The Imposters: Heroes and Heroin
08/05/2008 - 10/05/2008
DISMANTLING HERO WORSHIP
Comedy all-star group The Impostors are returning for the 2008 New Zealand International Comedy Festival with their brand new show ‘Heroes & Heroin’.
After mercilessly showing up a range of Impostors such as John Key and Mark Inglis in last year’s sell out show, the group has directed their razor-sharp wits to dissecting the Hero craze sweeping the country.
"We’ve seen the way heroes get treated when they walk down the street, we’ve seen the adoration and love that normal citizens have for them and we’re sickened by it" said Wellington comic and founding Impostor David Cormack.
"Fortunately, we’re trained professionals and will be delivering a seminar on how best to deal with this new menace.
This year the group is comprised of TJ McDonald, Alex Hawley and David Cormack. Alex and David are returning from last year’s show whilst TJ starred in another sell-out show, ‘Comedy Cure presents Fact or Fiction? You Decide.’ One of the pluses of the New Zealand International Comedy festival is that audiences get the opportunity to see these three stars with their three distinctive styles on the one stage.
"Alex Hawley comes back this year after having been nominated for the Billy T Award last year and a lengthy trip to England. He’s come back with some new jokes and he’s excited about the show. We’re also really lucky to have TJ on board; he’s a hugely successful Wellington comic who’s won numerous awards and he’s helped us create a brilliant new show concept.
Last year’s show sold out a week before opening night which David thinks was a reflection of their advertising.
"People saw that we were something a bit different to your usual comedy show and I think there was a market for that. This year we’ve gone a step further and we’re producing something that we don’t think has ever been done in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival before," said David.
Dates: May 8th – 10th, 8pm
Venue: NZ Film Archive, 84 Taranaki Street, Wellington
Tickets: Adults $15, Concessions and Groups of 10+ $12 (service fees may apply)
Bookings: Alex Hawley – 021 0264 9380 or email@example.com
Good in parts, dodgy in others
Review by John Smythe 08th May 2008
Given their collective name I can’t exactly say The Imposters are dishonest when their media release says: "People saw that we were something a bit different to your usual comedy show [last year] and I think there was a market for that. This year we’ve gone a step further and we’re producing something that we don’t think has ever been done in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival before."
What, MC-linked stand-up routines presented in turn with some using PowerPoint to enhance their sets? Wow. Or is it that they have a linking theme? Heroes. Maybe. Oh, except last year’s show was about impostors, wasn’t it? (The "Heroin" in this year’s title has no significance, by the way, and is only added for the alliteration.)
T J McDonald gets the show off to a good start as MC with his observations about the "hero menace" although his gabbled delivery and poor articulation means he gets fewer laughs than he might. That said, I suppose most super heroes could present and "areo menace" too. His observations on fashionable fears are good.
Dave Cormack makes the most creative use of the PowerPoint during his three sets and delivers his shtick in forceful tones. His stuff about NZ heroes and a later set about the ubiquitous horse of National Bank ads is excellent, except for the distasteful use of footage of JFK being assassinated.
His final set about fallen heroes takes more pokes at John Key (who was also a target last year) then plummets to its own depths when he uses Down Syndrome images for cheap laughs – adding insult to injury by seeming to give himself licence to do this because he is Jewish (see last year’s review).
Alex Hawley, who showed such promise last year, makes do with much of the same old material, admitting it and almost getting by until, in his second set, he starts to muff his lines and lose his timing.
Late addition Tom Williams does one set called Heroes 101 which connects with comic book fanatics (he scores a sigh of recognition on opening night for someone called Captain Flynn) but he reads his script and it sounds like it. Uninspiring.
I think it’s a mistake to end with Hawley’s second set, given it’s not new and uses no visuals. On the other hand I can see why they might not have wanted to use Cormack’s more tacky material as their climax.
In short, The Impostors: Heroes & Heroin is good in parts, dodgy in others.
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