Plimmer Steps, Above Leroy's Bar, Wellington

20/03/2019 - 23/03/2019

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Production Details

Greg is a hilarious comedian, renowned for his warm, cheerful, feel-good brand of comedy. People are constantly talking about how very funny, enlightening, and uplifting his work is; and he didn’t make them say that at all!

They said it themselves, and it was their idea! They wanted to say it and they promise they will say it again whenever anybody asks!! Greg is very compassionate and approachable: small children have never fled from his presence wailing in distress!!

Come to his stupendous comedy show “No Laughing Matter” at Leroy’s Bar, 2 Plimmers Steps at 7:30pm, every night from Wednesday the 20th right up until Saturday the 23rd!

And in the middle of it, you will absolutely not find yourself desperately looking for the exit, wishing you had spent the evening alone, without friends, watching reruns; anything, anything to get away from this horrifying spectacle – my God, will it Never end!!!???? That won’t happen at all!!!”

Leroy’s Upstairs, 2 Plimmer Steps (Lambton Quay), Wellington
Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 March 2019
General Admission $10.00
Fringe Addict $7.00

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Imaginations untapped

Review by Donna Banicevich Gera 21st Mar 2019

The opening performance of No Laughing Matter, at Leroy’s (2 Plimmer Steps), begins with a disclaimer regarding content. In retrospect (given recent events) I feel it really should have been cancelled. Some of the material is truly confronting. The comedian, Greg Baker, does his best to engage a sparse audience but even he struggles to get through the hour.

The concept of an imaginary friend, George, taking over the show is a good one that has a lot of real potential but needs more focus and development. If he had been introduced near the beginning of the act the scene would have been set for the chain of events – abusive language, child poverty, bullying in schools, racism in New Zealand, road rage and attacking other people on the streets – that unravels later. This element would have provided the back bone for the artist to hang his material off, driving the story forward.

Leroy’s provides a very intimate venue which unfortunately adds to the confrontation. With few people present the shouting delivery style is amplified in the small space. By lowering the volume and altering the tone, a more emotional impact could have been achieved. The audience then, would have been privy to a roller coaster emotional journey between the characters which ultimately would have been more satisfying.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the opportunity wasn’t there for the comedian to engage with an imaginary audience – as well as with his imaginary friend. Being surrounded by people we couldn’t see would have provided another level of conflict well worth exploring. It would also have provided a vehicle for audience interaction, thus avoiding a few real faces being picked on.

For me, imagination is key. There is a lot of untapped storytelling sitting within this show that should be created in the future. It’s not an idea that should be discarded but unlocking those keys to the imagination is crucial.


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