Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

09/03/2021 - 13/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

“It’s like Black Mirror but sh*t and live.”

A comedy show that invites you to enter the minds of a few young creatives. We got sketches, we got magic tricks, we got live-eating. What could go wrong?

This could potentially even almost literally be the best thing you’ve seen all year.  

So why not? Come laugh with us or at us, either way… Please laugh.

Tapere Iti theatre – Te Auaha, 65 Dixon St, Te Aro  
9th – 13th March 2021
GA – $18
Concession – $16
Fringe Addict – $13
Book through  

Fin McLachlan
Danny Sewell
Lucy Elisara
Louis Hutchings
Tanner Devcich
Ava O’Brien
Finn Blackwell

Rory Johns – Keys
Pete Nola – Trombone
Zoe Ioannou – Saxophone
Baileigh Sparkes – Drums
Will Jakicevich – Bass

Graphic Design: Lucy Elisara
Photographer: Oliver Roozen
Tech: Charleigh Griffiths

Theatre , Sketch , Comedy ,

1 hr

Contemporary comedy culture and language at its best

Review by Francesca Brice 10th Mar 2021

I’m surrounded by clusters of energetic chatter and rustling excitement from the growing audience that pack into the theatre. There’s an almost tactile energy floating around. The audience lights go down and we take off into a narrated slide show that captures the entire back wall of the theatre.

There’s a wolf theme to this which leads to the story of Fin and Danny from their childhood friendship until now and brings us up to speed to tell us how this show evolved – the dreams these two had and the determination to make the show happen. It’s a dynamic and powerful entrée and everyone is riveted.

The rest of the cast is also introduced through this slide show: great graphics by cast member Lucy Elisara. A five-piece band sit expectantly at the side of the stage.

Fin (Fin McLachlan) and Danny (Danny Sewell) arrive in person, dancing together skillfully in perfect harmony. Finger-snapping rhythms have me dancing with them in spirit. Their playful and honest banter becomes scathing at times. Even though they are best friends, there’s a fierce competition as to who will be the funniest. Lots of swearing adds colour to the dialogue. An exposé of human nature? Perhaps. 

Please Laugh pits Fin’s sketch comedy against Danny’s stand-up comedy.  

We see sketches with other members of the cast. Ava O’Brien and Lucy Elisara take us through humorous clichés of regional stereotypes in a Miss New Zealand Show and mentally I’m adding a few of my own. These women are seriously good. The audience is fully engaged and the laughter is like solar power lighting up the show.  

My mind briefly recalls Summer Heights High when a Chemistry Class sketch comes on – something about the exaggerated culture of youth here. Add sketches on Magic, Stand-up comedy and Pizza and others – all seriously funny.

Congratulations to Louis Hutchings, Tanner Deveich, Finn Blackwell as the other members of the cast who are immersed and consumed by their characters, so much so, that I don’t have an inkling who they may really be. I’m super impressed with everyone’s confidence and the tightness of the collaboration.

There’s wonderful live music from Rory Johns, Pete Nola, Zoe Ioannou, Baileigh Sparkes and Will Jakicevich that adds emphasis, passion and emotion and I want to see more of this.

Please Laugh is contemporary comedy culture and language at its best, addressing stereotypical behaviour and out-dated concepts, interspersed with more gentle reminders of gender diversity, the ‘token females’ and the Me-Too movement.

The last sketch involves the whole cast, and I think, Oh yes, Black Mirror!  My mind conceives a futuristic scenario of creatives in exploration mode, striving to arrive at the best concept – but for what? Or whom? And is it about the journey or the destination?

I see Please Laugh continuing to evolve, the material is as flexible as playdough.

Can’t wait for Season Two!


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