FatG: Fringe at the Gryphon, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

11/03/2020 - 13/03/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details

Will and Brendan have always wanted to write a comedy show. Their only two problems? The realisation that no one needs to hear what they’ve got to say and a crippling lack of motivation. What will they do? How will they get out of this one?

Despite having had several months to prepare and stage a show, Will and Brendan have run out of time. Let’s see if they can dive, dip, dodge, duck and dive through a ramshackle show packed with dark satire, condescending explanations of comedy, and a cancan or two, in what can only be described as ‘a performance’.

Brendan’s improv experience (Improsaurus) and Will’s stand-up chops (Finalist in Wellington Raw Comedy Quest 2019) provides a much-needed counterweight to their acting, writing, directing experience (University of Otago Capping Show 2014-2016 – not the bad ones, we promise). Get in quick, because they need to sell 40 tickets to break even!

FatG at Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro
Wednesday 11 – Friday 13 March 2020
Price General Admission $15.00 Fringe Addict $10.00
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Wheelchair access available 

Theatre , Comedy ,

1 hr

Irreverent, bolshie humour

Review by Brett Adam 12th Mar 2020

Will McGrath and Brendan Rose can both lay claim to the classic trinity of privilege – white, straight, male – and their show is a mixed bag of sketches that aims to use this position as a starting point to examine political correctness, prejudice, ‘wokeness’, internalised racism and a whole other range of touchy yet topical subjects. The show teeters on the precipice between gratuitous offensiveness and insightful yet hysterical social commentary. Thankfully it mostly falls towards the latter.

As with any sketch-based comedy show, the acts range in quality. Some of the comedy and punchlines are not much better than adolescent schoolboy humour but others are inspired comedy genius. The running gag of the conservative men’s rights protestors brilliantly eviscerates its subjects; the sequence of sketches in the doctor’s office builds up to a biting, slap in the face, mirroring of the audience’s own prejudices; the race card sketch is absurdly joyous in its commentary. The structure of the show is deceptively simple yet the detailed weaving of ideas and characters and ideas that appear and reappear throughout make for an overall satisfying experience.

Tying it all together, the projected stage directions that preface each act get some of the biggest laughs of the evening. Combining clever and intelligent gags about how comedy works, without being overly intellectual, they almost become a third character. There is a certain absurd post-modernism to this approach that fits perfectly with the nature of the piece. 

Will and Brendan are both very strong, committed and likeable performers. Their relationship with each other is generous and unaffected. They play to the audience very well, although on opening night they too often step on the audience’s laughter meaning some of the lines and punchlines are lost. In many ways I feel they don’t go far enough at times, and the ending that attempts to tie the whole piece together is a little unsatisfying and a little muddy. But overall I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this duo. They are definitely onto something and I hope this show is not the last time we get to see their irreverent, bolshie style of humour. 


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