Wellington Preview Show 2024

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

24/04/2024 - 24/04/2024

NZ International Comedy Festival 2024

Production Details

Presented by NZ Comedy Festival

Get the party started early with this preview of what’s coming up for Comedy Fest and see who’s hot on the scene at Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s home of comedy, Fringe Bar.  See who’s hot on the Wellington scene

Hosted by Samantha Hannah and featuring unmissable performances from Li’i Alaimoana, Anna MacLean & Lesa Macleod-Whiting, Destiny’s Cousin, Krystine Nation, Kajun Brooking, Jerome Chandrahasen, Jak Darling, Viki Moananu, Alayne Dick and Hoani Hotene.

Get a taste of your faves and you can see their full show at the Festival in May.

This will be a popular Comedy Fest pick, so don’t delay!

Venue: The Fringe Bar
Dates: 24/04/2024
Times: 7PM
Prices: $22 – $26
Booking link: https://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/wellington-preview-show/

Hosted by Samantha Hannah and featuring Li’i Alaimoana, Anna MacLean & Lesa Macleod-Whiting, Destiny’s Cousin, Krystine Nation, Kajun Brooking, Jerome Chandrahasen, Jak Darling, Viki Moananu, Alayne Dick and Hoani Hotene.

Comedy , Theatre ,

90 minutes

The Comedy Festival is a smorgasbord. Come along and sample.

Review by Margaret Austin 25th Apr 2024

The Fringe Bar is predictably packed to the gunnels for the preview to the annual Comedy Festival. I am squashed in at the back and can’t see to write. Luckily, my companion Badeos offers his phone to light my way to a review.

MC Samantha Hannah ramps things up. She’s from Scotland, and has found her way to New Zealand with the help of Tinder. She’s got a line-up of comedians to offer us, so here goes.

First up is Li’I Alaimoana. His theme is friends and how they need to be better – a theme worth elaborating on I reckon. He mentions the emotions experienced by the comedian before going on – a salutary reminder to us that comedians are human beings, and they aim to please.

He is followed by Alayne Dick. She is lesbian and spends her time making jokes via the internet, with perhaps predictable consequences. That’s a risky business. You wouldn’t think that being a librarian is though, but telling stories to pre-schoolers can be an activity with sometimes unpredictable consequences.  

Now we meet Hoani Hotene. He has done an immersion course in Te Reo where he encountered lots of syllables, makes interesting references to whales and complains about a dental problem. Can anybody help? He concludes with a card trick to the great amusement of those in the front row.

Viki Moananu is next. He has suffered mental illness – yes, it’s a thing – but has given up therapy in favour of listening to podcasts about, you’ve guessed it, comedy. He introduces ostensibly serious themes of war and religion.

Destiny’s Cousin turns out to be four women – Catriona, Estella, Cassidy and Renata – who offer a recommendation for the Church of Mathematology and give us a musical number about survival. Inaudibility is a problem, probably because only one mic is provided.

Anna McLean and Lesa MacLeod-Whiting provide an impressive piece of political satire. It’s set in the Koru Lounge. “What I say to you is …” is immediately recognisable. So are references to safety demonstrations, tightening seat belts and political turbulence. This piece is promisingly relevant. 

Kajun Brooking tells us he’s been four years in comedy. He’s from Kapiti, home, he says, to Jurassic Pakeha. He’s in a WINZ WINZ war, and he’s got a tattoo that’s had him cancelled from the marae. Watch out – this guy’s got a wicked wit.

Krystene Nation has mental health issues and five kids. Having kids is a hobby she asserts. She ventures into one of the standbys for a comedian – a send-up of body parts. Hers is particularly graphic. Not a show for the fastidious.

Now we get Jak Darling. Outlandishly tall, clad in a full-length lemon-yellow frock, offset with a moustache, their outlandishness extends to a description of an identical twin brother and where you’d be likely to find him. Jak has stopped looking for a relationship, but if there’s anyone out there who’s also stopped looking for a relationship, perhaps they could meet up?

Jerome Chandrahasen concludes the evening. He’s from Naenae, a place he says that suffers from couches. Apparently, they’re everywhere. He needs to buy one, and objects when the salesperson says they’ve got none in. “But I’m looking at one,” says our man. Of such stuff is comedy made.

The Comedy Festival is a smorgasbord. Come along and sample.


John Smythe April 29th, 2024

We take on board that stand-up comedians would like the qualities of their writing, delivery and the audience response to be included in reviews. That is a reasonable expectation for full-length shows. That said, critics are not directors, teachers or mentors. They have no prior knowledge of the work being presented and may or may not have seen the performer's previous work. Their job is to respond, reflect and record as a representative of the audience - and in the process they will inevitably reveal themselves and their own tastes and proclivities , just as the comedians do.

John Smythe April 27th, 2024

I too have slept on this and now feel the need to make a couple more points: Critics are certainly not above criticism and we welcome constructive responses. And if a review was offered that was as abusive to artists as the comments below, it would not be published until the editor had given the reviewer feedback and asked for a rewrite. The Comments section can be used to add audience responses to the show being reviewed and it's a shame this commentator didn't avail themselves of that opportunity.

John Smythe April 26th, 2024

Thank you for comment Margaret Needsanewjob. What a shame you choose to be anonymous, unlike any of our reviewers. I will respond because although you may have a valid point, your tone is unnecessarily abusive. Margaret Austin stood in for me at the last moment on this because I'm a close contact of someone with Covid. As we understand it, the Preview Show offers snippets of full length shows that are coming up in the NZ Comedy Festival. I asked her to give us a sense of the nature of each act so people might glean which shows they might book for without giving their shows away, so to speak. The show was a trailer and so is her review. A comprehensive critique of 11 separate and disparate acts is a big ask under the circumstances. So blame me for the shortcomings you perceive.

Margaret Needsanewjob April 26th, 2024

I've slept on it and I'm still thinking of how dreadful this "review" is. It's a summary, which any moron can give after being present at a show. No actual reviewing has been done. Nothing to service how well the comedians or the show actually went. This was truly a disservice to those performers and the work and talent they put in. They deserve better and readers deserve better. You're horrible at your job, Margaret.

Margaret Needsanewjob April 25th, 2024

Margaret, this is the strangest and most unsatisfactory review I've seen in a very long time. I think it's time to retire and let a reviewer who actually listens to the material take over.

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