Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

26/02/2014 - 01/03/2014

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

Production Details

Award-winning stand up comedians and improvisors Jason Geary and Jimmy James Eaton are joining forces to split the sides of this year’s Festival with Sketch-ual Healing.  

Rapid fire voices, characters and quips, you’ll be quoting for weeks.  

****1/2 Stars – Herald Sun (Aus)

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington CBD 
9.30pm, 26 Feb – 1 Mar  (50mins) 

Theatre , Comedy ,

Well-crafted, excellently executed hilarity

Review by Maraea Rakuraku 28th Feb 2014

Entering the Gryphon Theatre to songs where a key word has been replaced by another has the audience chuckling. Yes, chuckling and has me reminiscing for the 90’s ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ soundtracks. It also sets up the premise there may be some nudity and being a late night show and after seeing the posters, I expect it. There isn’t.

Sketch-ual Healing is a series of well executed sketches that are too numerous to name featuring Jason Geary and Jimmy James Eaton. It has a touch of improvisation, theatre sports even Spike Jonze to it. I do get a bit lost in the beginning, mesmerised as I am by the ‘acting’ but by the end it all becomes clearer as the performers cross back and forth across narrative.

This is original stuff and they are fantastically good at impressions. Christopher Walken, David Bowie, Michael Caine all get an outing. Though it’s the Bane v Darth Vader that’s a hit with the audience and has me laughing a little … If I’m honest uncontrollably.

There’s even a couple of character-driven love stories. One features a terrifically terrifying made-of-nightmares librarian (I’m still shuddering a day later). The other, two old skool construction workers building up the courage to reveal their feelings in what even now, beats Itunes everytime – the Mixtape.  A speed version of The Wizard of Oz and Lord of the Rings hurtles the pace along, as do references to – yes, that book sitting on shelves throughout the country – Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sketch-ual Healing is a well-crafted, excellently executed work and deserving of a better venue and bigger audience although there is a certain intimacy gained in such a contained space. The music choices are inspired: Kings of Leon alongside … was that Django Reinhardt? Both men are very equal in their performances. No-one is upstaging anyone. That’s refreshing. That’s teamwork. 

Promotional material promises “rapid fire voices, characters and quips you’ll be quoting for weeks.” Which is accurate, to a degree. Because so much of this is reliant on the impressionistic skills of the performers I doubt any audience member could do any of it justice. Unless of course you were, ‘Acting’ which is an in-joke and to understand just hilarious that is, get along to Sketch-ual Healing. It is thoroughly enjoyable and an hour’s entertainment you won’t regret.


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