Opera House, Wellington

07/05/2008 - 10/05/2008

Crunchie Comedy Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland

22/05/2008 - 03/05/2008

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Since 2005 THE BIG SHOW has become one of the most popular shows in the annual NZ International Comedy Festival promising a line-up of 4 world class comedians each night in a 2 hour show.

In previous years audiences at THE BIG SHOW have been introduced to world class comedians such as ANDY PARSONS, STEPHEN K AMOS, MARK WATSON, PHIL NICHOL and many more.

The BIG SHOW TWENTY 08 is no exception with a fresh line-up of international comedy stars including an Irishman, two Englishmen and a well travelled American. The 2 hour show features. 

NEIL DELAMERE – Exciting new talent from Ireland spotted at the 07 Edinburgh Fringe  – "A wryly brilliant live performer" The Sunday Times UK . Read more on

JOHN FOTHERGILL – from the A-list of the UK Pro comedy circuit, this Englishman has headlined around the world – "Everything he says is funny….he looks like he was born onstage, under a follow spot, with a mic in his hand" said the Guardian UK

"Definitely one to watch." Sunday Telegraph UK

EDDIE IFFT – Yes! An American who has seen the world headlining in 15 different countries in the last year alone including the UK, South Africa, China, United Arab Emirates , Australia and now this exciting new talent has made it to NZ. EDDIE has shared the stage with the likes of Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Dave Chapelle and Seinfeld. Read more on

They will be joined each night by special guest, JASON COOK from England who will also be appearing in his own solo show at The Classic at 7pm each night.

Dates: Preview – April 21st, 8pm, April 22nd -26th & 29th – May 3rd, 8.45pm
Venue: Crunchie Comedy Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE®, City

Dates: May 7th (preview) – May 10th, 8pm
Venue: Opera House, 111-113 Manners Street

Tickets: Adults $42.50 / Conc. $37.50 / Groups 10+ $37.50 (service fees may apply) 
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration: 2 hours  

2 hrs, incl. interval

Similar styles on empty stage

Review by Patrick Davies 08th May 2008

The Big Show is exactly what it sounds like. It’s in the Opera House with a large audience and four heavyweights from overseas to make us laugh "like its 1999". And they do – with comedy from 1999.

MC/Host Mickey D’s quick to whip us up to a highly vocal pitch as he fears we may be too quiet for the riotous evening ahead. He is very adept at wrapping local references as segues into his material and deftly re-incorporates ad libs into his intro. He quickly gets a feel for his crowd and plays to that denominator. Though, like a lot of shows this festival, we are constantly reminded that the acts’ success will depend on our loudness. After a while I wonder why I feel like the target of a salesman who’s a little too loud himself.

First up is Neill Delamere (Ireland) followed by the Geordie John Fothergill, an interval and, after a glass or two of vino and Mickey D, American Eddie Iffit hits the stage.

All three acts use material from the previous gala and the televised Auckland gala which is fine but I expected them to have more material to hand. The usual "what I’ve noticed in Wellington"; "what it’s like touring"; "I’m American feel free to pity/hate me" sections flow into each comedian’s set piece. It’s good to see each comedian taking a measure of the Wellington audience and sensing when and where the audience would go.

Similar styles of observational humour that tend toward the sex, black, white, gay, women vs men sensibilities, "wouldn’t fuck a Jew", anal sex, lead to a lack of build during the show. And more than once the comedians remark on our apparent lack of audibility. Perhaps Wellingtonian’s sensibilities are a little more erudite than that. Though there were some great guffaws and some good performing, this was the opening show and it felt like it. I expect the show will find its feet very quickly.

The stage is bare, actually not so much bare as empty. John Fothergill, (my fave for best of the night), points out someone came and knicked the amazing set. We are here to watch the comedy but I think the international showcase could warrant something a little better than stage blacks and simple coloured lights.

And I do have to ask: what’s the story with the toilets? From ‘the gods’ its five flights of stairs down then one up and a wait in line – and that’s the blokes!

It’s so good to see that if these are some of the international headliners then, like other fields (film, fashion, wine, etc.), we are not waiting in the wings. We were on the week before, and booked out.


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