Laugh Lounge at Sixty6 on Peterborough, Christchurch

18/01/2018 - 27/01/2018


Production Details

One show – four different comedians 

Diva: adj.

1. To describe a person who exudes great style and personality with confidence and expresses their own style and not letting others influence who they are or want to be. 

2. A person whose character makes them stand out from the rest.

For years, our NOTHING BUT STAND UP line up has taken crowds by storm. Each year we change it up. One year we featured an all male line up, one year we brought out the girls. We’ve had an all Kiwis, all Ozzies and we’ve mixed it up too. This year, we’re separating them again with not just one, but TWO shows. The Divas and the Dudes.

Two separate shows. Playing back to back.  Every night!

You can also get yourself a double fix of Comedy in one night by purchasing seats to Nothing But Stand Up Dudes and Divas back to back. Click on the BOOK NOW button to find out more.

Laugh Lounge at Sixty6 on Peterborough
18 – 27 January 2018
7pm or 9pm (alternating)

Cal Wilson  
Michele A'Court
Geraldine Hickey
Justine Smith

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1 hr

Thoroughly enjoyable and very funny

Review by Erin Harrington 25th Jan 2018

For a long time, the title World Buskers Festival has been a bit of a misnomer, or at least not entirely representative. While the daytime pitch shows certainly showcase some of the world’s best street performers, its popular indoor evening shows are a mix of cabaret, fringe theatre and stand-up comedy, where the performers pass the bucket in a ‘pay what you think we’re worth’ model.

This year’s stand-up comedy showcases, Nothing But Stand Up Divas and Nothing But Stand Up Dudes, are hosted again at an underground bar at the Christchurch Casino, which offers a low-ceilinged, dimly-lit, air-conditioned respite from the clammy heat above. I’d prefer things to be a little less dim to provide a better connection with each of the performers, as everything’s either inky black or neon blue.

I’d also be interested to know if there’s much of a difference in the audiences, or an expectation of content and style, but my eavesdropping gets me nothing except for the fact that the enthusiastic and receptive audience, which is broad in age and nationality, are taking good advantage of the cocktail menu.

The three Kiwi performers in Nothing But Stand Up Divas have a Christchurch connection, with MC Cal Wilson breaking the ice by letting us know what school she went to. Wilson, wearing a terrific colourful frock, is a relentlessly and gorgeously cheerful host. Her material, which draws from her touring schedule and home life, foregrounds some of the other women’s jokes in its self-deprecating emphasis upon some of the unexpected effects of aging – most notably, issues with hearing. She’s a charming performer and a gracious host who makes wrangling a room look like a doddle. 

I’m really happy to have seen Michèle A’Court’s solo show a few days ago, and while there’s a small overlap in content, it’s reworked in an energetic set that’s quite different in tone. Here, A’Court is our slightly boozy reckless bestie, the sort of friend who’ll encourage your bad behaviour and help you pay for the damage later. Her jokes, particularly those about alcohol, find great support in the crowd, which obviously has strong opinions about pinot noir. 

Justine Smith, also wearing a killer frock, is arch, belligerent and ironic. If Michèle A’Court is boosting you over a fence, Smith is helping you break a window and ransack the joint. Smith’s deadpan take on women in reality television shows hits its mark, as does her fast-paced, sometimes (seemingly) distracted storytelling. She also offers the second account of a cervical smear test I’ve heard from a comedian this festival, and honestly, bring it on; if I’ve had to deal with a lifetime of dick jokes, then those young guys in the front row can suck it up and hear about the soft-voiced indignities of ‘women’s health clinics’.

Aussie Geraldine Hickey (no frock, but great shirt), who closes the night in her New Zealand debut, has a languidly paced set about how she’s gone about trying to face her fears. The humour is so dry it sucks the moisture right out of the room, and I love it. Apparently she was lent a car by some people who attended the show earlier in the week and has been to Geraldine – the South Canterbury town – to buy some jam at Barkers. I hope she comes back to NZ, even if it’s just to stock up on lemon curd, because she’s a fabulous and singular voice, and one of the funniest people I’ve seen perform in a long time.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable and very funny evening, and in each instance I wish the performers had more time. The audience loves it, although they seem to be pretty light on chucking some coin into the buckets at the end of the show. Naughty.

I’ve been lucky enough to see most of the Festival’s evening shows, and as so much of what’s usually available in Christchurch can be a little ‘pale, male and stale’, I come away again thankful for the diversity of its programming, and the way that it’s promoting outstanding female and queer performers as a matter of course. 


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