Simon McKinney Tells A Bit Of A Yarn

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

06/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

The Transmission Room, Auckland

19/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


You’ll have seen him on local TV screens on the Comedy Christmas Gala, the Comedy Gala and Pulp Comedy and now Simon delivers his second solo show at the NZ International Comedy Festival. Last years "Land of the Long White Clown" saw Simon nominated for the Billy T Award and building his reputation with both audiences and critics alike.

Simon is known for his relaxed delivery, ability to weave a story and an award winning array of accents, impersonations, satire, and ludicrous situations.  He has won the NZ Comedy Guild Best Male Comic, meaning his fellow comedians voted him as their favourite. That’s high praise for any comedian and a rare honour indeed. Simon has quietly carved his niche in the New Zealand comedy scene and is often called on for his capabilities of making any audience lap up his comedy. There a few with Simon’s abilities to read an audience and find their level making the tired new and the fresh familiar.

"Simon McKinney does an excellent, pitch-perfect drunken burp. He also breathes new life into tiresome jokes about farts, something he calls ‘spiritual landmines’." – NZ HERALD

Born and raised in Dunedin Simon has had a world of experience and over a decade of performing comedy that belies his youthful appearance His working life has been as varied as his accents, from the voice of an animated fish to a working at a news-agent in Edinburgh train station. Of Scottish decent it’s little wonder he spent a majority of his OE in Edinburgh where his mastery of accents had the double consequence of getting him both in and out of trouble.  This time away saw Simon perform over 300 gigs in Brittain and gave him a unique insight into the human condition, particularly that of the drunken British comedy audience, probably the hardest audience in the business.

There is little doubt that Simon has all the goods for a great comedy show and 2009 will be no different with warm-up seasons in Nelson and the Dunedin Fringe. Those who know Simon will tell you that he is one of the most reliably funny comics in the country; this is a living embodiment of the joker at school who made it work on stage, telling a yarn.

Dates:  Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 May, 10pm
Venue:  Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian Sts
Tickets:  Adults $20 Concession $18 Groups 10+ $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385),  

Dates:  Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 May, 8.30pm
Venue:  Transmission Room, Cnr Mayoral Dr & Queen St
Tickets:  Adults $23 Concession $19 Groups 10+ $19
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385),  

1hr, no interval


Review by Venus Stephens 20th May 2009

Simon Mc Kinney has had me laughing for the past hour. I’ve chosen to sit in awkward spot behind a tall person and now I find myself ‘playing peek- a- boo’ trying to see where Mc Kinney is on stage.  I am engrossed.

He is hilarious with his library of impersonations and pitch perfect accents that have got me crying from laughing so hard. He’s taken a jab at the ‘Kiwi woman’s’ accent, surely we don’t sound that bad, do we? I see husbands and partners around the room ribbing their fairer halves and not one woman is standing up for her lingual rights; sadly I think there’s some truth in it.

Life and locals in Edinburgh get the spotlight as do the supposed ‘similarities’ between the Kiwi’s and Scottish. His parents must be very proud of his proficiency in taking the proverbial. I could quite easily get drunk on his banter, he’s that funny I feel euphoric.

Simon McKinney is performing at the Transmission Room in Auckland City, if your comedy quota is deficient of silly faces and funny impersonations, Mc Kinney’s is the show to see.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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A polished pleasure to watch, (but) no risk

Review by Hannah Smith 07th May 2009

Simon McKinney’s 2009 show is entitled ‘Simon McKinney Tells a Bit of A Yarn’ and that is exactly what he does.  The audience is welcomed into the comfortable and inviting Fringe Bar and made to feel as warm and relaxed as if in their own living room, while Simon regales them with a long series of anecdotes. The only thing missing is the roaring log fire.

McKinney’s tale chiefly consists of his experiences on his OE, a lone New Zealander adrift in the British Isles.  This framework gives McKinney ample opportunity to utilise his prime talent, an uncanny gift for voices and mimicry.  In his travels overseas McKinney has perfected a range of Scottish and English accents and we are treated to cameo appearances by such characters as the British fop, the Scottish fisherman, and the New Zealand housewife desperately seeking ‘eeeggs’.

As a comic McKinney is a pleasure to watch.  He is relaxed, professional, his engaging and affable manner born of confidence in his material and his relationship with the audience.  We never have to secretly squirm as we watch the performer on stage flail in the spotlight. McKinney is in his element, and clearly more than happy to have a room full of people watching him.

The flipside of this assurance is its indication that the comic is not stepping outside of his comfort zone. Simon McKinney does not take any risks; his performance is so slick as to be almost impersonal.   His routine is so well structured and thought out that there is little room within it for snappy improvisation and live banter – I imagine this show will play the same every night.

Simon McKinney is a talented performer and comedian who has a sharp set of skills which he knows how to use.  Having spent a decade polishing and honing these talents his show is never going to disappoint. It would be exciting to see him push his limits in his next routine – but ‘Simon McKinney Tells a Yarn’ is well worth catching, any Kiwi who has travelled overseas will relate to this. The man does a damn fine accent.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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