MAEVE HIGGINS: A Rare Sight (Ire)

BATS Theatre, Wellington

04/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

24/04/2010 - 01/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

Shocking News: a witch caught Maeve eating one of her radishes and has forced her to write and perform a hilarious new show. Only by blowing your mind will Maeve’s cervix be returned!
Actually that is a lie; Maeve hasn’t been caught by a witch but will in fact be performing an all new show for NZ audiences. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Maeve’s comedy cohort, Nick Coyle, is unable to perform ‘A Rare Sight’ in New Zealand as planned.
But never fear! Maeve Higgins is a pro (she even has her own TV show in Ireland) and actually has a completely new critically acclaimed one-hour show up her sleeve! It has already successfully toured all over Ireland and our very lucky NZ audiences will get to experience it, 100% Maeve… just think of it as a slightly ‘rarer sight’.
Maeve first landed in New Zealand at last year’s festival with the sensational sold-out show, Kitten Brides. Now she returns with an original and charming show that is sure to delight audiences in both Auckland and Wellington. She has lots of new things to talk about to you! It’s hard to think of examples but she will definitely try to:

1. present you with an evening of glowing fun, and
2. not bore you, and
3. include at least one catchphrase in each show, e.g. ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander’.

Her new stand up comedy show A Rare Sight is part fact, part advice, part recipe, part stupidity and ALL delivered to you in person!

“Higgins is rarer than a blessing of unicorns…she is original and relatively calm, her observations are pithy, her wit delicate, her persona oddly alluring and deftly honest.” -The Irish Times
Praise for Maeve Higgins’ Kitten Brides:
“Her observations on the idiosyncrasies of life are perfect… she appeals across the board winning people over with her relaxed charm and fascinating asides… Maeve Higgins is delightful – I’m sure she hears that a lot – but listening to her be delightful makes for money well spent.” –
“Quite simply, she is a delight. A deliciously awkward, deceptively clever, delight.” –NZ Herald
“There is so much I want to share but I don’t want to spoil it for you. This woman is funny to the bone – that famous Irish sense of the ridiculous comes through in the words, the intonation, the gestures and the timing. Her humour is from the heart and the audience leaves the show smiling and laughing and feeling the world is a nice place after all.” –
Join us and take a glimpse into the head of an Irish woman with an hour of silly, funny distraction that is just too good to be missed!
Saturday 24th April, Tuesday 27th April – Saturday 1st May 2010
8:30pm, The Basement
$24, $20.00 (concession)
0800 TICKETEK or
Tuesday 4th May – Saturday 8th May
8:30pm, BATS Theatre
$20, $14.00 (concession)
(04) 802 4175 or  


Still charming, Irish and naïve

Review by Hannah Smith 05th May 2010

I must confess I find this woman adorable. She is charming, she is quirky, and she comes across as totally genuine – an unusual quality in the smug/arrogant world of stand up comics. 

Her show Kitten Brides was definitely my highlight of last year’s comedy festival and so I have a certain degree of expectation; as I file into BATS with the opening night crowd I am anticipating that A Rare Sight will be a rare pleasure.

And it is. Maeve Higgins is still charming, Irish and naïve. This year’s show is less structured, she is relies less on written material and more on the Irish charm which she possesses in buckets.

We are treated to anecdotes and observations regarding her accent, weight loss and relationship with her cat – but the real pleasure with Higgins is that it doesn’t feel like she is telling you jokes, more like she is just talking to you and it happens to be really funny. 

My favourite part of the show is totally off the cuff and unscripted: two people get up and try to leave through the fire exit door and Higgins helpfully points them towards the correct exit and farewells them politely.

She can turn apologies into humour and the word “Sorry” into a punchline. Highly recommended.


Jerome Chandrahasen May 5th, 2010

Its probably related to the form right? No fourth wall means its not like a theatrical monologue but a one sided conversation, and anyone who dominates a conversation or has to employ techniques to continuously hold the turn for an hour has the possibility of appearing smug or arrogant. Discourse analysts would have a field day. The confidence/arrogance line is pretty thin too methinks.

And 'lowest of the low'? Poor choice John! (Sorry, couldn't help it.)

John Smythe May 5th, 2010

It’s all about how they face the fear, I reckon. What comes across as smugness and arrogance could well be masking diametric opposites.

Others may be trading on privately-held non-PC opinions and prejudices that people hiding out in like-minded groups love to hear articulated. Then there is the ‘ganging up on minorities’ mentality, be it an individual in the audience – my least favourite version of audience interaction – or a sector of society (dwarf/midget so-called jokes are the lowest of the low). 

I’m not in the least bit surprised that those who may come across as smug and arrogant on stage are lovely people in ‘real life’. And I whole-heartedly agree that it is refreshing to encounter shows that find their humour in different ways that are finally life-affirming.

When it comes to solo comedy I find I’m drawn to the classical elements of personal clowning: innocence, vulnerability, gullibility, fallibility, pathos …  But that’s just me.

Hannah Smith May 5th, 2010

Hi Brendhan

I apologise if my comment offended you at all, not my intention.  It is a generalisation, and one that I wouldn’t expand on in a 300-word review, but since you ask I am happy to do so.  From my ‘outsiders point of view’ (eg the audience) many stand ups come across as brash and cocky – it seems (to me) to go with the territory. 

By ‘world of stand up comics’ I mean the world that, I, as an audience member am invited to see. It’s a world I’ve been seeing a lot of over the last week, but one that I am not a part of during the rest of the year.  I don’t know all these comedians personally; I can only know their stage personas. Their family lives are of interest to me only so much as in how they inform their show.

It takes a lot of balls to stand up in front of a room full of people with the express intention of entertaining them for an hour.  Perhaps for this reason (you tell me, you’re the practitioner) many comedians come across as either smug or arrogant.  Or both.


brendhan lovegrove May 5th, 2010

and yes,my spelling is really bad.bla bla

brendhan lovegrove May 5th, 2010

nice review.she is indeed very funny.

i like your coment on comics being smug and may seem that way from an outsiders point of view, however,i have been doing stand up for longer than i have been alive and i must say the one thing ive always enjoyed about it is the deversity of the people who do sure there are some who are smug and arrogant,like any job but ive worked with comics who by day are doctors,lawyers,house wives,unemployed,nuts,freaks,actors,labourers,students and in all cases there just people with one thing in common,stand up.stand up comedy brings alot of very different people together,and most i find ,lack any amount of smugness or arrogance.

"the world of stand up comedy"who are you talking about here?i would love to know.bill bailey?cant be, hes a lovely chap.rhys darby?family man.steve coogan?woody allen?ben hurley?nah wont be him,hes a good bloke and about to be a dad.

we are just people trying to earn a buck out of something we love.there is nothing smug knowing you are only as good as your NEXT gig i can assure you.

i ,for the most part,have found comics to be some of the most delightful people ive ever met,not smug or arrogant at all.

you may have generalised here a bit,but you get that "in the world of blog reviewing"


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council