The Listies Do Compooters: A Mad Take on that Interweb Thingo

It was my first foray in to attending and reviewing a kid’s show but I was excited and really keen to see this award-winning smash hit duo from across the ditch in action.  Described as “deliberately raucous, rude and very, very funny”, it already indicates that it is not a kid-exclusive show but one that can be easily enjoyed by adults as well.

Meet Rich and Matt.  Rich is the serious and responsible one while Matt is mischievous, playful and likes dreaming of LOLCats.  They have created a show all about “compooters” which was meant to be performed inside a brand new computer but Matt broke it when he put cheese inside the DVD drive because he thought the mouse was hungry.  This is the brand of humor that you can expect to be dished out along with accompanying colorful props, a host of pop culture references and gags aplenty in this manic and hysterical show.

The stage, which houses a giant computer monitor, USB drive (“Uninteresting Stuff & Bits”) and a strategically placed recycle bin, is the duo’s playground for comedic lists as well as fun adventures.  Letting your imagination run wild is a necessity and audience interaction and participation is an integral part of the show.  It truly was a delight to see the kids just jump right in, eager to be involved.

Highlights of the show for me: an onstage game of Pong (the world’s oldest computer game, and smell) followed by a more modern 3D version which involved the entire audience.  I also really liked the concept behind the castle quest World of Woolcraft (which is “like World of Warcraft but with more ram”) where the audience are instrumental in how the adventure plays out with regular “decision time” sections.  There is even an elaborate fight scene “rated S for Stupid” featuring stunt doubles.

What impressed me the most is how effortlessly Rich and Matt had the kids eating out of the palm of their hands for the entirety of the show.  They knew exactly which buttons to push to get the best reactions from the kids.  The show is incredibly boisterous, beyond entertaining and will hopefully make you ROFLSHABOWLO (Roll On The Floor Laughing So Hard A Little Bit Of Wee Comes Out).

It is the duo’s first time ever to our shores but I certainly hope it won’t be their last!  I would pick these veterans at children’s theatre any day over the likes of The Wiggles and Barney.  The Listies Do Compooters is perfect for children and adults alike, or as they like to call it, “kidults” (kids and their adults).  This is a good starting point for kids who have not experienced the theatre before and great for adults who want to embrace their inner child for an hour.

The Whimsical Banana rates The Listies Do Compooters: 5/5 bananas!

Exceedingly fun, endlessly funny and just totes brilliant!

The Listies Do Compooters is presented by TIME OUT Theatre and part of the October School Holidays Program.  Tickets are only $15 and their last show is on the 9th October – this is a fantastic show for the whole family so you don’t want to miss out!  For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

To find out more about The Listies, check out their website.

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Congrats to The Boy and Monsieur Lucont!

Edinburgh Festival Fringe is all done and dusted for the year and what a great one it has been for my two favorite comics!

 

Massive CONGRATS to fantastic prop comic, super talented physical comedian and all round awesome person, The Boy with Tape on his Face for winning a Broadway Baby Bobby Award and the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Panel Prize 🙂  Include the many five-star reviews and The Tape Face Tapes (The Boy’s launch into Tellyland), it has undeniably been a #TapeFaceInvasion this year in the comedy world – and mine! – bring on the #TapeFaceRevolution, I say!

Also nabbing a comedy victory is my favorite dashing French raconteur 🙂  Huge congrats to exceptional character comic and brilliant wordsmith Marcel Lucont for winning the Amused Moose Laughter Award!  There really is no show out there like his so this is a much deserved and completely unsurprising win, in my books.  I am already so excited for the DVD – Marcel in the comfort of my own home, what could be better?!

UK readers, if you missed these two amazing, top notch comedians at the Fringe, keep an eye out as they may be coming to a town near you!  The Boy is currently on his autumn tour (details here) and Marcel is also touring around the UK (find out where here).  I cannot recommend these two enough so if they are performing where you are, two words: JUST GO!!

