S & M’s Cocktail and Lounge Bar, 176 Cuba St, Wellington

10/02/2017 - 12/02/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

JB Malthus and Severin Gourley are excited to pop their Fringe cherry (gross) by bringing a choice-as line-up of Wellington’s newest and brightest comedians. A fresh theme and line-up each night provides the context for witty and ingenious jokes, observations and general hilarity. Super Awesome Comedy Explosion is shaping up to be a show not to miss.

After only a year of performing, JB Malthus has proven to be an up and comer on the Wellington comedy scene. His nerdy boy-next-door brand of comedy and Winston Churchill-good looks have been seen at Blindset, Dank Comedy, and Host-off. An early-90s blend of a lawyer and an economist, JB comes equipped with funny wig and fully functioning trickle-down effect.

“Intelligent, insightful and self-effacing… very impressive.” – John Smythe, Theatreview

The fresh-faced darling of the Wellington comedy scene, Severin Gourley delights the audience with witty insights into family, politics, and pop culture.

“… he refers to pop culture and engages the crowd throughout… I am laughing louder and harder than anyone else.” – Catherine Hart, Art Murmurs

S&M’s, 176 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
10-12 Feb, 8pm.

Theatre , Comedy ,

Predictable vulgarity sits well with audience

Review by Margaret Austin 11th Feb 2017

Stand-up comedy has to be the toughest form of theatre to carry off successfully. Instead of talking to someone else onstage, the performer only has the audience to talk to. And the audience is a less certain quantity than a fellow actor. 

At the S&M Bar, MCs James Malthus and Severin Gourley introduce the theme for the evening – sex and relationships – and manage to elicit one brave audience contribution to the question: “How did you lose your virginity?”

“This is a Fringe show. Things don’t need to be funny,” is a gag reiterated by the MCs. And sometimes things aren’t.

If the subject is sex, and you’re a stand-up comic, the easiest route to go is the vulgar one, and that’s what the performers mostly take. It sits well with the audience however. There are the perhaps predictable references to masturbation, Tinder, speed dating and sexually transmitted diseases. Less mentionable items turn up in the final ‘headliner’ act by the only female performer in the line-up.

One performer – of Indian nationality – pops in a couple of racial references which sits refreshingly amidst the sexual ones. ‘One, two Sri’ he opens with, and mentions a “Rum Dog Millionaire”.

Nouns and adjectives earlier contributed by the audience are incorporated into the general repartee, resulting in combinations like “an erotic Auckland”, “a sweaty handgun” and “a sexual signpost”.

The tricks of stand-up are at least twofold: timing, and story coherence. An act isn’t, or shouldn’t be, merely a series of jokes. But to create something of a comic monologue that hangs together is truly an art. The four performers succeed to the extent they manage this.

There’ll be a different topic and a fresh line-up each night.  


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