Ray Shipley – Fifty Shades of Ray

BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

09/05/2023 - 13/05/2023

NZ International Comedy Festival 2023

Production Details



Inside Ray Shipley there’s always been a resplendent, 5 foot 10, perfectly put-together, front-cover-gracing, legendary star of stage and screen, but something has always stopped them getting out. Whatever could it be?

Ray confronts this barrier in their latest show, Fifty Shades of Ray – a comedy about fame and obsession and crying in the props cupboard. It won’t be very sexy, but neither was the book.

Booking: https://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/fifty-shades-of-ray/
Price:$15 – $20
Time: 7.30PM


Comedian Ray Shipley


Comedy , Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,


60 minutes

A glowing example of how comedy is about how you tell a story

Review by Maryanne Cathro 11th May 2023

This shows holds a Ray of light to living with hilarious, relatable anxiety, while also wanting to be famous. And it comes with its very own Zine of adorable cartoons illustrating the show. Such value!!

BATS Studio seats only 40 people. But its intimacy suits Ray Shipley’s show, Fifty Shades of Ray. No, not THAT kind of intimacy. It is the intimacy that comes from a shared experience. And rest assured, underneath the anxious exterior is an experienced comedian whose show doesn’t miss a beat. And don’t take that poster too literally – it is all delicious irony.

Ray takes us on a journey through their childhood and adolescence – of carefully planned excursions to the playground, a family trip to Disneyland, resourceful attempts to become an internationally famous actor, religious rapture and hiding their developing sexuality. It’s a glowing example of how comedy is about how you tell a story.

The stories where Ray strays from the truth into pure fantasy are clearly marked by their ironic delivery and the actual content. I for one know several crocheters who also knit, and vice versa. Some of my best friends do crochet!

I’m fairly certain that none of this makes a lot of sense, but how do you share a comedy show without giving out spoilers, which are a total betrayal of trust between reviewer and reviewee.

So, you probably get that I love this show. I laugh a lot and so does the rest of the audience, and at different volumes in different places, showing that even if some people relate more to a certain line than others, it is all still highly entertaining.

I am left with a dilemma – fans of Ray Shipley need a name. RayFans? RayBans? SunRays? I haven’t decided on one yet – feel free to make suggestions in the comments below. Ray deserves a fan club and I’ll be signing up for it.

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