Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

01/05/2014 - 03/05/2014

San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington

06/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details


As children we are taught to mind our manners, never call a fatty a fatty, or an uggo and uggo. We are scolded for our childlike honesty. As a grown up it’s important to have poise, grace and be in control of our emotions. Who could be better at teaching you Poise Control than comedian Urzila Carlson?

Ex-pat South African Urzila Carlson has quickly become one of New Zealand’s most loved comedians and will be bringing her new show, Poise Control! to Auckland 1 – 3 May and Wellington 6 – 10 May as part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival.

Since taking the comedy stage in 2008 she has racked up an impressive array of awards including the inaugural TV3’s People’s Choice Award in 2013. She is a regular on hit panel show 7 Days and this year she has been invited to perform in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide & Canberra. She was one of the first NZ comedians ever to be featured on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s televised Gala and she has accepted an invitation of appear on Australian TV’s top rating show Spicks & Specs.  

Urzila’s natural cheeky, straight up style will have you eating out of her hand the moment she takes the stage.

Her star is truly on the rise. Come and see what all the fuss is about. She is funny. If anyone can teach you how to behave properly it is Urzila.

“Urzila Carlson is a unique sort of gem” Dylan Moran TV3

“laugh-out-loud funny” Chortle 2011

“standout performance, sidesplitting” Rip it up magazine, Australia

As part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider, grab some mates and join us for a great night of laughs from 24 April – 18 May.

For the full Comedy Fest show line-up head to comedyfestival.co.nz

Dates: Thu 1 – Sat 3 May, 9pm
Venue: Q Theatre Rangatira, 305 Queen St
Tickets: Adults $30, Conc. $24
Bookings: 09 309 9771 // qtheatre.co.nz

Dates: Tue 6 – Sat 10 May, 7pm
Venue: San Fran, 171 Cuba St
Tickets: Adults $28, Conc. $24
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) // ticketek.co.nz

Website: www.urzilacarlson.com


Exactly as she is on TV

Review by Maraea Rakuraku 07th May 2014

You’d think I’d know by now, timing is everything when you go to a comedy gig. Turn up too early, awkward; late, that will draw attention of the comedian and not in a good way; or, as in this case, on time but the only seats available to you are at the front. I immediately and predictably, as I have no doubt that someone of Urzila Carlson’s calibre will pick-on those in the front, panic.

Reluctantly, I take my place. Having never been to a seated gig in the San Francisco bar before, I find the trestle tables are arranged in such a way that it reminds me of a wedding; in fact those at the table are like wedding guests: strangers brought together for a specific purpose; tittering politely at the best man speeches till everyone gets a little pissed and leery.

After outing herself as a “Lesbitarian” and assuring us she won’t be picking on those in the front row (that’s bullshit, she does, it’s just more a gentle prodding than a full scale spotlight situation) Carlson is away, kicking off with a rather hilarious analogy about the strength of firemen and lesbians as she explains emergency procedures for the venue.  

Observations about baristas, shit coffee, her new baby, in-laws and kids follow. Yet it’s the stuff around relationships that gets the most laughs; read groans of recognition.  Especially that around fighting and more specifically, fighting in the car or, as she describes it, the bubble of hate. We’ve all been there.

When Carlson describes an octo… octo… octogen…, old fella at a party asking someone, “Do you know …? You look like …” then four hours later…, my Australian work colleague nods knowingly.  E ki. I know it’s what we do as Māori, I had no idea it’s a Niu Zillund thing. 

Explanation of the title, Poise Control or PC, leads to some clever riffs on what it means. It does get a little thin as she repeats stuff and it’s apparent it could do with more development, though I’m always in awe of how comedians can tie it all in together at the end.

Riding on one’s charisma only carries so far before more depth is needed, well demanded by an audience who are up for it. That said she is a seasoned professional and I can only imagine being a full time professional comedian must be a little boring, repeating the same jokes over and over – and surely you get over hearing your voice? 

She’s exactly as she is on TV. No wonder those fellas on that show quake a little. She’s one of your smartarse mates or the whānau in the kitchen at the Pā, just hangin’ and chillin’. She touches on how few women there are on the NZ circuit and that has me wondering too because – apart from my relation Mapu – the funniest people I know are wahine. 

She goes on to explain you just have to talk. A lot. As we know, it’s more than that. You also have to like talking and there’s also the matter of charisma which Carlson has in bucket loads and – well obvs – you have to be funny. Then, there’s fighting for your space which I suspect, with all those penises /peni /whatever wingle wangling, gets a little tiresome. Bit like any job really.


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An incredible performer

Review by Nomi Cohen 02nd May 2014

The magnificent Urzula Carlson is back with a brand new show that is an absolute must see. 

The South African born New Zealander has hit the nail on the head with her delicate balance between crass, straight forward punches and insightful witticisms. Here we see a woman who accepts herself and isn’t afraid to make fun of her own insecurities which is incredibly refreshing, particularly for a female. 

Because of this, I feel as if I didn’t just go see a comedy show, I also went to see a motivational speaker. Carlson’s show is full of life lessons and analogies. She is constantly going back to the fact that as a country, we are too politically correct which she claims is the reason New Zealanders drink shit coffee. What an incredibly funny yet true finding that sure as hell made me question my cuppa this morning.

Since she is now a mother, she talks a lot about raising children, which one might expect from a female comedian. However I have never laughed so hard as she expands on how blunt children are. With each story of her nephews and nieces I am unable to control my outbursts of violent howls, nearly spilling my drink on my fellow patrons. 

Carlson provides some reassuring advice as she compares children to computers, born with out any apps or virus protection and reminds us that as mothers, it is our job to load these on to the helpless little PCs. A delightful analogy that ties in seamlessly with the theme of her show. 

Urzula Carlson is an incredible performer from the moment she walks out on stage to her final thank you, she is captivatingly present and feeds off the crowd. Beg, borrow or steal, but do what ever you have to do to see this show but do remember to take her seriously and Google ‘Babies born with teeth’: it will indeed blow your mind.


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