Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

28/02/2022 - 02/03/2022

NZ Fringe Festival 2022

Production Details

Ryan McGhee
with Michael Macaulay


Ryan McGhee burst onto the NZ Comedy Scene in 2021 – it’s been quite the journey so far! He has been on tour, written his debut comedy show and just won “Best Newcomer” at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards.

Ryan McGhee plonked his fabulous gay ass in New Zealand in December 2017. For Ryan there’s no question that Aotearoa is now home. He thinks of himself as “born and fled” – while he’s fiercely patriotic as a Scotsman, he’d never bloody live there again! When you’ve found paradise in NZ, why would you leave?

“Coming from Glasgow to Wellington has been such an amazing experience. The two cities are like chalk and Cheese. There’s really no competition, New Zealand has some mighty fine cheese!” Ryan McGhee

Ryan will be sharing his take on the cultural differences (and similarities) between Scotland and Aotearoa, as well as giving an insight into what it’s like to be gay in either country.

There’ll also be a wee bit about his tragic search for love – from dating shows, to match makers, to desperation…it shouldn’t be funny…but somehow it is!

“McGhee is a softly-spoken Scotsman with a twinkle in his eye. Cool, calm and collected, he delivers my line of the night about coming out” Regional News NZ.

Warming up the crowd will be Teesider and NZ citizen Michael Macaulay, whose family-friendly swearing and discrete nudity is the talk of church halls throughout the Kapiti region.

The Scottish Kiwi
Cavern Club
28 Feb 2022, 7pm
1 & 2 March 2022, 8:30pm

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1 hr

Plenty of whimsical insights and good laughs

Review by John Smythe 01st Mar 2022

In the Cavern Club’s basement space, I perch on a high stool watched by a Diana Ross poster, Beside her hangs another featuring the bright red lips of her and the Supremes. It doesn’t feel like over-abundant caution to be well distanced from the rows of maskless, drink-sipping patrons who chat to each other on two-seater couches that don’t look very well separated.  

The Scottish Kiwi’s warm-up act is energetic Teesider and NZ citizen Michael Macaulay who notes this is the last day of summer and will be Ryan McGhee’s first ever Fringe performance. (Ryan’s done plenty of comedy gigs, of course and recently won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards.’)

By way of setting the tone with shock-value gay and gallows humour, Michael proves that cancel culture is real, offers a surprising weight-loss recommendation, speculates on how David Attenborough might narrate his mating show if he was a Teesider (the River Tees, North-East Yorkshire) and muses on what the lyrics of Diana Ross’s ‘Chain Reaction’ really mean. Beside me Diana’s wide-open eyes could be claiming innocence or saying, “Of course, what else could I mean?”  

Ryan romps on resplendent in an All Black body shirt, Black Watch tartan kilt, full dress sporran and tramping boots: proudly Scottish, Kiwi and Gay. He regales us with his idea of a quintessential Scottish-Kiwi food item, his experience of coming out to his parents, the limits to sex education from Jesuit priests and the perils of learning French from teacher who’d never been to France.

He claims to be a pioneer at a point on the spectrum of marriage, break-up and divorce; reveals the sub-sets of male gays; takes us to Nelson and back to Wellington where he finds pick-up lines to be age-related and riffs on the timidity of anti-vaxxers.

His apparent breaking of his NDA for the reality dating show he’s been recording in Queensland serves as a teaser for its appearance on TV later this year. We also learn why one should never order stuff online when drunk, why Glasgow was the venue for Cop 26, why bungy jumping is like haggis … And it’s that deep-dive into to proving himself a true Kiwi that brings his show to a close.

My only concern is how close both men stand to the audience in this time of Covid. Apart from anything else, being a couple of steps further back would see them include the whole room more in their purview.

Otherwise, The Scottish Kiwi offers plenty of whimsical insights and good laughs. 


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