JUSTINE SMITH in Jussi Town (NZ)

Polson Higgs Comedy Club, XII Below Bar, Dunedin

24/03/2010 - 27/03/2010

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

04/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

The Garden Club, 13b Dixon Street, Wellington

11/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details


Justine Smith. Billy T Award Winner, NZ Comedy Guild Best Female Comedian and Sheriff of Jussi Town.

Justine does not suffer fools. No she doesn’t. Those who know Justine will readily testify to the fact the she is one of the most honest and confronting people you’re likely to meet. This combined with her razor sharp wit and biting commentary also makes Justine one of the funniest people you’re likely to meet. Good luck if you want to heckle Justine, you’re basically taking your pride and putting it on a plate for Justine to devour at her pleasure.

So Justine lives in her own world, Jussi Town to be specific, and she is the self appointed Sheriff of Jussi Town. That’s the beauty of Justine’s mind-set, by setting yourself in control of your own situation, by default, you’ll always be in control.

“Jussi Town” is an hour of hilarious self-examination by Justine. Its essence is rooted in the fact that only Justine is in charge of Justine. This is a case study in what makes someone like Justine tick. Watch out chumps, Sheriff Jussi is in town.

Known for her previous shows, “The Justine Smith Hour”, “Return of the Jussi” and as part of The Lady Bunch, Justine has been performing comedy around New Zealand and Australia for over a decade.

I doubled over with laughter” – theatreview.co.nz

Expect typically gritty stand up from Justine, it’s what she does best and why she has been in demand both around the country and on our TV screens performing in TV3’s AotearoHA The Tiki Tour Edition, AotearoHA Dai’s Xmas Special and 7Days in 2009.

2010 sees her performing at the World Buskers Festival hosting the late night comedy show, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Dunedin Fringe prior to seasons in Auckland and Wellington during the Comedy Festival. 

*Proud purveyors of Fine Comedy, keeping it Notorious since 9.15am

Dunedin Fringe 
Dates: Wednesday 24 – Saturday 27 March, 9pm
Venue: Polson Higgs Comedy Club, XII Below Bar
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $14
Bookings: Ticket Direct, 03 477-8597, www.ticketdirect.co.nz


Dates: Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 May, 7pm
Venue: The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, City
Tickets: Adults $25, Conc. & Groups 10+ $23
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, www.ticketek.co.nz
Show duration: 1 hour

Dates: Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 May, 8.30pm
Venue: The Garden Club, 13 Dixon St, Wellington
Tickets: Adults $25, Conc. & Groups 10+ $23
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, www.ticketek.co.nz
Show duration: 1 hour  


A bevy of self-deprecating biographical material

Review by Lyne Pringle 12th May 2010

Strong, brave, stroppy and not to be f##ked with, Justine Smith is a thinking-on-her feet-turning-mistakes-into-gags-working-the-crowd kind of comedian I really get off on. In her Wellington opening gig so did the audience.

Tumbling through a bevy of self-deprecating biographical material, her rhythm and patter is totally engaging. Her grandpa’s picture on stage is a nice touch as is a rendition of one of his jokes – he was a comic too.

Navigating her way through brilliant vignettes – her reoccurring mad mother impersonation is ridiculously transcendent – she takes us to some crazy places peppered with sexual innuendo, drama queen antics, clairvoyant insights and details of bodily functions.

An excellent night of comedy – check it out. My pick of the four acts I have seen.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Candid, lewd and spunky

Review by Rachael McKinnon 05th May 2010

Welcome to Jussi Town, population: 1… Well on Tuesday night, population: 100-ish. For a short stay of an hour we have been welcomed into Jussi Town where she proudly announces she is Sheriff. But, it seems that almost anything goes.

The Basement stage has always been a case of what you see is what you get during a stand-up show – even when it was the Silo: a nostalgic time that Jussi refers to early in the piece. There are a few black curtains to conceal the awaiting comic and then a spotlight isolating them in the middle of the black expanse. But Jussi Town would not be what it was without its forefathers and on the stage are two framed photographs, one of one man, the other of two, and Jussi introduces us to them with little delay.

So, although you might think a show called Jussi Town could be all about her, it’s not. It begins in her home town of Christchurch with the people who fostered or censored her on her path to the present day and it talks about the people she has surrounded herself with since she turned up on the comedy stage.

