The Press CLUB - BUSKER PARK, Christchurch

23/01/2013 - 26/01/2013


Production Details

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer, and songbird. From Melbourne to Edinburgh, he has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting and inventive performers on the international comedy scene.

As a solo act, Sammy J has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Montreal Just For Laughs, and throughout Australia as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) Roadshow and Gala. He has also appeared in millions of living rooms courtesy of Spicks and Specks, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, and Good News Week. His live albums are occasionally listened to and someone has almost certainly purchased a copy of his DVD, 58 Kilograms of Pure Entertainment (Madman Entertainment).

In 2008, a collaboration with puppeteer Heath McIvor led to the dark musical comedy Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams. The show won the Age Critics’ Award in Melbourne, and went on to receive five-star reviews in Edinburgh and London’s West End.

As “Sammy J & Randy”, the duo then created Ricketts Lane, a live sitcom which took out Australia’s most prestigious comedy prize – the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show at the 2010 MICF. From there they played the Sydney Opera House; headlined a Montreal Gala; sold out in Edinburgh; and gained a national following on the TV sketch show Good News World (Network Ten). At some point they expect people will stop caring for their skinny-man-purple-puppet shenanigans, but until then, they’ll keep writing shows.

Sammy J has been writing comedy songs since his schooldays, when he appeared shirtless on Hey Hey it’s Saturday singing about life as a nerd. Having directed and appeared in the Melbourne University Law Revue, he finally took the advice of a frustrated lecturer and dropped his law degree in favour of the comedy circuit. He went on to win the Best Newcomer award at the 2006 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Back by popular demand, Sammy J and Randy return for 4 nights only (Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 Jan) be sure to secure your seats quick!

Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 January
R16 – adult content (proof of age required)
1 Seat = 1 Donation ($15 preferred)
First in, first served!

Seats available from 11am on the day of the show from the WBF BOOKINGS BOOTH. Limited 8 seats per show.

Car parking available off Harper Ave for $4 per day (weather dependent)

No BYO alcohol. Bar and food vendors onsite

No smoking, thanks!

Often crass and always funny

Review by Erin Harrington 24th Jan 2013

Sammy J is skinny, slightly startled looking and a dab hand on the electric piano. Randy is an ordinary Aussie bloke, if being a fuzzy purple puppet counts as ordinary. Together they work through a fairly suspect 19th century encyclopaedia of comedic principles, dabbling in word play, puns, and dirty jokes, as they bicker their way through a swiftly paced one hour show.

These gags and diversions provide the context for the core of the show: comic songs, belted out with irreverent glee. The songs explore fairly banal activities such as getting an ice cream, sleeping, filling out census forms, and driving, but they push the everyday subject matter to a place of absurdity – and often schadenfreude. The lyrics are slick and intelligent, and the music itself is well-written and executed with aplomb.

Sammy J and Randy have a convincingly abrasive love-hate relationship, the sort that comes from a long term flatting situation that neither party can afford to get away from. Their domestic annoyances and their seeming inability to function with (or without) one other makes for a strong, character-driven double act that provides a solid foundation for the show’s silliness. Their finely honed repartee seems effortless, as does the assured and pointed way that they interact with the audience.

This sharp timing and lightning pace is all the more impressive when you consider that the two performers – Sammy J and puppeteer Heath McIvor – can’t actually see one another. McIvor’s energetic performance is an absolute joy and, even though the façade is occasionally and purposefully broken, Randy is a wholly credible entity in his own right (and a mighty fine dancer).

The show is often crass and always funny, and will certainly be considered to be a highlight of the World Buskers Festival. 


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