(Feel free to check out my reviews for More Tape and Gallic Symbol if you need more convincing 😉 )

Congrats again on all the success, Sam and Alexis, am so very happy for the both of you!  Also a big “Well Done!” shout out to Gag Reflex and Objective Talent 🙂

The Whimsical Banana’s Edinburgh Fringe Picks!

The annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the place to be for all performing arts and stand up comedy geeks like me so I am absolutely gutted that I’m not there!  But I’m all for sharing the love so here are my top recommendations for those of you who are there and still trying to decide who and what to see:

Fringe Pick #1 – The Boy With Tape On His Face

August 2nd-26th (not 14th) at the Pleasance Courtyard
A whimsical mix of mime, vaudeville and puppetry involving lots of toys, props and audience participation.  Heaps of fun, endlessly funny and just bloody brilliant!  This absolutely fantastic show is one you do not want to miss!!
Tickets are selling like hot cakes so get in quick!  Buy them HERE or check out my spoiler-free review HERE.

Fringe Pick #2 – Marcel Lucont

August 2nd-26th (not 14th) at the Underbelly, Cowgate
France’s premiere misanthropist and self-proclaimed flâneur, raconteur and bon-viveur.  Low energy but outstanding show with mostly sardonic humor and clever wordplay.
Get tickets HERE and check out what I thought HERE!

Fringe Pick #3 – Jason Byrne

August 1st-12th at EICCF
He is a comedic genius and I’m convinced is the funniest man on the planet.  Non-stop riotous laughter from start to finish; you will be gasping for breath and wiping away tears!
Get tickets HERE – don’t miss out; season almost over!

Fringe Pick #4 – Stephen K Amos

August 2nd-25th (not 13th ,14th , 20th or 21st) at The Stand
Delightful and fabulous feel-good comedy that will have you grinning from ear to ear by the end of the hour!  Great repertoire of accents and exceptional observational comedy.
Get tickets HERE!

Fringe Pick #5 – Mark Watson

August 1st-27th (not 13th or 20th) at Assembly George Square
One of my all-time favorites!  Unpretentious, very accessible and quirky brand of comedy.  A non-stop string of hilarious random stories and brilliant jokes that just flows together.
Get tickets HERE!

Fringe Pick #6 – Gordon Southern

August 1st-26th (not 8th) at the Gilded Balloon Teviot
Self-proclaimed “International World Clown” who puts a musical and funny spin to history.  Wonderfully enthusiastic, unexpectedly poetic and very clever – edutainment at its finest!
Get tickets HERE (Sportsman Bar until 11th) and HERE (Nightclub Bar from 12th).

*Not at the Fringe but a Must See! – Chris Cox

Next show: September 24th at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol
Engaging storyteller and absolutely amazing “mind reader who can’t read minds” that will both impress and baffle you.  Brilliant, magical and mind-boggling – you have to see to believe!
Get tickets HERE and read my review HERE.

These are just my top-most picks but I have many other favorites and there are HUNDREDS more on offer so happy choosing, attending and laughing!  I’ll just be sitting here being incredibly jealous!

For the full line-up check out the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website or the Underbelly website.

*If you want to find out more about these excellent comedians, click the pictures to be taken to their official websites!

Comedy Fest 2012 Review: The Boy with Tape on his Face in More Tape

 

I first saw The Boy with Tape on his Face as part of a ten-act show at The Classic seven years ago and ever since then he has been a favorite of mine.  I even got picked by The Boy to help out on stage which was slightly terrifying at first but then turned out to be a really cool experience and something I will always look fondly back on!

I must mention that I only recently found out that that was actually his first stage show which meant I was his first ever volunteer – how special am I?!  But I digress…

These days The Boy is more than capable of holding his own and is perfectly happy having the stage all to himself along with his trusty satchel of tricks, box of props and of course, the all important tape.  I was privileged enough to be invited by The Boy to attend his opening night of the Auckland season and WOW, what an incredible show!  So much fun, so many laughs and an epic soundtrack to go with it all!

