Hawkins Theatre, Papakura, Auckland

03/05/2014 - 03/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

Now in its fifth storming year at the fabulous Hawkins Theatre! A two-hour showcase hand-picked from the very best of the pro club circuit. Lots of variety but all of them brilliantly funny! Hosted by crowd favourite and Billy T Award winner Mike Loder.  

Top show at a top venue. So grab your friends and book early for a top night out. 

Bar available. One show only! 

“[Mike Loder is] Hilarious” – Melbourne Age, AUS 

NB: $25 door tickets, $15 advance 

Dates: Sat 3 May, 8pm 
Venues:  Hawkins Theatre, Auckland 
Tickets:  Adults $15.00 | Conc. $10.00 | Groups 8+ $12.00 
Door Sales $25* service fees may apply 
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Show Duration:  2 hours  

2hrs +

A great many laughs

Review by Regan Crummer 04th May 2014

Laugh Out Loud Papakura has been produced for the past five years and it is described in the Hawkins Theatre programme simply as, “A great night out”.  If you fancy spending a couple of hours tucked into a snug little theatre with a five crazy comedians, then this is most definitely a must! 

In a nutshell, LOL Papakura consists of some ‘newbies’ to the comedy circuit tossed lightly in with a few veteran Kiwi comedians, then shaken vigorously. The result of this formula is fairly decent, and receives an enthusiastic response from audience members, who are huddled closely together, savouring their beverages.  

The show is opened by host Mike Loder, who starts with a suitable heartiness, plunging at once into welcoming the audience and also revealing the presence of a certain critic (i.e. ME), loudly proclaiming to all that he does not care about reviewers. This hits the spot with the audience, and I admire his candidness.

Mike cracks some fantastic gags about his travels to Australia, taking a few minutes to mock Koala Bears and how they really should be classed as fruit, not mammals. At one point he engages directly with an audience member, and together they demonstrate the sound effects of the ‘fighting critters’. I really enjoy the way Mike connects with individual audience members.  He has a knack for doing this and clearly relishes this talent throughout the course of the show, constantly bringing up two theatergoers and using them to pull laughs, rather successfully.

The first funnyman to perform is Mr Matt Stellingwerf, who makes a strong entry yet at the same time is perfectly relaxed; he ambles on, making himself at home, drawing laughs almost immediately. It is refreshing to see a comedian who emits an easy going laid back air.  He confesses the last time he graced the Hawkins stage was as a dancing priest in a ballet.

Matt makes the most of his time onstage, and brings some great gags about cougars hitting on him, autocorrect on the IPhone, and even braves the waters of Hogwarts with a Harry Potter quip. He discusses his travels to Amsterdam, and some of his past gigs, including a recent one in Dunedin where he humiliated the mayor (by accident of course).

There are some Auckland-flavoured jokes chucked in here also, focused on West Auckland, and the North Shore, both of which are meet with chortles. A sound effort from this young comedian, not bad at all. There are a few cheap laughs, and some small timing and delivery issues, but this will improve with more experience I feel.   

Jan Maree (what a darling) takes to the boards next, and has a long-winded rant to the audience about her single life, and how she is starting to plan for her retirement now at age forty.  The dating application Tinder is brought up, and her quest for the perfect man, as well as mixing in some witty comments about kids, jandals, and yoga.  

She does have an excellent ‘toilet paper’ joke too, and how it should roll to the front rather than the back. This goes down splendidly, but it is an easy laugh that will attract an instant merry reaction.  She completely pokes fun at a television commercial for vagina wipes, and tells us of a new product that she has imagined that will inspire men to clean certain areas a bit more thoroughly.  I like Jan’s enthusiasm and energy, and for LOL Papakura, her comedy is well suited. I really do not understand why she is single!

Comedy star Chris Brain follows Jan Maree, striding onto to stage with a slight swagger. He quietly and almost shyly mentions that he is having a bit of a mid-life crisis, and its impact on his mode of transport (also affected by his working in entertainment). He tells tall tales of some of the sights he has seen on tour recently, including a power-walking Mongrel Mob member.

He cannot resist the temptation to splurge on some jokes at Australia’s expense, and the Kiwi spectators take advantage of this moment and roar with laughter. There are gags to do with his teenage years (he was a Goth), the real value of Sunday School, and there is plenty to do with his adventures in London, where he spent much time well and truly. He provokes laughs from the audience often. 

The ‘headline’ act of the night is the magnificent Terry Frisbee, and let me tell you, it is worth the wait. He includes everything from the old Helen Clark jests, to mocking the nearby village of Drury where he had performed to an audience of four people in a pub for free drinks. Terry keeps his comedy simple, drawing from his own experiences, both here in New Zealand, and overseas.

He (like Matt) has also been to Amsterdam and takes great delight in recalling the ‘maths’ Olympics.  He recounts his London clubbing days, and share memories of his attempts with his pals to pick up young ladies. There is definitely a theme here of drugs, sex, and swag. Terry is a joy to behold, and the way he works his magic is extraordinary. 

Overall, LOL-Papakura does prove to be a great night out and it is nice to see the locals support their local theatre.  Some of the humour was a little too crude for my taste and almost every second word was an expletive but I did have a great many laughs and you can’t please everyone, can you?


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