Globe Theatre, 312 Main St, Palmerston North

26/07/2019 - 26/07/2019

Production Details

Finding the humour in a complicated family 

Being a step-parent isn’t easy at times and 32 year old Feilding based comedian Ben ‘Tito’ Caldwell knows that all too well. 

His wife had three adopted kids when they first met, who all have special needs. To complicate things further, they added another two children between them, all within a three and a half year period. 

His story makes up the backdrop of his show, Stepping Up, for which he won a People’s Choice Award at the 2018 GoMedia Comedy Carnival. 

Tito didn’t really comprehend the gravity of change he experienced in such a short space of time until he started going to counselling to deal with stress, anxiety and depression.

“I’m a pretty easy going person, annoyingly so for my wife and I came into our relationship thinking that everything with the kids would work itself out. Looking back, it was naive to think that. I became a Dad to them pretty much overnight. 

“I’d gone from being single and not having to think about anyone else, to all of a sudden having to think about how my decisions would affect four other people, now six and it’s still taking some time to adjust to that,” says Tito. 

Always looking at things from a comedic angle, Tito says comedy has helped him through the difficult times and being able to laugh and joke about some of the more stressful experiences has been therapeutic for him. 

“It’s weird but the show has helped to put things in perspective for me. It’s brutal at times and some of the stuff that has happened to me, particularly in my relationship with my oldest stepson, has been really challenging, but over time I’ve been able to find aspects of it funny and trying to find humour in those situations makes me feel like I still have some control over it.” 

“Brutally honest… warm, engaging and friendly throughout…. we also learned that laughter can indeed be the best medicine” – Echoes from the Wings 

Warning: Contains adult themes and coarse language

The Globe Theatre, Palmerston North
Friday 26 July at 8.00pm
$15 full, $10 concession

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Turns what could be a very difficult subject into tear-inducing laughs

Review by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis 27th Jul 2019

Stepping Up is a one man stand-up comedy show by Manawatu comedian Ben ‘Tito’ Caldwell. This show charts his journey from being a university student to a parent of five in three and a half years. Being a parent is tough and being a step parent can be even more so.

Ben takes us through the ups and downs of his journey from online dating, to finding the perfect women and meeting her three extraordinary, special, high-needs children to adding to his family, more than once. Along the way we get an insight into the deepest, darkest parts of Ben’s head and occasionally his wife’s and his friends’ – but all told in a hilarious way.

We hear about the good times, the bad times and the downright scary times. While occasionally brutally honest, Ben’s love and devotion to his family shines through. He takes what could be a very difficult subject and turns it into tear-inducing laughs. 

Ben ‘Tito’ Caldwell won the 2019 People’s Choice Winner (Performance) at the GoMedia Comedy Carnival. And while this was a one night show, Ben is well worth looking out for on the Manawatu comedy scene. 


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