Tofiga Fepulea’i SORRY BOUT IT

Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington

08/05/2021 - 08/05/2021

NZ International Comedy Festival 2021

Production Details

Tofiga Fepulea’i, the world’s most popular Pacific comedian, has FINALLY made it.

After touring the world both as a solo act as well as part of the legendary Laughing Samoans, and more importantly (after trying for almost 50 years) Tofiga has finally realised one of his humble childhood dreams – to perform at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Join Tofiga (Take Home Pay, Fresh TV) as he brings some much needed laughter to inner-city Wellington, with his first solo show at The Opera House.

He’ll share ridiculous tales of family, fatherhood, and what it’s like to be raised Samoan in Aotearoa.  Tofiga will also bring hilarious music and stories from church, cooking, and childhood – both his, and the palagi boy who lived down the street.

What could a Samoan New Zealander who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s have to say about a time which has everyone living in fear, jobs being lost, and an overabundance of toilet paper in the average NZ household?  Much more than you think.

3Sons in association with SquareSums&Co proudly presents SORRY BOUT IT, an all-ages, family friendly night of explosive laughs from two of the country’s top comedians.

Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
Sat 8 May 2021
Tickets: $29 – $45*
*service fee may apply

Please note: There is no elevator in the Opera House and access to the Dress Circle and Gallery are via stairs. The Gallery may be unsuitable for patrons with accessibility requirements or who experience vertigo.
For further information, please contact 04 916 1205

Latercomers may need to wait to be seated

Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Comedy ,

Irrepressible talent, incorrigible naughtiness

Review by Teuila Tualaulelei 09th May 2021

When it comes to comedy and Samoans, it doesn’t get any bigger than Tofiga Fepulea’i: he is the man!

Tofiga’s stellar partnership with Eteuate Ete in the Laughing Samoans made him a household name. After more than 20 years in comedy, his Sorry ‘bout it national tour ended (after two years) in Wellington to an enraptured audience fizzing with excitement to see their ever-popular, local boy done good, world famous in NZ, and favourite Wellington Samoan son.

Only a grand piano graces the stage besides the one microphone stand.

Acting as the equivalent of Samoan comedic coconut oil, MC James Nokise massageS the crowd like the smooth running comedy machine that he is after plying his trade for quite some time now. Despite his slick delivery, it Is material I’ve seen too many times. Considering his (obvious) talent he really could do so much more.

To describe Tofiga as a comedian would be incorrect – he is an Entertainer par excellence. Some have to work at it, and some are blessed with it: supreme Samoan storytelling where hyperbole meets bravado.  

Traversing Covid 19, life with his wife Pese and their three sons and two adoptees, Samoan aiga (family), church, his first palagi friend Jeff (my favourite storytelling part of the night), the strength and presence of Samoan culture, family and his ever-present loving parents.

“Not many of you will know, I am an only child …. so at the age of 8 I finally asked my Mum ‘why is there only one of me?’” said Tofiga.
“Well…look at you, you eat for 10 children!” replied his mother.
Ouch! But for the Polynesian it is priceless – there may only be one of you, my dear, but you are 10 children in one!

One gets a sense that although he was surrounded by family, not having a sibling can’t have been easy in countering his (very) traditional parents’ views.

Tofiga works with the meat and potatoes of stand-up comedy: jokes, gaffes, one-liners, double entendres, impersonations and wry observations. But he also brings an inescapable flavour to everything he serves up – a banana leaf wrapping in a plastic bag world.

I look up ‘irrepressible’ for its exact meaning: incapable of being repressed, restrained or kept under control. His comic talents are irrepressible; his incorrigible naughtiness is delightful; and he has another string to his bow as well – the piano.

I would love to see Tofiga book out the Memorial Theatre, at Victoria University, for a week. There we could see the full range of characters he no doubt has bubbling away, doing Cabaret (Auntie Tala-style), telling their hilarious stories so we can, again, revel in his very funny Samoan world. 


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