Jamie Bowen review

One thing I highly recommend you do during the comedy festival season is book tickets to a show with no prior knowledge of what it might involve or indeed who the comedian is. That’s how I prepared (or didn’t prepare) for Jamie Bowen’s ‘It Goes On’, with pleasing results.

The show is the third in a series born in 2014 after a major upheaval in Bowen’s life, and you don’t have to have seen parts 1 and 2 to enjoy this third instalment. Less stand-up comedy and more existential meanderings, we are taken on a stroll through the thoughts of the 34-year-old as he tries to make sense of his place in the world. Jokes are peppered throughout, but once he has you hooked in, they are almost superfluous to what is happening. This might not be laugh-a-minute stand-up, but it will certainly leave you with plenty to think and talk about. The 30-something-year-old-existential-crisis coming-of-age story is not new, but it’s not often that a person will articulate such a personal story to a room full of strangers, and the show is worth coming to if for nothing else but this.

Bowen is highly endearing and genuine, and though the topics at hand are fairly hefty, he handles them with a light touch, meaning that it feels like a chat. He’s so unintimidating and at ease, at many points I was tempted to start chatting back, before remembering the other 60 people with us in the room.

Bowen is a thoughtful storyteller with a fair few years at the mic under his belt who uses these 50 minutes to do some musing on life, death, and what it’s all about.

Join Jamie Bowen at the NZ International Comedy Festival until 30 April at Auckland’s Basement Theatre & 10 – 14 May at Wellington’s BATS Theatre.

Reviewed by Steph Bean.

4 stars -