Comic kids get out of school
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.