The Classic Studio, Auckland

14/05/2012 - 19/05/2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Production Details

Put on your make up and dress up right – Tevita is here to tickle you but only for six nights!  

Opening on Monday May 14, 7:15pm at the Classic Studio, 2012 Billy T Nominee Tevita Manukia will be on deck every night till Sat May 19 delivering his unique brand of mirth and laughter where you funny bone will be tickled, stroked and occasionally violently shaken, but only for 60 minutes.

So get grooming then drop in and hear Tevita’s take on the old KNOCK KNOCK chestnut.

As seen on TV3s AotearoHA (Comic Confessions & Next Big Things) 

NZ Comedy Guild Most Improved Comedian (2010 & 2011)  

“A crowd favourite at the Classic” – Scott Blanks the Classic  

As part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012 

Dates: 14 May – 19 May, 7:15pm
Venue: The Classic Studio, Level 1, The Classic, 321 Queen St, CBD
Tickets: Adults $20/ Conc. $16/ Groups 6+ $16
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz 

For a full line up of performances, booking details & more information, visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz   

Distinctively unhurried natural appeal

Review by Nik Smythe 15th May 2012

2012 Billy T nominee Tevita Manukia’s brief but warm introduction precedes a polite applause from the cozy 20-something wet Monday night audience as a tall, amiable but visibly nervous Tongan gent in a black tupenu skirt and jandals takes the stage, all smiles and sweat beads.

Something about the sparkle in his beady eye and the cut of his dimple makes me want to like him, and vaguely confident that I shall.  And I do; not in a rollicking, thigh-slapping, pants-peeing sort of way, rather due to the simple charm of his shy yet subtly audacious personality. 

Not to say he lacks the requisite humour expected of a Comedy Festival protagonist.  Indeed, Manukia’s irascible cheek delivered in trademark down-home, laxed-out uncultivated style elicits many a chuckle and the occasional LOL throughout his allotted hour. 

An early-on disclaimer that this opening night is the ‘rough package’, in which he’s honing his delivery and trying material out on us which may or may not make it to Saturday’s closer when he’ll ‘even be wearing shoes!’, sounds dangerously close to an apology, without quite admitting to it.  A number of attempts to get simple, straight answers to very basic enquiries are met with awkward silence but he shrugs them off and perseveres through the set as laid back and devil-may-care as you please. 

Altogether content-wise Tevita offers fairly standard comedy fare, regaling us primarily with anecdotes about his relationships with the two most important women in his life: his mother and his wife.  There are plenty of insights and anecdotes to demonstrate a fairly stereotypical outlook, though to his credit he’s never cruel or misogynistic, as some of his industry peers are wont to be. 

The show’s title alludes to the first joke he heard when he arrived in New Zealand as a young child. Other notable yarns include being a parent of twins who think he’s a dick, hunting and the scientific selection process for which animals to eat, and a less comedic but quite educational demonstration of ta’ovala mat, a ritual Tongan garment made from coconut fibre. 

A latecomer to the trade in his forties, Manukia’s natural appeal at this time outweighs his content and delivery.  That said, his distinctively unhurried demeanour could be his greatest point of difference going forward in his standup career.  


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