His new show, More Tape, is full of toys, props and is a mad and whimsical mix of vaudeville, mime and even puppetry.  What I especially enjoyed was the incorporation of the music to the set and how it provided an additional element of comedy to the performance.  Another integral part of the show is The Boy enlisting help from various handpicked members of the audience – you are even forewarned from the get go that participation is compulsory…unless you want to look like a cock!

Sam Wills, the man behind The Boy is truly a world class act with numerous awards under his belt (more likely in his satchel!).  He is also the first New Zealand comedian to be a part of the Royal Variety Performance in the UK.  He will soon be preparing to perform a month-long season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the biggest arts festival in the world.  Accolades and achievements aside, he also happens to be a very lovely person!

I think the thing that makes The Boy so special is that he has truly defied the conventions of stand up comedy.  He is a stand up comedian that doesn’t speak and yet his antics will have you laughing from start to finish.  His entire performance is well thought out with a good story arc of mostly standalone little tricks and bits but that all flow together seamlessly.  The show is perfectly paced and well-timed which is impressive considering a lot of it is improvised and dependent in part on the volunteer’s cooperation (or lack of).  He has outstanding showmanship and great comedic intuition that will have you enthralled and amazed.

I don’t want to give too much away as the magic of his show is in the anticipation of the unknown and watching it all slowly unravel.  All I will say is his show is brilliant, hysterical, incredibly entertaining and the best silent comedy you will ever see.  This is a show like no other and one you do not want to miss!

The Whimsical Banana rates More Tape: 6/5 Tape-tastic bananas (an extra banana for good measure!)

The Boy is performing at the beautiful Rangatira at Q all of this week with an extra show before his final one on Saturday night – tickets are selling fast so get your tickets NOW (HERE) or regret forever!

The Boy and I in 2005

The Boy and I seven years later 🙂

Sam, thanks so much for the hook up and it was so awesome meeting you after the show too – it’s crazy that it has been seven years!  See you again on closing night!

To find out more about The Boy, visit his website.

NZICF 2012 Review: Marcel Lucont in Gallic Symbol

From the moment he so skillfully, without missing a beat and cool as a cucumber, put a heckler in his place at last year’s Comedy Gala, I was converted a Marcel Lucont fan.

Brought to life by the brilliant British comedian Alexis Dubus, Marcel Lucont is a self-proclaimed flâneur, raconteur and bon-viveur.  He brings a rare stand up comedy masterpiece that is uncommonly low-energy but full of sharp wit and dry humor centered around his cynical observations as a proud French misanthropist and expert international lover.  He is an excellent wordsmith and is flawless when it comes to telling a story – impeccably timed and perfectly paced, his egotistical and deadpan but yet alluring delivery will have you hanging on his every word and laughing in all the right (and sometimes wrong!) places.

In his new show, Gallic Symbol, you can expect more exquisite sex poetry (this time of a “breasty” nature), his usual haughty grievances about most things (especially anything British) and so much more.  His opening piece, “50 actual ways to leave your lover” sets the tone of the show perfectly.  Why wouldn’t you choose to catapult yourself in to a sea of naked women as a way to leave your significant other?  Perfectly normal and not over the top at all.  Apart from reading from his “manual of a sex addict”, he also shares hilarious excerpts from the diary of his teenage self.  If there’s anything funnier than Marcel Lucont, it is quite possibly a teenage Marcel Lucont.

My personal favorite bit was his hilarious parody of British humor; his impersonation of a stuffy British man is scarily accurate albeit incredibly stereotypical!  I also really enjoyed the amusing “sex positions 101”-esque class he delivers near the end, complete with corresponding visuals on cue cards.  And of course, the grand finale!  Marcel’s debut rap performance.  Yes, rap.  Prepare to be impressed.  All I can say is – merde oui!

I had the pleasure of meeting Monsieur Lucont after the show and he is an absolute delight!  I also got to see him in action again on the weekend co-hosting Le Comique, a cabaret-style event showcasing alternative comedy.  Suffice it to say, he was in top form then too and this time with a whole bottle of wine in tow!  Unfortunately his solo shows have finished its run in both Auckland and Wellington but you still have a chance to catch him as part of the Comedy Convoy, touring nationwide between 14-26 May (details HERE).

