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Urzila Carlson – The Long Flight To Freedom – Review

REVIEWED BY STEPH BEAN

Following her hilarious set on TV3’s Comedy Gala, it comes as no surprise that Urzila Carlson’s shows at this year’s comedy fest have all sold out. To those lucky enough to have nabbed tickets – well done, you obviously have impeccable taste.

The Loft at Q Theatre was packed out last night as Carlson ambled on-stage, starting off with a warning that her phone would be on all night as she’s expecting a text to say her partner had gone into labour! If doing a comedy show on your first-born’s due date isn’t commitment to your craft, I don’t know what is.

Carlson’s hour-long solo show, entitled The Long Flight to Freedom follows the story of her childhood in South Africa and her move to New Zealand. Her style is very conversational as she ambles through stories of her birth as a massive premature baby, holidaying in wildlife reserves surrounded by deadly animals, and dealing with crime on a regular basis back in South Africa.

She seamlessly intersperses her narrative with hilarious observations, provoking belly laughs from the audience with remarks about insufferable screaming kids in malls, being her own version of noise control in West Auckland and ‘Marmageddon’.

With Carlson you get the sense that her on-stage persona and her real personality are the same. It feels like she’s chatting to a roomful of mates.  She is enthusiastic and vivacious, yet unassuming and incredibly funny.

The hour soon flew by and I didn’t want it to end, though I suspect my exhausted stomach muscles were relieved…

Urzila Carlson’s Auckland season is completely sold out, but you can still see her as host of Le Comique, Sunday 12 May at SKYCITY Theatre

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