Comedy Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland Live, Auckland

06/05/2013 - 06/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


5 International guest comedians in a 2 hour show, fully seated and licensed. That’s ‘The Big Show’ – the ideal comedy festival party! 

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 5 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, Jason Cook, Neil Delamere, Carey Marx, Terry Alderton, Milton Jones and many more. 

The Big Show 2013, opening Mon 6 May for 12 nights, is no exception with a fresh line-up of international comedy stars including: 

Markus Birdman (England)  A veteran of 5 Edinburgh Fringe Fests  – “the all-round package; witty, controversial, hip, topical and silly” – The BBC 

James Acaster (England) 2012 Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee – “one of the sharpest comic minds to have emerged in recent years.” The Guardian UK 

Andrew Bird (England) “Absolutely charming. A great storyteller. Funny, likeable and effortless” Time Out UK

Stuart Goldsmith (England) Definitely one to watch following 3 critically acclaimed solo shows over the last 3 Edinburgh Fringe Fests. 

With special guest MC, Mickey D (Australia) – one of the most popular international comedians to visit our Comedy Festival. Winning the NZ Comedy Guild award for Best International Guest in 2008 and 2009, Mickey’s back for the first time in 3 years following his continued success in the UK. 

As part of the  2013 NZ International Comedy Festival. 

Dates:  Mon 6 – Sat 11, Mon 13 – Sat 18 May, 8.45 pm
Venue: The Comedy Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE, 303 Queen St
Tickets: $44.50 – $48.50 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings: 0800BuyTickets

For the sweetest deals and hottest comedy news throughout the Festival head to 

Cross-over threads but all round good

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 07th May 2013

For a chilly Monday night there are certainly plenty of comedy consumers out for a laugh. The Town Hall Concert Chamber (transformed into a cabaret venue for the festival) is bustling with folk. The seating is close together so bustling is necessary to settle into the space and meet my table mates before the lights go down.

Our host Mickey D is a solid comedian with years of experience across the UK and the Pacific. He opens strongly; apologising for being Australian, and except for maybe Hamilton (note here that Hamilton takes a beating in this show) he assures us of his great love of all things Kiwi, not that he needs to win us over.

He is likeable, approachable and self deprecating; the everyman. His mostly biographical banter is sharply witty, the laughs are rolling in as he announces first act Stuart Goldsmith.

A self proclaimed children’s TV presenter lookalike, Goldsmith is chatty and easy, he also loves NZ, throwing in a damning comment about Hamilton. He has girlfriend issues and is not very good at flirting… but can certainly flirt with us. A likeable start to the show.

Second act Andrew Bird has energy to burn, bounding up to us and sharing his impassioned thoughts of New Zealand and at least acknowledges that his sledging of Hamilton is a cheap shot. He has a Slovenian wife and recounts a great tale of some racist carry-on amongst members of her extended family and there is plenty of religious comment chucked in for measure. 

Going into the half-time break the mood in the room is positive and people are chatting about favourites. All is well.

Into the second half we enjoy more tales of woe from Mickey. He’s married now you see, and he has never been so wrong about everything, ever before in his life. The blokes in the room clearly relate, though at times it is women’s laughter hooting out louder than the boys. This is always a sign of a talented professional at work: when the whole audience is laughing at the same thing but for entirely different reasons. These moments are gold. 

James Acaster is also gold. From start to finish: gold. A proper gangly ginger clad in flat front trousers and armed with the quiet confidence of a hired gun, he assassinates us with his easy energy proving he is a laconic, ironic genius. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t tell us in length how much he loves New Zealand, he delivered the laughs, and that’s all we are here for primarily. I could have happily got up and gone home after his very funny set.

So, a tough act then for Markus Birdman to follow. He doesn’t seem fazed at all as he launches into his set warning us that there will be swearing. Especially when it comes to Godzone. We are worthy of proper swearing, not us the crowd, nope. The scenery. So he loves NZ too. He has the good sense to swerve away from ‘Hamilgagging’ and cracks on into his own personal challenges. Newly single, with a clumsy eight year old wannabe ballerina daughter, his banter brings laughs of recognition and sheer mirth.

Mickey farewells us back into the chill of the evening sufficiently warmed with laughter. 

It is a long show, tipping just over two hours, in parts the blokes had such similar threads of material that I felt like I was hearing the same gag said differently. But then the odds that five men – four British comedians and an Aussie comedian based in England – will have cross over material is quite high. All round a good, big show.


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