Jeremy Elwood in ROCK PLUS ROLL

The Transmission Room, Auckland

23/05/2006 - 27/05/2006

ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival

Production Details

Jeremy Elwood

Direct from the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festivals, multiple award winner Jeremy Elswood returns to New Zealand. Rock plus Roll is an exploration of eveything we fail to achieve, everything we grow up trying to grow out of, everything we pretend we no longer like to do. Oh, and there’s music.

Theatre , Comedy , Solo , Music ,


Comedy of fear and hatred

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 25th May 2006

Jeremy is one of New Zealand’s most enduring solid stand-up comedians. One of his trademarks is political satire. If you’re not up to date with local, national and international politics, you will be after an hour with him (though if you’re not remotely interested in current affairs, you may spend some of the show lost.)

Jeremy’s other strength comes from his bitter-sweet songs, though ironically, the biggest laughs of the evening came from the improvised straight-up love song, conceived and performed brilliantly, from names and musical genres offered by the audience. Phillippa and Trevor’s story left the entire crowd impressed and applauding Jeremy’s skill and quick wit, as he segued easily from hip-hop to reggae to hard rock. Imagine Paul Kelly playing Theatresports and you get the picture.

From the top of the show, Jeremy’s experience and professionalism is clear. Latecomers are heckled (with taste), the audience is welcomed, we get to know each other, Jeremy introduces the theme of his show, then topical issues are lampooned.

Issues include reactions to global terrorism; religion via song: "My God’s Bigger Than Your God"; obesity, smoking, drugs and war, alien abductions, and exploding lattes.  

Rock plus Roll is a well-oiled machine – as well it should be, given that Jeremy’s performed it in Adelaide and Melbourne before Auckland. But this familiarity allows him to explore and ad-lib, and he does so with confidence.

Jeremy knows his crowd, but just to check, by clap-o-meter, we establish the make-up of tonight’s audience is white, heterosexual and largely secular. He’s playing on home turf and he’s comfortable with that. Occasionally he almost becomes preachy, but avoids doing so with enough self-awareness to say: "The next bit is pure public service" (and the stand-up will return in a moment).

While Rock plus Roll is a new show, some old material is thrown in – it works, it’s fine, and when surrounded by Jeremy’s fresh questions to theme the show, it makes for an easily digestible evening.

So, what is the theme? We fear too much in today’s world? There is much to fear in today’s world? Hatred and prejudice are the root of all evil? I’m not sure we are left with a definitive answer, or that the themes matched those in the festival programme… I’m not sure it matters. There are no answers – we’re all human. I guess that’s the point.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council