Plenty for Escape! festival
The Escape! festival at Queen’s Birthday weekend has plenty to tickle your funny bone— both as an audience member or workshop participant.
“The news is often full of doom and gloom,” festival director Jo Bond says. “And the news cycle can be unrelenting, if you let it. So as part of Escape! we thoughtwe’d offer some light-hearted escapism.”
Award-winning one-woman showMy Best DeadFriend is “a joyful comedy from a heavy heart,” relating the events of a night out in Dunedin in 1998 and how a group of teens try to start a revolution— by using poetry.
The show uses chalkboards as part of its inventive storytelling that’s based on real events in the life of cocreator and actress Anya TateManning.
“From the beginning I wanted it to be funny even though a lot of the show is about loss— if you make it funny and not too heavy you let people feel it more, they open their hearts.”
Tom Scott, who last year brought his own life to the page, is now bringing it to the stage and on Saturday, June 2 talks to RNZ’s Guyon Espiner about growing up in a poor, rambunctious Irish family in Manawatu¯ and his more than 40 years covering New Zealand’s politics, both as a columnist and cartoonist.
“I’ve been bullied into coming to Tauranga,” Scott jokes. “So I’m going to have a party and drink and eat you out of house and home. It’ll be worthwhile for me, if not for anyone else.”
Scott, amulti-awardwinning cartoonist, will also teach a cartooning workshop, suitable for beginners. He is creating cartoons of his 18th prime minister after beginning what he calls an “accidental career” in 1965 by drawing anti-Vietnam war comics.
In her Comedy Central workshop award-winning MicheleA’Court will help stand-up performers with techniques to quell nerves and insights into developing a relationshipwith an audience and writing comedy, plus stagecraft and pacing of material. Work will be both theory and practical.
“Therewill be micro stuff and macro stuff,” she says. “Like how 12 is a funny word but 13 isn’t, or knowing where to start a story so it unfolds in the funniestway possible.”
■ My Best Dead Friend, June 2 and 3 at 8pm (TECT cardholder discount until May 25); How to Draw Funny, June 3 from 10-11.30am; Comedy Central, June 4 from 10am-4pm. All at Baycourt. Tickets from Baycourt or www.ticketek.co.nz. See the full Escape! programme at www.taurangafestival.co.nz
Tom Scott brings his life to the stage for the Escape! festival.