Joana Joy: Standing Still

Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

29/06/2023 - 30/06/2023

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

08/05/2024 - 10/05/2024

Production Details

Written, choreographed and performed by Joana Joy

Banana Jolie

Joana Joy: Vibeologist. Socially Conscious Comedian: Standing Still.

STANDING STILL is a brand-new stand up comedy show by seasoned comic, ex-professional ‘dancer dancer’ and cabaret dynamo Joana Joy (Banana Jolie).In a desperate move to ‘do less’ and ‘be more’, JJs latest comedy show, featuring Muay Thai demonstrations, jazz hands and a classic ‘throw down’, will see her stand still, she hopes. Witty, vibrant and chortle inducing comedy that shines light on the human experience, from a socially conscious comedian.

Drawing upon her experiences as a psychology and philosophy graduate, Joana’s material ranges from bits about being a mature age student, the history of dust, idioms rewritten, how to not smoke and have clean habits, meditation, tidying up, therapy and sibling dynamics.
Having done stand up comedy in Wellington, Whanganui, Foxton Beach, New Plymouth Auckland and Adelaide, Melbourne, JJ has featured in the same lineups as Joe Daymond, Tim Batt, Brendan Hurley, Sameena Zehra, to name a few. Having sold out its debut season in Raglan, JJ is very excited to bring it to her current stomping ground. Will standing still prove to be quite the challenge for this comedic star on the rise? Book now to find out.

“she’s that good a comic”- Adelaide Advertiser
“hits the spot and makes you giggle at the cheeky bruise left behind”- Theatrepress


Dates: Wed 8 – Fri 10 May, 9.30pm
Venue: Te Auaha – Tapere Iti 
– 65 Dixon St
Tickets: $27 Concession: $20
Bookings: // 0508 ITICKET (484 253)

The Cavern Club
22 Allen Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Thursday 29th June 7:30 pm
Friday 30th June 7:30pm
Tickets $20-$25

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

55 min

Bevy of excellent one liners and snazzy physicality

Review by Lyne Pringle 11th May 2024

Joana Joy returns to Wellington for a rerun of her show Standing Still. Belting out a bevy of excellent one liners and snazzy physicality, she’s engaging to watch. And funny. Tuned into the audience and picking up the Friday night vibe. 
Her schtick makes us think there is an unknown playlist, given over to an audience member to choose and press play for a tune whenever they feel like it. Said audience member does an excellent job with tracks slicing into Joy’s set at surprising and opportune moments – it’s a fresh element of the show.

But Joy, a former professional dancer, obviously knows the tracks and delivers kick ass choreos of twerk, flip, grind, split, isolate, snap and sass – the audience buzzes on her physicality.

Riffing on the concept of being a reformed over-achiever on a quest to find stillness and mediocrity, is a clever premise. She inhabits the manic fervour of a person with no ‘enough-o-metre’ with no trouble.

Whipping through her set with relentless energy: Wellington’s notorious wind – a mixture of masseur and molester, the hair choreography is genius here ; women selling themselves short with annoying vocal habits; the intriguing forwards and backwards, ‘which came first’ koan of circumstance and at the heart of the work her search for stillness. Hence the title.  

Kudos for the intelligence and layers in the material.

Digging deep for a more serious and emotional tone at the end, invites the audience to think as well as laugh and to connect to each other as the house lights come up. A warm fuzzy finish to an excellent show from a generous performer.


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Fearless, playful, intriguing and refreshing

Review by Margaret Austin 30th Jun 2023

In the Cavern Bar, seated amongst much younger audience members clearly familiar with tonight’s performer, and with an unruly coiffure in front of me blocking my view of centre stage, I’m feeling out of sorts. But this is about to change. As I settle in, I note the way the space has been set up – landscape rather than portrait – which indicates a desire to be as close as possible to as many as possible of her audience. I take heart.

Enter Joana Joy, “all the way from backstage” but preceded by a string of credentials, harking back to her days as a character called Banana Jolie. Tonight’s show, though, represents a new direction as stand-up comedian. It’s immediately obvious that here is an entertainer clearly unafraid of, and at home with, both herself and her audience. This attitude is a feature throughout, and it constitutes the principal reason for the evening’s success.

She earns a big tick from me at the outset by incorporating sexual content without descending to the crudely obvious. “Stand-up comedy is a bit like sex,” we are told: if we fake it, she won’t get any better. We’re a consenting audience, so all is well.   

Asking for audience input is always a risk – will they say something that disconcerts you? On the contrary, Joy seizes a chance response from a guy who turns out to be Australian (I don’t think he was a plant), giving her a chance for an impromptu riff on her own experience across the ditch. Someone else is gifted with Joy’s computerised music, with the instruction to play at random – she’ll dance. And – even though we’re aware of the irony of the show’s title! – she does, in a series of startlingly athletic, sometimes staccato movements that delight the crowd (cf. last year’s Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor).  

Joy probably owes her attitudes and opinions partly to her study of psychology and philosophy. To say nothing of being a mature student. We get her views on vaping, meditation, TED talks and something called vocal fry. I especially relish her play on the word carparks. Climbing is a hobby, but only if it’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Joy’s material is intriguing and refreshing. Towards the end, we are invited to judge her reworking of a few cliches. I find myself thinking that her show could never be accused of being one.


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