The Rise And Fall Of The Constructacons

Limelight Lounge, Aotea Centre, Auckland

02/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

The Rise And Fall Of The Constructacons

Those ethnic guys: Nathan Matthews (Finalist RAW quest 2005) and Masud Milas (Nominated best newcomer 2005) are back with a brand spanking new show!

Converging from distant corners of Auckland and having failed their dreams at minimum wage success, these two young bucks try their hand once again with a completely new concept sure to make you wish you saw all their other shows too!

Catch this show before they get really big and have a second show devoted to their egos!

"…the ultimate in ethnic" "…they certainly are guaranteed laughter"

Dates:  Saturday 2nd, Wednesday 6th, Saturday 9th May, 10pm
Venue:  Limelight Laugh Lounge, The Edge
Tickets:  $17 / $15
Bookings:  0800 BUYTICKETS (289 842)

Edge-skating experimentation

Review by Nik Smythe 03rd May 2009

Opening support act is Gish, irascible hard case bro from the waybacks.  Impressively unphased by the size of the audience – about ten of us, which could be cause for embarrassed tension – his infectious natural humour instead relaxes us quickly. 

His main stock-in-trade is (I can’t avoid the analogy) Weird-Al style song parodies, beginning with a ‘traditional Māori song, in English’, ironically the National Anthem, which was in English originally… But it seems something has been changed in translating to Māori and back again since the lyrics are mainly about trying to borrow someone’s car.

Chugging through Fairground Attraction (Perfect = Pervert) and a Natalie Imbruglia take on the ill fate of the Ukrainian pole vaulter at the 2000 Olympics (Torn=Torn), Gish’s patter and his cringeworthy subject matter isn’t outstandingly original but it’s funny, and the man can sing.

‘DJ Soundman’ then introduces the headline act, the Constructacons, a revived old-school badass gangster hip-hop rap trio come duo, their cohort Megadong having passed by the way (respect).  Remaining members Xavier Johannesberger aka Optimus Rhyme, South African accent and everything; and his Cuban sidekick Rumblespree. 

Having originally broken out from their dead-end jobs as council construction workers to become badass gangster hip-hop rappers, their hard hats, bright orange vests and baggy overalls tied round the waist make fairly convincing homie duds.

As they blunder through the seminal, defining singles that touch on topics as relevant as construction work and the Super Mario Brothers, it’s obvious they haven’t put a lot of time into the staging of this material.  It’s messy and raw and they know it, typical late-night comedyfest edge-skating experimentation.  Perhaps by the end of the season they will have found the cohesion that was lacking on opening night.

The Constructacons’ career is not a one trick pony though.  They’re also Tandem Dance Championship champions, no shit, well, kinda.  Plus they used to be in a Jackson 5 tribute act (don’t go there), and I was personally honoured to be chosen as allegedly the most unenthusiastic looking person in the audience, to start the Head Latex Expanding competition, i.e. pulling condoms over their heads and blowing through their noses until the rubber explodes…

The bonus standup segments at the end (following the audibly moist backstage reconciliation of the two great rappers) are rather unnecessary.  For all the Constructacons’ disorganisation and misfires they are conceptually sound and often amusing.  The gags range from amusingly lame to embarrassingly crass.  If it was effective in some kind of doing-what-they-do-best way there’d be no cause for complaint, but they’re really more confident and therefore exciting as the Constructacons. 
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