not want to miss out on being literally obsessed.

Winner – Best Newcomer 2017, Wellington Comedy Awards

BATA Theatre, The Dome
4 – 8 May 2021
The Difference $40
Full Price $22
Concession Price $18
Group 6+ $18
Cheap Wednesday $16

Please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS. 

Check out the full line up in the 2021 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo from 4 – 23 May.

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1 hr

Energetic brilliance with generosity and warmth

Review by Brett Adam 05th May 2021

Walking into this show I feel the real weight of my Gen-X-ness as I have no previous knowledge of Janaye Henry yet everyone else seems to know who she is. A very kind young woman sitting next to me enlightens me: 10.8k followers on Insta! – and I gradually become aware of the fan-boy/girl vibe in the room.

From the moment she steps on stage Henry leaves you in absolutely no doubt that not only is she a true professional but one who is destined for great things. She grabs the audience by throat and whisks us all into her high-octane, million-miles-a-minute, big-hearted world. And we cannot get enough.

She has the energy of a thousand Energiser Bunnies but also the discipline and precision of a seasoned performer twice her age. She speaks so fast that it seems at times her words can’t keep up with her thoughts but she never misses a beat. Every word is crystal clear, every phrase is perfectly pitched and you feel like you are continually on the crest of wave, relentlessly speeding forward but never breaking. At times she reminds me of Sarah Millican, Pam Ann, Hannah Gadsby or Iliza Shlesinger but always with her own individual personality.

The 50 minute show covers a variety of topics detailing Henry’s dating experiences, her time at Law School, her attitudes to camping and other observations. Part of the genius of the show and this performer is that, as the evening progresses and you are well and truly swept up in her wake as she speeds through her monologue, you gradually begin to realise that the material has veered into weightier issues such as body image, her proud defence of Te Reo, and Māori health.

It is a testament to the brilliance of this young woman that she never becomes preachy or the script ‘worthy’. Her writing constantly snakes around the various topics like lightning, looping back on itself, pulling up suddenly at dead ends, darting off again in another direction before you realise. Her absolute command of both the material and delivery in combination with her generosity of spirit and warmth of personality has everyone in the audience breathlessly hanging on her every world and erupting in joyous laughter at every turn.

Janaye Henry is definitely someone to watch. I am shocked to learn that this is her first full length stage show as it feels like she has been doing this for years. If you only see one show this Comedy Festival, make sure it’s Literally Obsessed, but you’d better be quick; a tour de force like this is sure to sell out. And quicker than you can say ‘free snacks!’ 

PS. Make that 10.8k +1.

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