The Classic, Auckland

06/05/2013 - 11/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Well it’s about time! A regular trans-Tas guest wit on TV3’s ‘7 DAYS’ and having appeared at every major comedy festival in the world, Tom Gleeson finally makes his debut season at 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival from May 6 at The Classic, Auckland.

Tom Gleeson is one of Melbourne’s finest comedians with an extensive CV combining television, radio and live appearances around the world.

He has performed his own solo show in the annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival every year since 2001 as well as the widely broadcast TV gala. He has also performed numerous times at the Edinburgh Fringe, Montreal ‘Just for Laughs’ Festival as well as the ‘invite only’ Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland.

Tom has performed at the Sydney Opera House, every capital city in Australia, London, Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta as well as entertaining the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; the latter resulting in Tom publishing his book, “Playing Poker with the SAS: A Comedy Tour of Iraq and Afghanistan”.

Oh yeah, and the biggest stand-up on the planet, Louis CK, chose Tom to be his support act or his Australian tour.

“His wit is lethal”. Sydney Morning Herald

“People were literally holding their stomachs and rocking with laughter during Gleeson’s show. The audience was hooked and honking with laughter.” – Adelaide Advertiser

Finally in 2013, Tom Gleeson will open his debut season on May 6th at The Classic, New Zealand’s home of live comedy.

As part of the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival.

Date: Mon 6 – Sat 11 May, 7pm
Venue: The Classic, 321 Queen St
Tickets $25 – $28 (booking fees may apply)
Bookings: 0800Ticketek or

For the sweetest deals and hottest comedy news throughout the Festival head to 

Merciless truth

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 07th May 2013

How refreshing to have an Australian stand-up comedian strut on stage and bag us Kiwis ruthlessly, to our face, rather than the expected and much safer ANZAC-induced suck-up to get on-side. Are we really bogan yet progressive, polite yet self-deprecating? Yeah, nah, ’spose we are. Fair call.

Brutal and punishing in his honest approach to everything, Tom Gleeson is a brave and invigorating comic. With subject matter and stories ranging from photos from the pre-digital age; our obsession with the RWC; becoming a parent; strippers; immunisation; religion; call centre operator’s customer interface; massage; homosexuality; sandwiches….

Tom Gleeson’s comic recipe is made up of an inherent disregard for authority mixed with a good dose of crass, a touch of sensitivity, a dash of mean and a truckload of astute insight. It’s a brilliant comic formula; I laughed a lot and smiled throughout.

Even his iPhone routine – which I heard at this year’s Gala – is bloody funny repeated in the context of his full show.  What I wrote then, I endorse, so here’s my repeat:“Top Australian comedian, familiar to Kiwi audiences through TV3’s 7Days, Tom Gleeson … opens the night with a hilarious download on iPhone 5, iCloud and other Apple iHype – iLike.”

Not content to be just a master of storytelling and embellishment, Gleeson adds an interesting twist to the massage yarn, as he smashes through the stand up comedy show version of the ‘4th wall’, deconstructing the story’s creation, reminding us what comics do to build up and manipulate a tale. A very flippant yet clever peek into ‘comedy writing 101’. 

He’s so confident, he even asks for feedback… We’re so polite and satisfied, we give him nothing but a smile and an invisible thumbs up. Yup, he’s got our bulk-standard average yet complex Kiwi-psyche nailed perfectly. 

Keen to show us he can also ad lib, Gleeson takes pleasure in some front-row banter at the top of the night, which brings out a more conversational, gentle Tom. I love the way he acknowledges and thanks those he chatted to (corporate lawyer guy, whose name I didn’t catch, and Guy the radio sport journalist), off-mic, just before he leaves the stage. Under all that cocky bravado, I’m not surprised the see he’s also polite and courteous. 

Highly recommended for those who love to cut their comedy with merciless truth.


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