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Review: Cadbury Crunchie Comedy Gala 2009

Sat 2 May 2009 In: Performance View at Wayback View at NDHA

2009's Comedy Festival began with a pink 'n' mix of local and international talent last night at Auckland's Aotea Centre - and included in the line-up was one visiting comedienne who talked about lesbian speed dating, and a London funnyman who revealed his exciting new hobby - discussing bum sex with Christian friends. Lesbian speed dating: Hannah Gadsby No hot topic was left un-mined for nuggets of comedy gold. Piggy flu and the economic slowdown inspired several throwaway gags, along with gecko angst, an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, fun with the Kiwi accent, and an improvised guide to blow jobs. With over 20 acts taking their turn on stage - some outstaying their welcome, others on way too briefly - here's our guide to who we laughed out loud with. * Lesbian UK comedian Hannah Gadsby is our pick of the Festival. She had us in stitches with her speed dating stories. There are some crazy women out there, and she seems to have met them all! Catch her show 'Kiss me Quick I'm Full of Jubes' at Auckland's Comedy Underground on 12-16 May. * It's her first trip to NZ, but the audience warmed to cute Irish wit Maeve Higgins immediately. There's nothing loud and overdone about her comedy - just observations of family life you'll relate to. Her show 'Kitten Brides' is on in Auckland and Wellington. * When the furry forest animals appeared on stage it all took a turn for the surreal. We're not saying we didn't enjoy it, but the high-concept We are Currently Experiencing Some Issues clearly takes a little longer than five minutes to get into! But with a talented local crew including Toni Potter, Simon McKinney and the outrageous Justine Smith, you can't go wrong. * A loud cheer went up when Dai Henwood bounded onto the stage. We've seen him do better, but his energy and quick, cheeky wit kept us well entertained. He's one of New Zealand's finest - and his new show 'Shabba!' is on in Auckland and Wellington. * Both our favourite musician acts were back! The surreal Kransky Sisters were as washed-out-and-wonderful as ever on their tuba, tambourine and horrific musical saw… they have to be seen and heard to be believed! And country music rambler Wilson Dixon is a treat, this time with a song from his new show 'Saddle Sore'. Along with Auckland and Wellington, he'll be visiting eleven other Kiwi centres in May on the annual Comedy Convoy. * Londoner Carey Marx loves breaking taboos, and brings you 'stand-up's 10 least acceptable topics', including "My hobby - discussing bum sex with Christian friends". Some content my offend! * Scotsman Danny Bhoy has been seen in NZ several times before, and his clever observational comedy again proves he's one of the best international acts on the circuit. Loud laughter all around for him as usual. There were several noteworthy acts missing from the opening night smorgasbord, most notably tetchy Irish comic Dylan Moran (from TV's Black Books) , and our favourite of the local ladies Jan Maree - the 'renegade of raunch' last seen at the Boobs on Bikes Parade! For the voyeurs we welcome back Puppetry of the Penis once again, and the always provocative gay disabled funny-guy Philip Patston 'Gives You a Bit of What He's Got' at the Herald Theatre next week too. Highlights from the Cadbury Churchie Comedy Gala will be shown on TV2 at 8:30pm Wednesday 6 May. Check out the official NZ International Comedy Festival website here, and experience a song from the weird and wonderful Kransky Sisters on the clip below. Matt Akersten - 2nd May 2009    

Credit: Matt Akersten

First published: Saturday, 2nd May 2009 - 10:47pm

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