Last night saw the grand final of the 2015 Raw Comedy Quest. With Justine Smith as our MC for the evening, eleven budding stand up acts from all over the country (well, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) took turns playing to a packed Q Theatre.
Each with only six minutes to prove their worth. It’s an intimidatingly short amount of time to convince what is likely the biggest crowd you’ve performed for that you’re hilarious. These acts were up for the challenge.
The performances ranged from energetic to intentionally awkward, foul mouthed to family friendly. Some played songs whilst others played characters. There was a great variety of styles on stage, but thankfully the quality remained consistently high throughout. Some higher than others, of course.
I couldn’t find fault with Angella Dravid’s immensely amusing breakdown of the correlation between New Zealand’s economic stability and abortion rates. Nor with Joel Hansby withdrawn, self-loathing one-liners. And our two winners, Savanna Calton and Melanie Bracewell, both displayed the natural confidence and charisma you’d expect from seasoned professionals, along with a ton of funny jokes.
What was most surprising, or most impressive, about last night’s final is that there were no weak links amongst the performers. Every comedian on stage had clearly earned their right to be there, and every one brought at least one killer gag to bring the house down.
It’s very reassuring to see some of tomorrow’s brightest comedic stars already shining so bright, and in an environment where they are encouraged and nurtured (bar one or two very annoying hecklers). Here’s to another 20 years of the Raw Comedy Quest.
Reviewed by Liam Golds.