Comic kids get out of school

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

A group of Auck­land teens are de­ter­mined to prove stand-up isn’t just for adults.

The group, aptly named the AdLOLes­cents – LOL stands for laugh out loud – will be per­form­ing High School Com­i­cal for four nights at this year’s In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val.

The 10 stu­dents first came to­gether last year as part of the Class Co­me­di­ans pro­gramme run by com­edy fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers.

The stu­dents were hand­picked by lo­cal co­me­di­ans, who visit high schools each year and se­lect the best comedic tal­ent, run­ning work­shops and a men­tor­ing pro­gramme.

The group per­formed at last year’s com­edy fes­ti­val and this year they have de­cided to pro­duce the en­tire show them­selves.

Rose Matafeo, 16, from Auck­land Girls Gram­mar, says the Class Co­me­di­ans pro­gramme is help­ing bring up and nur­ture a new breed of co­me­di­ans.

“Be­fore this we didn’t know much about live com­edy. We’ve be­come so ed­u­cated.”

Al­though Rose reg­u­larly per­forms at Raw, the Clas­sic Com­edy Bar’s open mike nights, she says the op­por­tu­nity to learn from pro­fes­sional co­me­di­ans has been in­valu­able.

Geneva Alexan­der-Masters, 18, a for­mer Auck­land Girls Gram­mar stu­dent, agrees.

“They’re so will­ing to talk to you and give you tips.”

Pro­fes­sional co­me­dian Dave Wig­gins is head tu­tor of Class Co­me­di­ans and says al­though the fes­ti­val is still in­volved with the kids in terms of help­ing them out, it’s “pretty hands off.”

Mr Wig­gins says even if the group don’t all go on to be­come pro­fes­sion­als, the op­por­tu­nity is still em­pow­er­ing for them.

“Who would have thought a year ago that th­ese 16 and 17-year-olds would be per­form­ing at an in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­val?”

Their show, High School Com­i­cal, starts tonight and runs un­til May 3 at the Clas­sic Base­ment. Each of them will have six min­utes to im­press the crowd.

Even though the whole group have been giv­ing up pre­cious school hol­i­day hours to re­hearse, no one seems to mind.

“It doesn’t re­ally count as work when we’re en­joy­ing it so much,” says 18-yearold Steven Boyce. Tick­ets for High School Com­i­cal are avail­able through Tick­etek.

Kid­ding around: Back from left: John Shen, Mah­mood Hik­met, Aleks Bozic, Daniel Bakie. Mid­dle row: Stephanie Fink, Rose Matafeo, Anna Ma­clean, Steven Boyce, Front: Geneva Alexan­der-Masters.

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