However, sentimentality aside, there are still no taboos. Everything is discussed. The C-word is aired early, and when Jussi discusses the idea of spirits and whether or not they are “always with us” she hopes her Grandfather isn’t “with us” this night.

Jussi Town on its opening night was another case of the artist thinking that things were a bit free-form and perhaps a little shambolic. But, as a lot of audiences have come to know, this is often a good thing. When the performer breaks out of their rehearsed pattern and says something natural (although you can never be sure what is and is not planned) it can often inspire more laughter than the script itself.

Justine Smith is candid, lewd and spunky. She is a truth-sayer and many women (and men) seem to relate to her experiences – but hers are dialled to maximum.

Visit Jussi Townduring this year’s festival, you’re in good hands.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Wickedly funny

Review by Kitty August 25th Mar 2010

“I should really introduce the show but it’s already a shambles so fuck it.”

It’s the opening night of Justine Smith’s four-show season at the Dunedin Fringe Festival Polson Higgs Comedy Club and Smith has already been talking for ten minutes in the gloriously bizarre, irreverent manner that will mark her entire performance. And yes, it is verging on shambles, but not only does it not matter it really only makes things better.

For while you might not say that Smith is “on form” exactly, she sure is on something (no not the valium that gets her through her New Year’s morning trans-Tasman flight to visit her parents) and it’s something that I, and the modest but appreciative crowd, very much like.

This is Smith’s new show “Jussi Town”, in which Smith is the so-called “Sheriff Jussi” and no one tells her what to do. Sheriff Jussi hates Christchurch, crocs and Chris Angel, but she does love her granddad, a portrait of whom shares the stage with Smith, propped on a barstool and offering fodder for various jokes.

The show consists of short anecdotes delivered with a reasonably lackadaisical approach to order (her set-list is taped to the foldback speaker but at one point she still has to ask her manager if she’s already told “the KFC one-night stand one” and the end of the show is a collection of the bits she’s “forgotten to do”), linked together with adlibbed jokes, spontaneous stories and friendly jabs at the audience and peppered with a generous sprinkling of “ews”, “whats” and eyeball rolls.

While she spends a reasonable amount of time describing the more ridiculous aspects of her Cantabrian mother and comedian grandfather, Smith’s main material is drawn from drugs, booze and a rather abortive sex life. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some self-consciously hedonistic wannabe rock-star, Smith just tells it like it is: yes she’s vulgar, yes she’s profane, but her wickedly funny turn of phrase and down-to-earth ease sets her far apart from those comedians who, striving for the right chord of off-hand irreverence, seem to forcibly inject their routines with salacious slop.

But perhaps what makes the whole night so enjoyable is that Smith’s obviously having a good time herself. “You’re making me laugh”, she says to a particularly appreciative crowd member as she launches into her well-known hairdressing gag, “and I’ve heard this one before”. She is totally at ease (she’s been doing this for twelve years after all; she gets paid “tens of dollars”) and wickedly fast on the uptake when interacting with the audience.

Indeed, the only time that Smith actually falters is when she points to myself and the fifty-something year old man with the good hair seated beside me and says “you’re a couple, right?” My Dad’s not fazed but there is a second where you feel that Smith’s audacious vulgarity might not actually stretch to incest, before she proves you wrong and jumps back in with a jab at Southern New Zealand (“anything’s possible”), a flash of her underskirt (a “distraction tactic”) and a prompt dismissal: “I’ll, uh, come back to you…fucking NEVER.” Well, it’s true: the lights were dim.

Aside from this Smith doesn’t miss a beat. She is an absolute pleasure to watch; her material totally fresh and unique, her delivery perfect, complete with goggling eyes, outrageous dance moves and over-the-top accents. Here is the full package, but you have to see it to believe it. Her jokes fly but the effect would be rather lost here on the page without Smith’s perfectly executed suggestive hand movements, bum wiggles and bedroom eyes.

Justine “Jussi” Smith is at the top of her game. She is sharp, original and endearing, even if she is a little forgetful: “I smoke a bit of pot …” She is such a fabulous performer you get the feeling that you don’t even have to indulge in the ganja in order to keep enjoying her shows, over and over again. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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