Hawkes Bay Opera House, Hastings

01/05/2012 - 01/05/2012

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

02/05/2012 - 02/05/2012

Opera House, Wellington

03/05/2012 - 05/05/2012

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

08/05/2012 - 12/05/2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

NZ Fringe Festival 2012

Production Details

Some say the world could end in 2012. But Rhys Darby has a plan. He’s fairly sure the superpowers each have a spaceship ready to launch on the eve of Armageddon. The trick is… to get onboard!

Rhys takes us on an autobiographical journey from meek geek to king of cool. This show is a handy guide to living your life like you’re the champion no one’s heard of. In the end, you might just find you’ve been invited to recolonise another planet.

Rhys Darby’s new standup show is the live version of his first novel, This Way to Spaceship, ‘a handy autobiographical end of world companion’.  The book will be available in stores from April 12.

The show promises to combine everything Rhys is known for, surreal musings, hilarious stories from his life and a healthy dollop of nonsense and fantasy.

Darby is undertaking his first UK tour and returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with This Way to Spaceship. He will also be seen on UK television on ITV1 as a Team Captain in the new panel show Mad, Mad World.

Best known for his portrayal of Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords, Darby is also known for his roles in Yes Man opposite Jim Carrey and The Boat that Rocked.  He has appeared as the lead in two romcoms, Lovebirds, opposite Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins (out on DVD now) and Coming and Going opposite Sasha Alexander (NCIS).

Whilst basing himself between NZ and LA with his young family he has written a book, starred in a now defunct US network sitcom, released his second standup DVD, It’s Rhys Darby Night, and learnt to drive an amphibious boat.

As part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012 

Rhys Darby Tour Dates, NZ, May 2012

Date: Tuesday May 1, 8.00pm
Venue: Hawkes Bay Opera House
Support Act: Steve Hughes (AUS)

Date: Wednesday May  2, 8.00pm
Venue:  TSB Showplace
Bookings: Book at Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.co.nz  
Support Act: Steve Hughes (AUS)

Date: Thurs  May 3 – Sat May 5, 8.00pm
Venue: The Opera House
Support Act: Steve Hughes (AUS)

Date: Tues May 8 – Sat May 12, 8.00pm
+ Friday 11 May at 5pm
Venue:  Skycity Theatre
Support Act: Steve Hughes (AUS)

Tickets: Adult $46. Conc. $41/ Group $41
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK www.ticketek.co.nz
Duration: 2 hours  

2 hours

Yuk precedes Kiwi brilliance

Review by Caoilinn Hughes 04th May 2012

If Rhys Darby hadn’t been so charismatic and charming, so loveably self-deprecating and self-effacing, and just such a funny good guy, I might have poked someone’s eyes out after the warm-up act, Adam Ethan Crow.

U.K. comedian Crow covers all the tried-and-tested-and-failed comedian bases: plaything midgets, midget breeding, 5-star Jews, manipulative women “who are so much smarter than men by the way”, drink driving as a hobby, the ginger affliction, disabilities – they’re funny, huh? – and of course pedophilic priests. All this is bandaged together with the grating refrain, “We live in a fucked up world, man,” and punctuated by Crow’s dirty little sniggers, while ploughing his hand deeply into the pocket of his tight jeans.

His explanation that having an Irish mother and a South African father, and having lived in England for most of his life (thus having a ‘weird accent’), doesn’t excuse why he is a UK comedian playing an American comedian in New Zealand. He is not Chris Rock. He is not Bill Hicks. He seems to be playing at some kind of sleazy, sardonic American Casanova. But he’s just crude and British… which can work if you’re sharp and original, like Jimmy Carr, but he is blunt and his jokes are as stale as the condoms he describes being stuck to his thigh.

Crow feels aggrieved when the audience is unresponsive to his quip that religions are ridiculous because some old men wrote some old books and “people take them as gospel.” He waits for a reaction. “Fuck you guys, that was a fucking good joke.” Was it? I thought I heard a gag but, no, that was just the audience gagging.

Moving on, the night was more than salvaged by Rhys Darby. I do not know if Rhys had anything to do with the choice of support act, but I’m hoping he chose it deliberately to create a joyous sense of relief when he comes on stage in the second half. The restoration of hope!

Rhys makes us feel good about being humans again. Thank Homer, the ‘real life’ anecdotes don’t revolve around peeling crusty condoms off midget thighs. The anecdotes are unassuming and hilarious, and I won’t give a single one away.

He’s the kind of comedian you need to refer to by their first name, maybe because I want to be his friend. Or his child. Or his wife. Mostly his friend. He’s a brilliant manifestation of the New Zealand sense of humour, and I think he’s a national treasure in that regard. He’s endearingly quirky, an engaging storyteller, and he’s energetic and generous on stage.

I didn’t expect the physical comedy element, which does really drive the ‘This Way to Spaceship’ and it’s a pleasant surprise. Rhys’ impersonation of horses in dressage is a highlight, as is the peripatetic handshake. The ‘Spaceship’ story format really works, as it’s just what you want from a narrative device: it acts as an excellent ice-breaker, it moves the show along without getting in the way, and adds comedic value in its own right.

The only criticism I have, and it’s a minor one, is that the cyclical format is over-used in stand-up routines and it doesn’t add anything to this show. Kick it out of its orbit, and you’ve got a Kiwi classic; you’ve got world-class comedy.

Rhys will put you in a good mood for a week.


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