Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

01/03/2018 - 03/03/2018

NZ Fringe Festival 2018 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Get ready to groan! Wits have been sharpened, wea-puns will be wielded, funny bones may well be broken. Will our pun-dits pun-ble under the pressure?! With a whopping total of over $1,500 (!) cash prize money on the line, you could say that the stakes are pun-ishing.

After a sold-out and truly cringe-worthy shows in 2017, the Wellington Pun Battle is back with a Fringe Festival mini-tournament and worse word-play than ever before. Come along and see the smartest alecks and wordiest nerds the Fringe Festival has to offer and battle it out in this intense and hilarious head-to-head pun-off.

Semi-Final #1: Thursday 1st March, 8pm.
Semi-Final #2: Friday 2nd March, 8pm.
Finals: Saturday 3rd March, 8pm.

Hosted by everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood transvestite, Mr. Hugo Grrrl.

Expect utter pundemonium as we decide once and for all if the pun is mightier than the sword. Because, as we all know, a good pun is its own re-word.

And don’t forget to stick around for Kareokie Dokie at 10.30pm on Friday March 2nd – a rough, ruckus, and truly stupid late-night karaoke competition at The Fringe Bar, featuring talent plucked fresh off the hottest festival shows.

Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Thursday 1 – Saturday 3 March 2018
Price: Fringe Addict $15 | Full $17



In the Thursday March 1st heat
Frank Steven Grieve 
Ella Borrie 
Travis Cottreau 
Ben Suisted 
Peter Baillie 
Aku Dalmia 
Michael Ross 
Anrik Drenth 
Peter Fernando 
Oliver Scripps 
Lucy Croft

In the Friday March 2nd heat
Lucy Roche 
David Bowers-Mason 
Matt Powell 
Aaron Pyke 
Susan Williams 
Sanjay Parbhu 
Thomas Francis Dorreen 
Kieran Timms 
Jerome Chandrahasen 
Anastasia Matteini-Roberts 
Advait Kirtikar

Theatre , Improv , Comedy ,

1hr 30m

The good, the bad and the uproarious

Review by Margaret Austin 02nd Mar 2018

It would be difficult to imagine a better comedic kick off to the NZ Fringe Festival than the first round of The Wellington Pun Battle, fought last night at the Fringe Bar.  

Brainchild of producer and MC Hugo Grrrl, and carried off with huge panache and inventiveness by a team of improvisers, this show provokes squeals of laughter, as well as the odd groan, from a packed house, clearly pun(s)ters themselves.

Hugo Grrrl’s Chaplinesque MC is fetchingly cross dressed and provides visual as well as verbal delight. It’s refreshing not to see a script. She promises us pundemonium, and that’s what we get. 

There are three ways to mess up a pun we are instructed, so our contestants better beware. Defined as riffing spontaneously on a word, making puns seems to come naturally to them. The MC is judge, and sidekick Ultra Violet is the scorekeeper.

Contestants are summoned in pairs to out pun each other. Whatever the topic, these guys and gals are indefatigable. For once, a reviewer can’t be accused of relating spoilers – the like will never be heard again.

Given ‘cheese’ as a topic, we get the “Stilton Hotel”; ‘Christmas’ yields “I’ve got tinselitis”; ‘babies’ shouldn’t get further than the “placenta” and the topic ‘writers’ elicits “drinking from cups and Chaucers”.  First prize from this reviewer goes to a riff on a political theme: “This meeting is Arderned.” 

Full marks to Hugo Grrrl and her quick witted team for an evening of the good, the bad and the uproarious. 


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