Mark Scott and Jesse Mulligan in Romantic Comedy

Happy (Cnr Tory & Vivian), Wellington

06/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

The Classic Studio, Auckland

12/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Mark Scott and Jesse Mulligan are two terminally single men. During their two week festival season they have three objectives: to start on time, to break even, and to find two women to spend the rest of their lives with.

In their stand up show, they examine what it means to be alone, how they might have ended up that way, and what lessons they might take from romantic comedy films to find true love.

They’ll be seeking soul mates throughout the season, and will be updating progress daily at .

Mark says that if things go well, both could be hitched by mid-May.

"We kick off in with a week in Wellington and, should it prove a romance desert, we continue our search in the more densely populated Auckland. So if you know girls in either city looking for love – tell them they’ll find it at Ticketek."

Jesse says that in preparation for the show, they’ve been surviving on a gruelling diet of chick flicks.

"The classic rom-com plot involves a bumbling idiot encountering all sorts of obstacles and disasters before ending up with the pretty girl. We’ve got the first part of that sussed – now we just need help with the last bit."

Mark Scott is a well toured international comedian who has played almost every type of venue from cruise ship and corporate box to London clubs and oil town pubs in the northern reaches of Canada. Combining stand up, improv and a small guitar, he is easily able to bring romantic humour to other people’s lives. Just not his own.

Jesse Mulligan is a comedian of 15 years experience, including several TV performances. He was a radio DJ in Wellington for eight years before leaving that job to follow a girl to London. That decision turned out to be a very poor one, and he is now back in the country, co-hosting More FM Auckland’s afternoon show with Joe Cotton.

Dates:  6-9 May, 10pm
Venue:  HAPPY Bar
Tickets:  $22 Conc: $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) 

Dates:  12-16 May, 10pm
Venue:  The CLASSIC Studio
Tickets:  $22 Conc. $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)


Separation unexpected in romance show

Review by Alex Port 13th May 2009

Romantic Comedy is a two man show written and performed by Mark Scott and Jesse Mulligan. It follows their romantic pasts in the tried and true format of stand-up, with the odd succinct haiku or plaintive serenade added for good measure. 

After a short wait for the previous act to finish, we are ushered into the Classic’s upper sanctum. Mark Scott jumps on stage and warms up the audience with all the finesse of an experienced stageman, which he is. Scott introduces his cohort, Jesse Mulligan.

Mulligan comically explains his history, including his conventionally romantic and (in hindsight) somewhat ill-judged move to London to follow a girl. His style is conversational and interactive and he has an endearing stage presence.

The pace becomes slightly stilted in the middle, due in part to the relish he takes in awkward silences that are probably a little too frequent to allow for a more free flowing feel. But all is for the best in the end as he comes into his own in the last minutes and the pace evens out convincingly.

Mulligan’s appeal lies in his accessibility, achieved through self-deprecation, which encourages the audience to positively identify with his experiences.

Scott is a consummate performer with a charmingly gawky style of speech and deportment. He interlaces his act with guitar songs, including one exploring the perils of internet dating. He covers topics that elicit small squirms from the audience, but due to his cheeky manner he carries it off, getting away with what many would not have.

There are moments of genius in Scott’s performance, including explosions of metaphor that simultaneously boggle and amuse with their irreverence.

Overall the performance is quite different from what the advertising might lead one to expect. Although many elements of the show are funny, the romantic aspect of the content is not entirely convincing. It feels as though more is needed to render the act entirely compelling.

The structure is that of two separate shows, vaguely linked thematically, but not the cohesive duo format that the advertising suggests. Each of the performers has their own special style, but I would like to see them join forces on stage at some point so that the audience can feed off their rapport and to lend coherency to the whole.
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