Philip Patston gives you A BIT OF WHAT HE’S GOT

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

02/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

20/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


With his characteristic, innovative mix of provocative, honest and witty repartee, Philip Patston makes a comedy comeback and introduces NZ audiences to a "virtual" Greg Walloch from New York. The two poke politically incorrect fun at their sexual preferences, physical conditions and how society reacts to both.

Patston will share the stage with his American counterpart via the film "F**k the Disabled". Walloch is featured through highlights from his brilliant documentary about being openly gay, disabled and "Keeping it Real".

"I wanted to experiment with an innovatiive mix of content and format, adding diversity and perspective to NZ comedy," Patston explains. "After a few years of focussing on corporate and conference comedy, this is a return to my comedy routes."

Patston is most well-known for his live and broadcast work, particularly on stand-up comedy TV show Pulp Comedy (1997-2003), and vaguely remembered for a brief heterosexual role on soap opera Shortland Street. In 1999 he was named inaugural "Queer of the Year" by television show Queer Nation and awarded a Billy T James Award for commitment and contribution to the comedy industry by the NZ Comedy Trust.

He is also recognised internationally as a creative and social entrepreneur. In 2006 he was one of Warehouse mogul Stephen Tindall’s "first 15" social innovators picked to serve a three year stint on the NZ Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. 

When he’s not on stage Patston runs a business where he "creates change with diversity. I help others feel comfortable with the discomfort that change often brings."

He says comedy is all about change. "Comedians are funny because they change the way the audience perceives a situation by presenting it in a unique and surprising way."

Walloch has appeared in Moscow, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Australia, Ireland, Germany, and across the United States.

Dates:  Sat 2 & Tues 5 – Sat 9 May, 7pm
Venue:  The Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®
Tickets:  $25 full; $20 conc. and groups 10+
Bookings: 0800 BUY TICKETS (289 842) 

Dates:  Wed 20 – Sat 23 May, 10pm
Venue:  The Fringe Bar
Tickets:  $25 full; $20 conc and groups 10+
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) 


Catch it

Review by John Smythe 21st May 2009

Philip Patston’s relaxed and amiable ‘sit down’ comedy set offers a new perspective on everyday things from the point of few of a gay disabled vegetarian social entrepreneur comedian who sometimes has serious ideas and occasionally trains bus drivers. He also muses on bigger questions like Auckland Super City, Barack Obama and the ephemeral nature of the present moment. And he treats us to his poetry

On opening night in Wellington, the sudden silence of the Fringe Bar’s otherwise noisy refrigerators prompts instant metaphysical musings. Soon after, the surprise smashing of a window behind the stage drapes (by a disgruntled drunk who had been refused admission, I’m later told) sees Patston follow through nicely.

Also on this freezing Wednesday night, he gets mileage from a group who have driven all the way from Palmerston North for his 10pm show and will drive back afterwards: a five hour commitment he hopes to be worthy of.

But mostly, with his wry dry wit – between straw sips of his glasses of water and wine – he invites us into aspects of his life that are idiosyncratic and intriguing. And he challenges our ‘dysfunction phobia’ by comparing our boring ‘common functions’ with his ‘unique functions’.

The video clips used in Auckland are gone. His advertised special guest is not there. He does suggest, upfront, that we could text him but offers no number, so that goes nowhere …

Patston’s short form poetry adds good value to the final ‘act’ of his set, which covers such diverse topics as a green chair, jumping off bridges and out of a plane, voicemail, why he prefers to be single (yes it’s about the toothpaste but it’s not the usual issue), one night stands and the trouble with people with money.

Love poems form the finale and something about them leaves me feeling quietly elated. He certainly does give us quite "a bit of what he’s got" and my recommendation is, catch it.
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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Review by Candice Lewis 06th May 2009

As Philip Patston takes the stage, I am filled with smiling anticipation. I know he’s funny, I’ve seen him on TV in the past.

Perhaps it’s the small number of the audience, or maybe he’s tired, but the usual energy and sharp wit that is trademark Patston is flagging tonight.

Patston tells us he’s no longer using the labels worn for so long, hence the poster advertisements for this show claiming he is ex-gay, ex-vegetarian and ex-disabled.

I like the idea, but it seems under-developed, as is his delivery.

He uses a clip from one of The Matrix movies to demonstrate something he could have described or somehow expressed regarding the nature of being in his body. Comedy is so often about good story-telling, and if you need to use movie clips, alarm bells should be ringing.

Patston also talks about ‘not being very good’ at being gay, he then says he’ll let another gay disabled comedian represent him on this count. He chooses well. The clip he plays for us is brilliant. I must find out who that comedian is, because he is really funny and this is the only time I laugh during the show.

Patston is informative and at times comes across as a lecturer more than a comedian. I do like the way he turns the disability label on it’s head, re-branding it a Unique Experience, and as such all else becomes ordinary. He could really run with that and push it to the limit; imagine a world in which many people felt left out because they weren’t having this Unique Experience.

Another opportunity for laughs doesn’t quite pan out when he invites the audience to text him with ideas. When someone does text with quite a good question, he doesn’t have much to say, and only his obvious awareness of this makes us smile with empathy.

Patston is a remarkable, intelligent and usually very funny man; I hope that the rest of his shows develop accordingly.
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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