San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington

02/03/2017 - 06/04/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

The Wellington Raw Comedy Quest is the capital’s premier comedy competition. Witness the rising stars in stand up comedy before they hit the big time. 

With 6 heats, the top 16 make it to the semifinals, top 8 to the Wellington final, with the top two performers flown to Auckland to compete in the National Raw Comedy Quest Final. 

Heat 1 features special guest MC Justine Smith, as seen on 7 Days

With over $2000 in prize money and national coverage, the Raw Comedy Quest can be the stepping stone to a career in comedy. 

Previous Wellington competitors include Wellington favourite James Nokise, Billy T Award winner Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, and 7Days’ Alice Brine. 

San Fran –
171 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
2, 9, 16, 23, 30 March & 6 April 2017
BOOKINGS: fringe.co.nz
TICKETS: $16/$12/$8 

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

Thursdays only

Each is upfront, good and unique

Review by Patrick Davies 03rd Mar 2017

Last night saw the first of the Humorous Trust’s Raw Comedy heats – young and upcoming comics giving their best 6 minutes in hopes of heading into the next round.  

The effervescent and age-defying Justine Smith is on sparkling form as MC getting the almost capacity crowd going from the get go. With a mix of old and new material she has the patrons in the palm of her hand. Reminding us that these newbies don’t need heckling, she places herself squarely in the firing line, almost immediately handing the head back to a knob who thought it was an invitation. She is slick and lively throughout, knowing just (see what I did there?) how to keep the crowd happy and the night rolling along.

There’s about as much need to say that “comedy in Wellington is strong” as there is to say “finally good to see a female comedian who is actually funny”. The community and its performers are stronger than ever. Each of tonight’s six competitors provide their own energy and take on a variety of subjects.

Whether it’s Aun Dalmia’s self mocking naiveté towards sex; Lee Ray’s ‘beyond-the-usual’ tales of single motherhood; Carl Anderson’s slow-burn punning; Hugo Huntingon’s flatting experiences; Carrick Blacker’s biology; Oliver Scripp’s station wagon metaphor; Maor Ben-Shahar’s bonus silent story – the usual observations of life’s stupidities. All the comics are upfront, good and bring their own uniqueness.

There’s a couple of minor hiccups, and some are more adept at mic technique than others, but them’s the breaks of live performance, and the supportive crowd has a blast of a time. It’s great to see a high level of technique in structuring a short set and re-incorporation of material propelling a set to the final laugh.

While the judges deliberate, Shawn Hoult takes to the stage (one of the last times, as he leaves our shores later this month) and delivers some knock out blows of his own.  While comedy is the winner on the day, certainly the judges have a hard time choosing Maor Ben-Shahar, Oliver Scripps and Hugo Huntington to continue to the next round.

San Fran continues to, once again, be the premiere site of Wellington Comedy with a great stage and atmos to keep all and sundry happy. So grab a crowd, grab a beer and grab a belly laugh or two as the Raw Comedy Heats continue with a new line up each week.


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