Lindauer Comedy Divas - May 22

Comedy Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland Live, Auckland

22/05/2006 - 22/05/2006

ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival

Production Details

MC’s Michele A’Court (May 22) and Janey Godley (May 29)

The ODDFELLOWS NZ International Comedy Festival presents
“You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap” – DOLLY PARTON

“Give a girl the right shoes and she’ll conquer the world.” – BETTE MIDLER

Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest divas of our time, the festival welcomes the ladies back to the stage for The LINDAUER COMEDY DIVAS.

A date with these ladies is a ride of a lifetime. Armed with shopping bags of charm, sass, sex, this slick hour and half showcase is one of the festival’s favourite events.

The LINDAUER COMEDY DIVAS is riotous night out for both the girls and the lads and everyone who has experienced the charms of the fairer sex.

Sunday 21 May, 7.30PM, DOWNSTAGE THEATRE, Wellington
MC Michele A’Court (NZ), featuring international comedian Janey Godley (Scot) and a line up of local Wellington funny ladies.

Book at Downstage Theatre, 04 801 6946

Monday 22 & 29 May, 7.30pm, COMEDY CHAMBER, Auckland Town Hall

MC’s Michele A’Court (May 22) and Janey Godley (May 29).  Also featuring local favourites Jan Maree, Irene Pink, Jules Douglas-Smith, Ruth Spencer, TM Bishop, Ash Kilmartin and more…

Book at Ticketek 09 307 5000


Theatre , Comedy ,

A review of two halves: hers & his

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe & Companion 23rd May 2006

A full house, mainly of females, were treated to great comedy, with stand out performances from Justine Smith and Irene Pink, some promising material from the new girls, all brilliantly hosted by the ubiquitous first lady of NZ comedy, Michele A’Court.

Men – don’t shy away. I don’t subscribe to women’s comedy being so vastly different from men’s… yeah, sure, the subject matter’s all about what makes these particular women tick and what ticks them off… but so what – it’s funny.  The Lindauer Comedy Divas is a Fab night out for all. Grab your sister, mother, lover, and shout them an hour or so, of bubbles, giggles and lip-gloss. Chin chin.

So how did the night pan out?

Host Michele A’Court is at the top of her game. She’s relaxed and comfortable on stage, and looking fab, all frocked up in a busy black and white number. She kept the pace and tone of the evening perfectly balanced throughout. Even compulsory references to the sponsor, were woven in with smooth charm. She knows we’re here for a laugh and gets straight down to business: It’s only Monday and Auckland was once again, raining on our parade. We needed a lift. She surveys her audience… The Lindauer Comedy Diva’s seems to attract a largely professional, urban, bright, chic group of women. And a few men. One such man, Steve, was singled out by Michele, in the nicest possible way, and became an attractive highlight throughout the night.

While the subject matter of the evening’s comedy was often far removed from the niche audience, the belly laughs that rippled through the Chamber, indicated common ground was not necessarily at pre requite for enjoying these fabulous women.

Case in point is Justine Smith – outrageous in her approach to life in the fast lane, where, if she’s to be believed, sex (with minors), and drugs (many and often) make rock and roll look dull. However, it’s not just Justine’s material (though it’s so in your face, you are compelled to listen), it’s the speedy, ultra-energized, "I’ll-have-what-she’s-having" attack she gives out, from the moment she strides on stage. There’s nothing so satisfying as watching a comedienne start with a set-up, and delight in exploring side-roads and cul-de-sacs, gaining comedy momentum a-plenty along the way, till when you arrive and the punch line, the journey has been just as satisfying and the destination. Justine thrives on the art of distracted story telling.

Melbourne appears to have been a great experience for Justine as her performance is sharper and her quick-fire material, while often caustic and extreme, is a unique trip to guaranteed laughs. Highlights for me include her ambition to set up a waxing salon – The Bush Administration, and her thoughts on various hobbies.

Next, relative newcomer Ruth Spencer. With her more demure energy and lighter material, the laughs became sporadic and polite for a time, as she struggled to strike up a rapport with the audience. At times her material appeared a little shallow it it’s interpretation, but her honest, chirpy delivery and growing confidence, all show signs of a talented comedienne in the making.

As Michele said, the Diva’s is an opportunity for the festival to showcase new faces as well as… how did she put it… "Some tired old slappers". However there’s no doubt the "seasoned pro’s" carried the evening and left the new comers in their wake.

Recently returned from 4 years in London, Irene Pink is the final act for the first half, and after being hyped by Michele as a "Pacific Island Princess", she wins us over from the start, as she bursts on stage with thanks and gratitude… for being introduced as a cruise ship. Her stalker tales are riotous and her Jonah Lomu liaisons got the biggest laughs of the night. Irene oozes confidence and her routine is full of comedy gems, everyone a winner.

Michele closes what has been a very strong first half, and at this point, I opt for a "Hers & His" approach to the review, handing the honours over to my male companion, for the second half…

Second half and Michele A’Court glides back on to the stage, her Lindauer badge of courage in hand, looking more at home ring-leading the Divas than in perhaps her own solo gig? Anyway, after picking out and playing with her front row "boyfriend" of the night, Steve, we were introduced to… Ash Kilmartin.

The stage prowling and laconic Ash got right to the point and posed the tricky question: "Why Comedy?" A foreboding start for the young talent I thought. I am intrigued and you have my attention… Not that she was going to answer it though, because her relatively short set only had enough of a pulse to exclaim that she is NOT the life of a party and that toilet paper should hang away from the wall. On this critical point though, she gets my vote. But the jury’s out on the one about the obese girl who won the speech competition because the teacher insisted she was going to die and life’s not fair and I oh I don’t know…

Ah well, she was very cute, and with a few more rat-bag boyfriends on the clock, an ODDFELLOWS Class Comedians graduate to look out for I’m sure.

And then, a "you had to be there" moment when Michele struck gold with the discovery that Steve was a clinical psychology student. She quickly mounted the chaise (they come standard with Divas) on stage and proclaimed "I want a session with you Steve". Brilliant!

There was barely enough time for the clinical observation that men from Hamilton like their women somewhat "sheep like", before Jan Maree mounted the stage. This was vintage JM from the top of her tiger print dress to the bottom of her, umm, glass. "I’ve turned into the women I’ve mocked for years" she says while refueling on the sponsor’s product. And while the restraints of this "corporate gig" prevent her from uttering a certain "C" word, in between the yet another "when you’ve taken such and such a drug" reference and, my "boyfriend and his small appendage", she manages to sneak it in anyway. You can take a girl out of Hamilton…

CODA: for those that care: Kate’s wee gripe:

It is a shame when the all-too-important ‘top of the show’ … those precious few seconds that you get to build the anticipation, once the audience is settled, the opportunity to set the evening up right… and say to your audience – HEY, listen up – we’re about to start… gets whitewashed by bad timing… It should be simple – fade house music, fade house lights, cue upbeat sting music for the MC, cue voice over to introduce said darling….

Around 7.35pm I was vaguely aware there was a muffled voice saying something, over the house lights and music, but it was miss-timed and rushed as all of sudden Michele A’Court was on stage and we had begun. Not smooth. I think a less clunky start to the show, would’ve meant the first part of Michele’s routine would not have been compromised by loud, rude chat and carry on at the bar.

While I think it’s great, and in keeping with comedy shows, that people are able to drink during the evening, it’s distracting and annoying to have some people talk so loudly at the bar, they seem oblivious to the performance going on around them. Ladies – where were your manners?

Thankfully, Michele is a seasoned pro and reminds us it’s not time to break into discussion groups, and we’re soon hanging on her every word.


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