Dai Henwood – Adapt Or Dai


Dai Henwood is back. His latest show, a celebration of humanity in all its glory, opened last night to thunderous applause at Auckland’s Q Theatre. Dai is New Zealand comedy royalty. His adoring fans cheered on as he ran out onstage under flashing lights, demonstrating some karate kicks.

Rather than rest on past glories, Dai has allowed his material to age with him. Now a father, much of the beginning material deals with the changes he’s had to make upon reaching his thirties. Pregnancy, homeownership and housecleaning take the place of all night partying, and like anyone, he’s trying to find ways to adjust.

Lest you think this has slowed him down though! Henwood is still as full on as ever. His stand-up jumps from topic to topic at a breakneck pace, and jokes come one after the other without delay. Sometimes he is working so quickly that there were moments when Dai tripped over his words, trying to get a second joke out before even having finished the first.

One of the highlights were jokes that came from his short chats with audience members, which allowed Dai to flex his improv muscles. He has no problem riffing off of others, with sharp wit and a cheeky grin, before bringing everything back to the show’s theme. These interactions are done so effortlessly you would think they had been preplanned.

That theme however does not weigh the show down. Dai is first and foremost a comedian, and no matter how much of a point he may want to get across, his goal for the night was obviously to entertain. Mission accomplished.

Adapt or Dai is on at Q Theatre until Sat 11 May, 7pm.