MRS PEACOCK: Nature’s Beast

Comedy Underground, 305 Queen St, Auckland

05/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

12/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

In 2007 they taught audiences how to rock – and won themselves a Billy T Award in the process. This year they’re bringing it closer to home… with Nature’s Beast.
Musical comedy act Mrs. Peacock – winners of the 2007 Billy T Award for their NZ International Comedy Festival show, ROCK 101 – are understandably a little nervous.
“We usually make fun of bands that are based overseas,” said Dave Smith, one half of the duo. “This time it could be bands that live around the corner from us.”
“Okay we’ve made jokes about Brooke Fraser, but I reckon we could outrun her.”
Their show in the 2010 Comedy Festival, Nature’s Beast, sets its sights clearly upon New Zealand music, both the good and the bad.
“We see it as a celebration,” said Jarrod Baker, Mrs. Peacock’s other half. “We make fun, but only because we care.”
“Except when we’re making fun because they’re terrible.”
The duo promise to tackle Kiwi music from ‘Blue Smoke’ to ‘My Delirium’, and from Ray Columbus to Smashproof, with a show featuring trivia, history, interviews, cover versions, and some brand new New Zealand classics.
Nature’s Beast will be a must see for any fan of New Zealand music – or for anyone who hates it.

Dates: Wed 5 – Sat 8 May, 10pm
Venue: Comedy Underground, 1 Wellesley St West, City
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $15
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK,
Show duration: 1 hour 

Dates: Wed 12 – Sat 15 May, 10pm
Venue: Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts, City
Tickets: Adults $18, Conc. & Groups 10+ $15
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK,
Show duration: 1 hour 

Musical skill matched by comedic talent

Review by Helen Sims 13th May 2010

Nature’s Beast is a comedy show slash New Zealand music 101. Jarrod Baker and Dave Smith, the duo who make up Mrs.Peacock, bring their trademark smutty humour to bear on an analysis of contemporary New Zealand music.

They approach their subject by deconstructing how our indigenous music varies between the provinces. Then they demonstrate how easy it is to recreate the stereotypical ‘sound’ of each area. The overall result is sharply observed, hilarious and induces pity for their girlfriends.

It’s clear that both Baker and Smith are musically talented – in order to pull off this kind of parody you have to be. They traverse sounds as diverse as Auckland indie pop-rock, Hamilton garage rock, Christchurch drum and bass and Wellington dub. A variety of instruments, both electronic and acoustic are used, including some awesome “farty bass”. 

Their musical skill is matched by their comedic talent in a successful combination that garnered them the Billy T Award in 2007.

A quick perusal of their website reveals that Baker and Smith have been performing as Mrs.Peacock since 2000. Their experience and rapport as performers is evident, and although they make full use of their theme, the show hasn’t become too scripted. I found some of the funniest moments to be when one or both of them went ‘off-script’, or as they put it, when there were ‘fuck ups’. Their banter with the audience in these situations is unforced and witty.

Having been previously judged as the most offensive comedians of the 2006 International Comedy Festival, their Nature’s Beast is a slightly more toned down offering than previous shows. It’s the type of show in which you can just sit back, relax and laugh, although it might help to leave any politically correct tendencies at the door.
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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Parody, PowerPoint and anarchic charm

Review by Nik Smythe 06th May 2010

Jarrod Baker and Dave Smith, aka Mrs. Peacock, those irascible musos who brought us Rock 101 three of years ago, bring their – and our own – heritage into sharp focus with their new multimedia lecture, Nature’s Beast – NZ Music 101. Notably, it’s New Zealand Music month this month, though I can’t recall them even mentioning that.

After delusionally thanking the viewers at home and us, the studio audience, the lads kick off with a quickfire history lesson beginning with 1959’s Blue smoke, swiftly reducing each decade from then to the 21st century to crass generalisations.

Then the main ‘tiki tour’ commences. The audacious deadbeats bring us on a regional journey around all the main centres, again distilling the essence of each area’s musical culture to a basic stereotypical formula, which they then demonstrate with their own example. The boys’ skill in parodying musical genres is excellent and the increasingly popular PowerPoint presentation that accompanies the dissertation provides more than a few chuckles.

There are a few entertaining added features: behind the scenes footage of their music video shoot (not for their band, for the Phoenix Foundation), and a curious wee contest called ‘Never Mind the Peacocks’ where the audience guesses the classic Kiwi single as they do vocal renditions of their intros, in the hope of winning a CD of questionable but definitely Kiwi music.

The eight-strong audience was kept consistently giggling through the hour. In spite of their brazen awkward lameness there’s an unexplainable charisma about these chaps. It’s kind of hard to tell where the intentional lameness ends and the genuine shabbiness round the edges begins. I’d say there’s definitely room to slick the show up a fair bit without losing too much of the anarchic charm.
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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