Comedy festival 2011

On a boat – Wellington's finest emerging comedians

Was on a boat – which didn't really agree with me unfortunately. (I spent most of the night gripping a ginger beer and staring fixedly at the house lights out the tiny porthole). We were a difficult crowd to play to (apparently the later crowd were more appreciative) so I had to keep my giggling under control. Bit of a mixed bag for me. Some I didn't get at all, some I really liked. Fun to see newbies working out their style though.

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The boy with tape on his face
I managed to luck into the extra show in Auckland. The queue was long but it was well worth the wait. Many of the laughs come from The Boy's interactions with members of the audience who join him on stage. Up on stage, under the lights, in front of the audience you belong to, next to the guy who's telling you what to do (without words) – well it's obviously a lot more difficult than it looks from the audience POV. This makes it hysterically funny to the rest of us – to the point that people around me would be gleefully describing what The Boy wanted the person to do and then cracking up when they didn't do it. Even though it's a repeat performance I think each show would feel different as The Boy interacts with different people. Laughed so much I cried.

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Jeremy Elwood's (un)common sense??

In the Garden Bar in Wellington. Didn't think this show was quite as polished as last year's show but it had more variety (including a couple songs) so, swings and roundabouts yeah? Some laughing, some crying, some thinking.

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Five shows were improvised on the night. Although there was a wide range of experience in the players I was amazed anew at the wide range of general knowledge they all had and how they could intersperse it with details that brought the house down.

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CSI Wainui

Narrative based on a murder in the good town of Wainuiomata.?? There were actual people from Wainuiomata there at the show! Their suggestions for "best thing?" ("no KFC") and "What is there a lot of?" ("churches"."What kind of churches?" All kinds!") were incorporated into the story.

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Snake Oil

Solo improvised show supported by a musician based on the tales of a Victorian explorer who has a magical elixir to sell us. (A misheard "Niger" for the name of a ski field resulted in a number of very funny references to the "Niger-ian Mystics".)??

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Covert Improv Night

Improv rookies compete in elimination rounds to be the winner on the night. Some very funny sketches and some less than successful ones. My favourite was one that resembled a long form joke ??? i.e. blah blah blah –?? punchline! Lots of fun.

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Instant Broadway

Musical based on the convention "The something something of somewhere". On the night that turned into "The Ugly Mechanic of Scotland" and involved the Queen of England, an Australian, a bald man and tiny trucks.

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Late night jam

The most random collection of audience dancing, short challenges for improvisers, a guest (John Palino making pizza!!), 'making things from common household items' demonstrations and a surprise ongoing cameo from a lovely drunk. Totally crazy. (Would go again.)

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