Nik Coppin - Half Blak

The Transmission Room, Auckland

22/05/2007 - 26/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Fast talking, energetic UK comedian, Nik Coppin, will delight New Zealand audiences when he makes his first appearance at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival with his 2007 show, HALF BLAK.

It follows the success of his debut solo show, “Spiders, man!” performed in Melbourne and Edinburgh 2006 and will complete his tour “Down Under” after the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 

A stand-up comic for more than six years, Coppin has performed all around the world, but holds New Zealand close to his heart. According to Coppin, the Classic Comedy Club in Auckland is his favourite comedy venue in the world.

Coppin’s new show HALF BLAK – the title, a play on arguably the most famous Rugby team in the world the “All Blacks” – is inspired by his experiences in his travels and his extensive knowledge of wildlife. It also relates to Coppin’s heritage – his mother is English and his father is from the Caribbean.

He has carried on the tradition of dropping a letter in the title (rather than HALF BLACK), as he has in his first name and in his Melbourne 2007 show, REDBLAK. This links to the famous racehorse, PHAR LAP, born and originally bred in New Zealand. It was said the spelling of the horse’s name was changed for luck (rather than FAR LAP).

The show mixes Coppin’s unique style of audience banter with story-telling and improvised comedy.

“Coppin sets a new benchmark for international comedy.” – The Pun, Melbourne.

“A rapid fire non-stop act full of energy. His hour went so quick, his charming smile and easy manner had the audience eating out of his hand and wanting more. Go and see him.”  9/10 – Funny Tonne,

Dates:  Wed 16 – Sat 19 May, 8.30pm
Venue:  101 @ Bodega, 101 Ghuznee St, Wellington City
Tickets:  Adults $15 Conc. $12 Groups 10+ $15
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

Dates:  Tue 22 – Sat 26 May, 7pm
Venue:  The Transmission Room, Cnr Mayoral Dr & Queen St, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $20 Conc. $16 Groups 10+ $16
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Chatty style

Review by Thomas LaHood 18th May 2007

The night I attended Half Blak Nic Coppin played to reticent crowd who completely avoided the first two rows.  With a calm affability he maintained a steady hold on their attention, but struggled to build momentum and win them over completely.

Establishing from the start a chummy, on-the-level rapport that sometimes strays into blandness, Coppin is clearly at ease with his audience.  He knows all about the ‘laid-back’ Kiwi thing, having lived and worked on both sides of the Tasman, and his material is tailored to antipodeans.  He ribs both Aussies and Kiwis, albeit gently, and seems to have a genuine affection for our neck of the woods.

This in turn means he has a decent understanding of cricket and rugby, enough to gag about them with panache.  Another favourite subject is dangerous wildlife – snakes, spiders and sharks keep cropping up throughout the set.  Sometimes, as he admits himself, his jokes are more informative than funny.  To a group of young women he sympathises "the rest of us are having a laugh, but for you guys it’s more like having a bit more school."  Still, what he talks about is interesting enough to keep us engaged.

Some material suits this chatty style better than others.  A bit about racism fires on all cylinders due to the shock factor of the true stories, drawing choking gasps from my companion.  However, jokes about the weather in Australia feel merely trivial and even contradictory:  First Coppin gags about how Melbournians lie about their sunshine days to lure unsuspecting Poms on holiday, then later he says they have perfect weather and chides them for whining about their water shortages.

The crowd warmed to Coppin quite quickly, but never came near boiling point.  In the final moments of the set he asks, "So… any questions, before I go?"  And it does rather feel like the end of an informal lecture that’s been quite funny, but with more build-up could have been riotous. 


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