Steve Coogan Live

Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch

05/05/2009 - 05/05/2009

Civic Theatre, cnr of Queen Street & Wellesley Street West, Auckland

08/05/2009 - 08/05/2009

Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington

09/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

STEVE COOGAN is at long last heading to New Zealand!

Coogan, genius creator of Alan Partridge, Paul & Pauline Calf and a myriad of other laugh-inducing, cringe-worthy yet achingly familiar comic character creations, is undertaking his first New Zealand live performances including shows as part of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Boasting Perrier, BAFTA & numerous British Comedy Awards, including Top Male Comedy Performer and Top Comedy Personality, Steve Coogan has also made a name for himself in a swag of acting roles, most notably Tony Wilson in Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People and most recently as a British film director in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder.

But it’s his comedic characters that attracted over 350,000 people in the UK to see him in his 2008 tour.

Don’t miss Steve Coogan – one of the most popular, charismatic and versatile comics in the world today.

Dates:  Tuesday 5 May
Venue:  Town Hall
Bookings:  Ticketek – Ph: (03) 377-8899 –

Dates:  8 May
Venue:  Civic Theatre
Bookings:  The Edge Ph: (09) 357-3355 –

Dates:  Saturday 9 May
Venue:  Michael Fowler Centre
Bookings:  Ticketek – Ph: 0800ticketek – 

Nostalgic trip for Coogan fans

Review by Simon Sweetman 12th May 2009

British comic Steve Coogan is still best known for the character Alan Partridge, which sits perfectly between Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) and David Brent (Ricky Gervais) in a continuum of comic creations that are all at once farcically over the top and utterly believable as bumbling, foot-in-mouth, obnoxious twits.

Coogan’s return to standup sees a nostalgia show with the character-driven performer providing other names (and costumes) from his past, a video screen providing character interludes to cover the makeup and dress changes.

First is Pauline Calf, who provides humour with crass double-entendres and perfectly satirises the trashy autobiographical novel/chick-lit genres. Her fictional brother, Paul Calf ensures the entendres continue to double …

There’s an ironic -and irreverent – nod to music-hall traditions and to a distinctly British style of humour. Thrifty lines, sure, but the characters are wincingly real.

The final player in the first half is Portuguese singing sensation Tony Ferrino who has a sound (and look) that perfectly amalgamates Neil Diamond with Julio Iglesias, claiming "I’ve had 10 wives, four of them were mine" and plucking a woman from the front row to sing "You’re An Ordinary Girl"  in dedication.

The second half was all Alan Partridge, the failed TV host has turned self-help motivational speaker. Partridge’s cluttered and clumsy DJ-parlance brings laughs and cringing in equal doses; as it has always been designed to do.

Finishing the show with a next-level subversion of Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, "the man behind the masks" sent up his public image with Everyone’s A Bit Of A **** – the song’s sentiment had universal application given the woman behind me spent a large part of the second half talking on her cell phone.
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Five distinct incarnations

Review by Sally Richards 11th May 2009

This is British comedian Steve Coogan’s first visit to New Zealand and it is an absolute treat. He is exceptionally funny and clever. And curiously charismatic and completely cringe-worthy.

Steve Coogan comes in five distinct incarnations – Pauline Calf, Paul Calf, Tony Ferrino, Alan Partridge and Steve Coogan.

Pauline Calf has the touch of the Lily Savage about her but much more trailer trash. But she’s worldly too. She’s been in Dubai, immersed herself in the local culture and organising a wet burka competition …   

Pauline comes into her own with a reading from her book ‘She Shat Herself’ and the adventures of agent Polly and her search for Bin Laden. It’s chick lit gone very wrong.

To allow for costumes changes we are shown brief filmed sequences in between. This time it is Duncan Thicket in a shell-suit and thick glasses giving us observational comedy.

We hear Paul Calf before we seem him – a range of ablutions and vomiting backstage. He doesn’t look much better than he sounds. Beer in hand, a mullet and a dishevelled baby blue 80s suit. He’s a bar room bore. He laments not being able to smoke on stage … He wanted to be a netball coach.

A short documentary introduces us to Tony Ferrino, Portuguese love machine. He’s a hugely successful singer and lothario. In Frank Sinatra style he sings of stealing other men’s wives. He brings an audience member up on stage, a young woman, and proceeds to serenade/degrade her with a song called "An Ordinary Girl". Kind of oddly touching and very funny. Somehow his offer of an orgy in Room 405 at the Hyatt is likely to be dismissed, even by the ugly girls.

There are the occasional digs at Australia, and Auckland, for the Wellington audience to appreciate. There are some local references to Pak’n’Save and the Warehouse. However the recorded female voice-overs are gratingly Australian and I think we could just appreciate that Steve Coogan is British and we get the references. Mind you it was priceless to hear of Partridge sandwiched between three guys he’s met – Coxie the handyman and the Topp Twins.

After the interval the roar goes up for Alan Partridge. His magnificent opening medley is accompanied by an AV presentation of other world changers – Churchill, Christ, Einstein and Simon Cowell – to name a few.

Partridge is promoting his inspirational life-changing programme Into Forward Solutions – sponsored by Whiskers. Partridge’s life-changing moment is an unfortunate mishap in the trouser department.

Partridge is himself inspired by Billy Elliot, Samuel L Jackson, Paul Burrell and Chris Martin from Cold Play. He’s a self-help guru, not a healer, with a three-point plan: Stop and Assess the Damage; Small Steps in the Right Direction; That’s It.

Partridge attempts a world first bi-hemispherical sim cast satellite link with Radio Norwich and takes some phone ins. He beautifully deflects any simpering by callers. Classic Alan Partridge.

Coogan’s finale is as himself but this is another manifestation. The story of the schoolboy turned good. It is a fingers up at the world and leads to a hugely celebratory musical-hall number entitled  "Everybody is a bit of a c**t sometimes." There are more c**ts than Kevin Bloody Wilson but Coogan sings and dances much better.

Coogan’s bow is truly as himself. He’s sweating after doing a hard night’s work. He looks slightly vulnerable in white – exposed. It’s just a glimpse of the other Coogan.

The through line, in retrospect is self-defecation, but not self-deprecating. There is something incredibly joyful to walk away whistling "Everybody is a bit of a c**t sometimes."
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X-rated effort sets hilarious and very low threshold for comedic song

Review by Graham Reid 11th May 2009

During interviews in advance of his show – perhaps aware he’s best known here for his Alan Partridge television character – British comedian Steve Coogan warned his stage humour would be more "broad".

If you didn’t get that from his first character – the blowsy, sexually voracious and frequently filthy Pauline Calf for whom no innuendo is too base, no double entendre so obvious it couldn’t be simplified further – then it was howlingly apparent in his final turn. [More]
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