Raybon Kan in Clear and Present Manger

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

06/12/2011 - 11/12/2011

Production Details

Angels Foretell Raybon’s Coming to Downstage this Xmas

Comedian Raybon Kan performs his new stand-up show ‘Clear and Present Manger’ at Downstage Theatre early this December.

The all-new show promises to skewer Santa, cross-examine Xmas, and cluster-mulch glass-eyed reindeer into a delicious steamer of rednosed dim-sum.  

Get on board Raybon’s sleigh for a rollercoaster ride to the Manger Zone. “Verily, it will be a night for Living Mangerously,” says Raybon, quite conversationally.

Raybon will be making Santa especially welcome this year by taking the trouble to install a chimney, and even lubricate it with freshly harvested reindeer saliva and elf residue.

“For me, Xmas is an annual dream come true: the perfect public holiday.

It’s all childbirth, and no paternity.”
The final nights are to be filmed for a DVD.

The show runs for 6 nights only, Tuesday 6th to Sunday 11th Dec.
All tickets are under $30, and on the Preview Night, Tuesday Dec 6, all tickets are $20.

Show time will be at least 60 minutes, depending on how long people laugh for, and how much coffee Raybon has just before he walks on stage.

It promises to be halo-larious! And wrong on so many levels.

The season is presented by Classic Hits, and sponsored by Betty’s and Hummingbird.

Bookings via www.downstage.co.nz  or call Downstage on (04) 801-6946.

Performance Times
Tuesday – Sunday 8.30pm
Ticket Prices
(Allocated Seating) 
Preview Night, Tuesday Dec 6, all tickets are $20
Full A Reserve: $29.90
Concession: $26.90
Students with ID: $26.90
Groups 6+: $26.90
Groups 10+: $24.90
Preview (Tues):  $20 
Suitable for ages 15+   

Support act: James Nokise 

Juicy stuff in the main course

Review by John Smythe 07th Dec 2011

Downstage is briefly abuzz this week with Raybon Kan’s new show, Clear and Present Manger. Last night turned out to be a preview, so technical problems with the PowerPoint – which became highly entertaining in itself – and Kan’s tendency to shout into the microphone as if we were at an outdoor stadium should be ironed out by now.

An affable James Nokise warms us up well with astute and witty commentary on the election, the Act Party, Stokes Valley and Wainuiomata. He pitches his shtick just right for his role in proceedings.  

Raybon Kan plays the game of appearing disorganised and making us wait for the show as advertised, promising it then side-tracking himself with other stuff.

He seems to have a compulsion to dig himself into a hole by way of setting himself the challenge to climb out and win us back. Having lowered the tone with cheap shots at German and anti-old people ‘jokes’ (the latter by way of lampooning NZ First) he climbs back through the Occupy movement’s 99% v 1% to a cracker about the Johns Key and Banks.

Then he revisits the trouble he got himself into with a Tweet about the German’s ability to run transport effectively, musing on why people thought it was anti-Jewish, and clearing up who exactly he was insulting and why, only to turn the room cold again by telling us he used to wear Adidas until he realised the shoes were made from human skin: a so-called gag with no redeeming features whatever. Back he goes down the hole.

His observations about the TSB TVC where the guy falls from the sky and is introduced to banking by a Maori guy should have us rolling with laughter but it’s only when he adds Asians to the mix that the thaw sets in. This is a set-up for his finale, observing the ubiquity of racism not least by exclusion … I feel all this would be better placed in the first segment, provided he can work the main event up to a strong finish. (I assume he used it at the end for fear his new material wouldn’t be climactic enough.)

Kan explains that his super-religious primary schooling with its ever-present threat of hellfire and damnation is the root-cause of his having to question Christmas and indeed Christianity itself. Revisiting the basic teachings gets us attuned to considering Luke’s Gospel account of the Nativity from a fresh perspective.  

In generating the laughs, Kan articulates thoughts many of us have may had in the past and works his theme in ways that revitalises the humour.  His follow up with deconstructions of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ and ‘Snoopy’s Christmas’ – all worthy targets – and rounds it of with a powerful romp through the 2000 years of atrocities enacted in the name of religion. For my money, that’s the right place to end it.  

The main course is juicy stuff and there is every reason to suppose Clear and Present Manger will quickly find its focus and deliver the goods to the full extent of its potential. 


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