Jerome Chandrahasen ON WORDS

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

07/05/2024 - 11/05/2024

NZ International Comedy Festival 2024

Production Details

Written and performed by Jerome Chandrahasen

Self produced

Naenae’s favourite raconteur returns to the Comedy Festival, with his new show on language and laughter.

From Foxton Beach to Fairlie, Jerome Chandrahasen (as seen on Wellington Paranormal) has performed around Aotearoa for the past 15 years. A bit of good natured banter, some linguistics, and as always, plenty of laughs.

“His crowd work is exceptional…as Kiwi as it gets” – Regional News, NZ
“Jerome Chandrahasen built a deceptively complex and clever routine around the idea of buying a couch” – Wellington Best Foods Comedy Gala 2024 Review, The Post

Tapere Iti, Te Auaha
7th-11th May 2024
Ticketing link

Jerome Chandrahasen

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,


A phatic fifty minutes of social commentary

Review by John Smythe 09th May 2024

Self-described as “Naenae’s favourite raconteur,” Jerome Chandrahasen does an excellent job of connecting with his audience, even though we’ve left the front two rows of Te Auaha’s intimate Tapere Iti empty. He attempts to “haere mai” some of us forward but gets no takers – which means he gets to address us at his eye-level and above (it’s a raked auditorium). I’m glad about that because comedians who play to the front row can make the rest of us feel disconnected rather than included in their popup whānau.

The standard “where are you from?” and “what do you do?” questions strengthen the connections. While Jerome’s special subject is clearly the distinctive qualities of each Hutt Valley suburb, he is quick with witty quips about Wellington’s hill suburbs too. Having set an informal, off-the-cuff tone, his onwards progression into the On Words material he’s prepared earlier is almost imperceptible.

Jerome casually drops “phatic communication” into is chat – and I don’t think I’d be the only audience member to Google it after the show. “In linguistics, a phatic expression is a communication which primarily serves to establish or maintain social relationships.” So it’s a phat lot of use to a stand-up comedian, obviously. (Phat: slang: highly attractive or gratifying.)

His anecdotes about linguistic confusions and concerns include how to respond, as a non-Muslim Indian, to being greeted by a political candidate with, “As salam alaykum”; the difference between ‘convoy’ and ‘hikoi’ when involved in a protest; where not to wear a ‘Trump 2020’ t-shirt … Then there are accent issues. Is a Catholic priest really about to deliver a benign homily about gays? How much confusion can ‘Hoki’ create in a Greek fish ’n’ chip shop? And what about the branding on a Cessna?

I’m not sure how ‘on topic’ the Bottle-O story is and the bit about an Indian ordering Indian food seems to lack a punchline. But jeopardy inherent in his scoring an MC gig at a Black Power vaccination event gets the comedic juices flowing again – and we learn about ‘language conversion’ into the bargain.

Jerome Chandrahasen may not be at the cutting edge of contemporary comedy but he can be depended on to deliver a phatic fifty minutes of social commentary. Does that make my recommendation emphatic? (Frowns, shakes head, nods, shrugs and laughs): Words …


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