Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

05/05/2010 - 08/05/2010

The Classic Studio, Auckland

12/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2010

Production Details

“RESPECT: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for his judgment.” Dictionary.com
“RHYSPECT: “A show about how awesome, award winning comedian Rhys Mathewson is. Ironic arrogance features heavily” Rhys Mathewson
Billy T Award nominee and New Zealand’s youngest professional comedian, Rhys Mathewson returns after last years award winning sell out show The Best $18 You’ll Ever Spend. You would think he would be feeling some pressure, but no, Rhys has it all sorted.
It’s a story of self-respect lost and then regained by way of a coke bottle, some furious list-making abilities and a trip to the other side of the world. It’s really funny too. Think of Top Gun mixed with Forrest Gump with the songs from Saturday Night Fever played over the top. That’s not what the show’s about, but how cool would that be? Almost as cool as Rhys Mathewson, who thinks it makes him more of a man when he cries at Disney movies.
At only 19 Mathewson is one of the brightest up and coming comedians and being at the forefront of the newest generation of kiwi comics, he is ready to impress at this year’s Festival.
Rhys is truly a product of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival starting out as a member of the Festival’s “Class Comedians” programme in 2006, working up to the RAW comedy competitions, and having performed in two previous Festivals, Rhys has now been nominated for the prestigious Billy T Award.
With 4 years of comedy experience under his belt and many achievements to his name, such as appearing on both Campbell Live and Close Up, opening for kiwi comedy titans Brendhan Lovegrove and Dai Henwood in the thriving international metropolis of Hamilton, and In 2009 Rhys took off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he was invited to share the stage with UK comedy great, and NZ Festival favourite, Phil Nichol. Rhys is fondly known to his comedy elders as “King of the Chumps,” and is definitely the one to watch this year.
Dates: Wed 5 – Sat 8 May, 10pm
Venue: The Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts, City
Tickets: Adults $20, Conc. & Groups 10+ $18
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, www.ticketek.co.nz
Show duration: 1 hour  

Dates: Wed 12 – Sat 15 May, 10pm
Venue: The Classic Studio, Level 1, 321 Queen St, City
Tickets: Adults $20, Conc. & Groups 10+ $18
Bookings: Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK, www.ticketek.co.nz
Show duration: 1 hour 


Post-adolescent musings amuse

Review by Venus Stephens 13th May 2010

Respect. n. Esteem or admiration; consideration.

Rhys: a surname of Welsh origin that has the meanings, enthusiasm, fervour, passion and ultimate zeal.

These are qualities Rhys Mathewson exhibits in his hour-long treat of a show, simply titled RHYSPECT: a clever play on the melding power of words. The principles of Rhyspect they serve his character, and feed an hour of haphazard laughs garnered sporadically from all corners of the room.

The 2010 Billy T Award nominee has an awkward fumbling manner, which could prove hazardous in another’s hands. Thankfully in his, it has an endearingly sweet quality.

His stand up show runs on a medley of tales which feed into his personal goals. The result is a window into the inner workings of his post-adolescent mind. More than once I felt compelled to jot in my notes ‘what a sweetheart!’

Mathewson definitely dances to his own beat; he may deem himself a geek, but he’s a funny one. I find his mumbling musings on the nuances of attracting females ‘so cute’. I can see why Nik Smythe, who reviewed Mathewson’s show The best $18 you’ll ever spend at the 2009 Comedy Festival, fell in love with him (not that Nik would use those words exactly!).

Opening night saw the show sold out, with good reason, if you have a hankering to see a young guy who knows how to make people laugh, just follow the queue leading from the Classic on Queen Street up the stairwell to the Classic Studio. Turn left at the laughs.


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Heaps of potential

Review by Hannah Smith 06th May 2010

Rhys Mathewson is very young. Nineteen. And for a man so young he’s got a bunch of experience with Class Comedians and the Comedy Festival and going to the Edinburgh Festival and so on. He is, if you Google him, the new generation, the up and coming, the bearer of the comedic flame etc.

Maybe so. If this is the case then I think the new generation look an awful lot like the old one. This show feels imitative. Not that he pinches gags from anywhere bar classic joke books, but I detect distinct shades of Wrigley. I think it’s the manner. Or maybe it’s the way he holds the mic a little bit too close to his mouth?

The show is based on Mathewson’s quest for Rhyspect, illustrated with anecdotes about his body image, his travels and his success with the ladies. For the most part the audience are into it, but on opening night there were a number of key jokes that fizzled out or fell flat and Mathewson plugged on with them regardless.

I don’t want to slam the guy, or slam the show. He has heaps of potential; he has charm, confidence, a good sense of audience and plenty of material to fill his hour, no sweat. He is one to keep your eye on.


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