Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

20/02/2013 - 23/02/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

Signfeld & Freindz is a comedy variety time so good that you might throw up with joy. Late night fun with music, film, interviews, sexy news etc.

From lots of people like the maker of the No Nonsense Parenting Show and including other shit idk leave me alone. 

20-23February, 10.00pm
The Fringe Bar 
Bookings: $16/$12 

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Jonny Potts as Jonny Signfeld
Sam Smith as Dr. Russell
Morgan Bach as Jeri Signfeld
Uther Dean as Patricia Disappointment 

Quirky intelligence

Review by Nancy Catherine Fulford 24th Feb 2013

This show is funny, really funny. If I was an old fashioned talent scout, I’d be congratulating myself on having found a gold mine in this company and sighting a particularly shiny nugget in the main dude. That is Jonny – as in “Hhhhheeeeeere’s Jonny!” – Signfeld (Jonny Potts) our versatile host, dressed casually with his cap on back-to-front and with an unending supply of premixed drinks under the lid of his school desk.

He is an irreverent raconteur on various subjects pertaining to the New Zealand life, in the arts in particular, but specialising in theatre ‘craft’ and things that have no bearing on anything in particular.

Sport for instance: Racquet ball as Americans do it; the essential nature of Badminton … But it’s all in the delivery, really. Jonny’s charm as a blithering ‘idi-wit’ is enormous. He creates strong dramatic irony for the audience around his character and also has us alongside his efforts to find his ‘craft’; something solid he will create and hold onto for fifty years, “like Nelson Mandela or Cliff Richards.” I love it.

Jonny is the main act but he’s got a straight-man and straight-woman to work against as well as a very bent AV manager named Patricia Disappointment (Uther Dean) who is very funny in his own right. ‘Patricia’ brings on the media clips that I’m guessing are the work of Hair of the Dog Productions, the umbrella group that brought us Signfeld and Frendz. These are news casts or how-to sessions and I would have enjoyed greater linking between these and what is happening on stage. 

The straight woman is Jonny’s sister Jerri (Morgan Bach), born glum and destined to be his helper, handing out drinks to the prize winners of the ccrumping (Jonny’s spelling) competition and supervising the scrabble game several audience members are commanded to conduct. They work well as foils for each other.

The straight-man is a Dr. Russell (Sam Smith), purveyor of anti-advice, describing to us the minute details of his life coming undone, one bad decision after another. He is not a laugh a minute in the same way as Jonny but what an impressive characterisation all the same.

All in all the show could use a bit of tightening and, again, more linking, but that’s nit-picking. I value the comedy for its intelligence and quirkiness and the characterisations are all excellent. I will be sure to go to any Hair of the Dog Productions in the future. 


Uther Dean February 27th, 2013

Thanks for coming and for the review, Nancy!

We should just clarify that Hair of the Dog productions were not the creative team behind the show but rather they are Mary Laine's rather brilliant little production company that was in charge of the logistics of putting the show on - they are the people who also bring us PSAs and the Chapman Kips. The videos were written and directed by Jonny with a lot of help from Ro Tierney. Together they make films as Cinema in Decline.

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