He really is one of those acts that words just cannot do him justice – you really need to be there to experience it yourself.  The show is highly sexual (but never vulgar, though sometimes teetering very near it!) and full of the sardonic musings of a self-righteous, narcissistic Frenchman, but if you can get past that, you will not be disappointed!  His performance is just effortless and will keep you captivated from beginning to end.  He is not overtly funny to the point you find yourself laughing yourself to tears (or maybe you might!) but his instinctive use of combining dry humor, sharp wit and a lot of clever wordplay, all delivered at the opportune time, will no doubt have you laughing and thoroughly entertained.

The Whimsical Banana rates Gallic Symbol: 5/5 bananas (FANTASTIQUE show!)

 

See you next year, Marcel – merci beaucoup for the outstanding show and for the lovely message in your book (and you’re right – it is superb! 😉 )

If you would like to get to know more about Monsieur Lucont, check out his website: www.marcellucont.com.

Comedy Fest 2012 Review: Chris Cox in Fatal Distraction

As I made my way to my front row seat in the beautiful Rangatira at Q (my second home this past week!), I was feeling both nervous and excited.  Nervous because sitting in the front row at a comedy show is never a good thing and excited because I genuinely could not wait to experience what all the great reviews have been going on and on about.  I had missed out on Chris Cox’s first visit to our shores back in 2010 and so did not really know what to expect.

First week of the Comedy Festival was a busy one for me; I was attending shows pretty much every night of the week!  All I can say is I am so relieved and chuffed that I managed to catch Chris Cox on his last show here in Auckland because, even though I still have a few more shows to see, I am already quite certain he is (going to be) my favorite of the festival this year!  Don’t get me wrong, everyone else I’ve seen so far have all been really excellent but I really enjoyed Chris’ show simply because it was just something completely different and not at all what you’d expect during a comedy festival.  He is not your typical stand up comedian but his show is just as entertaining (if not more) and will leave you not only bloody impressed but gagging for more.

So who is Chris Cox then and what is his show all about?  I guess you can call him a magician although he’s not the kind who pulls rabbits out of hats.  That being said there are rabbits on stage!  He insists he is a mind reader who cannot read minds, that everything is about coincidence, using psychology and observing body language.  My opinion?  He has to be a wizard (I vote former Hogwarts student!) because there was some pretty skillful mind reading going on on that stage!  The first and most obvious conclusion many will come up with to explain how he managed to do what he did is to say the show is rigged, but the ferret-in-the-sweater blows that theory well out of the water.  It’s been a few days now and my mind is STILL whirring.  It’s…like…magic!

Miraculously replicating drawings and magical laser lipsticks aside, I think the magic is really Chris himself.  His natural charm, “devilish good looks” and ability to just tell a good story will have you hanging on to his every word and move from the word go.  His show involves a lot of audience participation but the way he interacts with the crowd makes you feel just so comfortable – I can honestly say this was the first time I felt totally at ease being sat in the front row of a comedy gig.

It’s really one of those shows that you have to “see to believe” so all I will say is this: if Chris Cox is in your town, do yourself a favor and get a ticket – you will not regret it!  Wellington – he has 3 more shows at the Whitireia Performance Centre, so make sure you don’t miss out – get your tickets now (HERE) and prepare to have your mind fully blown…and read 😉  Your jaw WILL drop and by the end of the show you will leave absolutely flabbergasted.

The Whimsical Banana rates Fatal Distraction: 5/5 magical bananas!

Chris, thank you for the incredible experience – what an AMAZING and entertaining show, one I will not soon forget!  My only complaint is it should have been two hours long!  It was such an absolute pleasure meeting you after too 🙂  I hope you return next year, and this time I’ll happily sit in the front row wearing my I ❤ Cox badge with pride!  Hope you had a fantastic time back in New Zealand, even though you were ill!

 

To get more Cox ( 😛 ) check out his website www.magiccox.com

P.S. – Shout out and big thank you to the teams at the Comedy Festival and Q Theatre – you all rock!