REVIEWED BY INGRID GRENAR
This year’s NZ International Comedy Festival kicked off with a preview of seven fantastic international comedians.
The 5 Star Comedy Preview, which will tour New Zealand next week, is two hours of original, individual and clever stand up. The whole evening was held together perfectly by compère Stuart Goldsmith. A great host and comedian who managed to get the whole audience to have a cuddle!
Each year The 5 Star Comedy Preview is one of the most eagerly awaited shows in the comedy festival calendar as it provides us punters with a taste of things to come over the following three weeks.
In 2013 the ‘5 Star Comedy Preview’ introduced some brand new acts to New Zealand, some scouted from the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe; The world’s biggest live comedy festival.
First up was Brit Andrew Bird who talked of his life as a stay at home parent and husband (and how to fail at avoiding charity collectors). His natural charm and anecdotal style made his material come to life during his enthusiastic performance.
Welsh comedian Elis James was up next. He’s an extremely likable character with a natural rhythm for storytelling that invites you to giggle. From Welsh translations to wedding drunkenness this friendly guy welcomes his audience into his world.
Already a TV favourite for Kiwi audiences, Aussie Tom Gleeson had us roaring with his generation iPhone related gags and some slightly dodgy massage stories. Hilarious and often unexpected punch lines arose from this clever comedian.
Kicking off the second half was Chris Martin, who returns to New Zealand from the UK after his successful debut in 2012. This ‘man-child’ who likes to play pranks on other species weaves a fun existence around his material. His hatred of baths makes perfect sense after hearing his set. He’s intelligent and witty in these observations that we all can relate to.
Following Chris was the brilliantly quirky reserved Englishman James Acaster. He was just delightful to watch. His style is understated and extremely clever. A real ‘outside the box’ kind of guy. A definite highlight of the evening and the act I am most curious to see again.
Finishing off the evening was the tornado that was Markus Birdman. The Londoner spoke frankly of sex, parenthood and relationships. Great audience rapport mixed with his unpredictability made him an edgy and exciting act to watch.
All these comics will be appearing in a variety of shows during the festival but this is your only chance to see all them together on the same stage. Check them out on the 5 Star Comedy Tour from 30 April – 4 May.
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