ROB HARRIS & NIK BRUCE-SMITH: The Professional Newbies

Kitty O'Sheas, 28 Courtenay Place, Wellington

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

There are some things you shouldn’t do on a Tuesday at work but should definitely do after a few drinks on a Friday night.  The question is – where do you draw the line?  Rob Harris and Nik Bruce-Smith don’t know.  In fact, it isn’t even clear if they do want to know.  Through their heart-warming and hilarious adventures of being a 34 year old trying to escape the workplace and a 24 year old forgetting he is in one, you too may learn that sometimes you have to get off the train and hop on donkey.  

Strap in for an evening of storytelling and satirical observation as the Wellington Raw Comedy Quest Winners and National Finalists for 2013 team up to bring you a night of stellar comedy.  Rob and Nik trade the Blackberry for the microphone and ditch the desktop for the brick wall, for what is sure to be a hot-selling and high-calibre ticket in the 2014 Comedy Festival. 

Bring a date or just pick one up there.  The tickets are cheap enough to do both…  

“Rob Harris is the type of stealthy hilarious you won’t see coming, a comedy sneak attack you shouldn’t miss” – Steve Wrigley (7 Days) 

“Nik Bruce-Smith is fresh and very funny.  Much like a new box of Coco Pops that could tell jokes” – Dai Henwood (7 Days) 


Dates:  Tue 6 – Sat 10 May, 8.30pm
Venue:  Kitty O’Shea’s, Wellington 
Tickets:  Adults $15.00 
Conc. $10.00* service fees may apply 


Plenty to enjoy

Review by Hannah Smith 07th May 2014

Nik Bruce-Smith and Rob Harris are not full time comedians, they both have day jobs and these day jobs provide the fodder for The Professional Newbies: two half hours of solo stand up inspired by the pair’s various experiences as a part of the workforce. 

Nik Bruce-Smith is first off the bat, with a set loosely based around the sense of unease he experienced hitting his mid-twenties and concerns his youth is slipping away. Anecdotal accounts of pranks pulled and mistakes made are interspersed with observations of the typical behaviour of the young Kiwi male.

Bruce-Smith has a slick manner and a well-rehearsed set. The crowd responds warmly to his material and he relaxes more as the set progresses and he gets into his groove. 

Second to the stage is Canadian-born comedian Rob Harris, who has an affable and relaxed manner which belies the craft of his jokes. He covers his work-related RSI, his experiences as a Canadian living overseas, and the downsides of smoking.

There is some neatly observed humour here, and Harris’s comfortable low-key stage manner makes some of his insights come as a surprise. The jokes are solid, and the pay-off is great – though a couple of times his sloppy diction means a good punchline doesn’t land as hard as it should, not because it isn’t funny but just because we didn’t quite catch it.

On opening night it is clear that some of the ordering of material could use a rethink – neither of these guys closes his set on his biggest laugh – but there is plenty to enjoy here, and at $10 a ticket this is a great low risk/good reward offer from the festival.


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