Q Theatre, The Vault, Auckland

24/02/2015 - 28/02/2015

BATS Theatre, Wellington

09/03/2015 - 12/03/2015

Auckland Fringe 2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Auckland based comedian Mike Loder delivers a fast paced stand up comedy show Wanted Thoughts. This is a laugh-filled hour of uncompromising funny. The show will be recorded for CD release to celebrate Loder’s twentieth year as a comedian. 

The performer has toured up to twenty theatre festivals a year, in a half dozen countries and loves the Fringe circuit. So the Auckland Fringe was a natural choice to record his latest work. 

Loder is a familiar face from his TV appearances on 7 Days, Pulp Comedy, Crack Up on Maori TV, After dark on TV3 and many more. His strong, original material quickly made him a crowd favourite during the International Comedy Festival and the national club tour. 

He won the prestigious Billy T James comedy award in 2000 and numerous other’s since. So don’t miss this chance to see him on top form in an intimate venue. Grab friends and book early and often. 

Q Vault
Tuesday Feb 24 – Saturday Feb 28 2015
Ticket price:  $14-$18
More & book

BATS Theatre
Monday March 9 – Thursday 12 March 2015
A$18.00 | C/Stu$14.00 | FA$12.00 | FAR$12.00

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

Insightful and bold

Review by Maryanne Cathro 10th Mar 2015

Wellington audiences have a justified bad rep with comedians. They can sit there in stony silence, causing the poor wretch to go through centuries of self-doubt in an hour, and afterwards talk about how much they enjoyed the show.

Tonight in Bats Theatre, a small but perfectly formed audience punches well above its weight in decibels, in appreciation of a genuinely funny guy: a comedian who is unafraid to have opinions that could offend, who connects with an audience immediately, and makes it look easy.

This is my favourite kind of comedy – observations on the absurdity of life and what we do to get through, or could do, to get through. I particularly like the concept of a bar in which women could re-enact the happiness of their childhoods.  

All manner of life experiences are covered: the technical requirements for locating escaped zoo animals, the peace-keeping possibilities of pooh on a stick, the rules for pub brawls … So many surprising directions to be taken in so little time! 

I really enjoy this. He is everything most people want from a stand-up comedian, and so much more. His twenty years’ experience shows in the crafting of his humour, the insight of his observations and his boldness in calling a spade a spade. 

I come away with the happy feeling of a soft kitten’s paw on my ear, and that is exactly what I was promised.


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A serious comedian with great skills

Review by Lexie Matheson ONZM 26th Feb 2015

Mike Loader has the one quality comedians need – he’s truly funny. 

Much comedy requires critical mass and Loader’s is no different, the bigger the audience – within reason, I doubt stadium shows are an option – the bigger the laughs but it takes a real craftsman to work a smallish Wednesday audience and have them guffawing happily for a full hour. Mike Loader achieveS this because his material is great, his energy is great and his timing is spot on. 

Loader has been around the traps for twenty years and, while I’ve seen him on television (‘Seven Days’, ‘Pulp Comedy’, ‘Crack Up’ and ‘After Dark’) this is my first time gazing into the whites of his eyes. He won the prestigious Billy T James Award in 2000 and there have been more awards since but he impresses as a man for whom awards are of less interest than making real people laugh in all the many permutations of that pleasurable activity.

Speaking only for myself – though the rest of the audience seems completely engaged too – I chuckle, hoot, snigger, smile both inwardly and outwardly and thoroughly enjoy the many ‘I can’t believe he just said that’ moments. Do I have a good time? I certainly do.

In fact the entire experience is a ripper, as is often the case at the Q. Box office staff friendly and helpful, front of house polite and efficient, techies onto it, and the whole show runs like clockwork. Not that the show itself is complex, it’s not, but as anyone who has created a piece of theatre knows, if it can go wrong it will, and nothing does.

It’s probably worth noting that, like many shows of its type, it’s a work in progress. It’s called Wanted Thoughts because Loader is still building the work and he’s cleverly found ways to get direct audience input into the structure and effectiveness of new material. Don’t get me wrong, some ‘works in progress’ are a fumbling muddle of confusion but this certainly isn’t. It’s slick and sharp, segues between thoughts and segments are clever and seamless, and the script is gut-wrenchingly funny.

I love downstairs at the Q Loft. There’s a wonderful sense of ‘Lenny Bruce just left the building and Tom Waits is next’ about it. It’s raw and unfinished with the hint of ’70s arthouse crypt about it. The lighting is basic and we’re greeted by a microphone on a stand, a small side table with a misty glass of unidentified liquid sitting on it and pumping music of a singularly appropriate type. 

A voice over by Loader from backstage welcomes us; it’s funny, self-effacing and just enough to give him sufficient grunt to get himself and his wheelchair to centre stage – yep, this is stand-up comedy of the sit-down type. It’s clear from the outset that Loader has great patter, great pace and excellent timing. He’s likable, charming even, and he understands the animal that is the audience. He singles us out, talks to us individually, sets us up, puts us down, embarrasses us – and we love him for it. 

He decides early on that I am a ‘sir’, sticks with that decision all night despite my correcting him twice, but I forgive him this small booboo because – did I mention it already – he’s incredibly damn funny. I won’t next time though because he’s been warned, this chick has a mouth of her own! 

He rips through his material with nary a slip, he’s articulate and digresses with an ease I’ve seldom experienced. He zips from topic to unrelated topic with the clarity of a Steve Reich – that’s a good thing – and makes perfect sense of the bizarre. He works his way through rock stars, cats (he has one called Jack Reacher and Jack does some extraordinary things) the set on tinder is a riot; old people, a fetish for marbles, butterflies and retarded monkeys … each one is an absolute gem.

He educates us too, about life if you have giant black dildo hands, what to do if you lose your elephant (or otter), the power of pooh-on-a-stick and glory holes. There are gay jokes that, while funny, don’t get even close to offending. Cops, magical mirrors, ‘When Animals Attack’ and Freeway Rick …

But his most hilarious, most outrageous and most well written material features plumbers, masturbatory reconditioning, Christian and Muslim magic, the power of the flip flop in male-to-male confrontations and why it’s always good to have a helpful lesbian in your head. 

At the end of the show Loader discards the mic and creates a somewhat magical piece of ‘real theatre’ because, of course, no-one takes comedy seriously and, who knows, “There might be a reviewer in the house.” He is right about the latter but wrong about the former. He’s a serious comedian with great skills and you deserve to see him.

I admire his artistry immensely and would have no hesitation in recommending his work to my most discerning friends for all the reasons listed above. He’s honed his art and it’s ready and raring to go. You should too – go, that is – and there are two more nights at Q Vault so Aucklanders can do just that. Just do it and don’t moan about it because, as Mike says, “Nobody likes a fucking whiner.”


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