Here is the news ... it’s a funny show
A group of local comedians are trading stand-up for slapstick during this year’s Auckland International Comedy Festival.
We Are Currently Experiencing Some Issues will break with the traditional format of the festival by giving audiences a taste of a unique piece of comedic theatre.
The show is an entertaining portrait of a night behind the scenes at a television newsroom as things descend into chaos.
The ensemble cast of five is a raft of well-known names including comedian Jamie Bowen, Shortland Street’s Toni Potter, Simon McKinney, Brett O’Gorman and Justine Smith.
Festival veteran Jamie says part of the appeal of doing the show was its point of difference to the usual stand-up he performs.
“I love doing solo shows but you get a bit bored of working with yourself,” he says.
He says the group, who all knew each other from previous comedy shows, have all collaborated on writing the show and performing is going to be a lot of fun.
“The whole process has been quite organic and that will be reflected on the night,” he says.
“We love trying to wind each other up on stage.”
Toni Potter, on the other hand, will be making her debut as a performer at the festival.
Although she comes from a theatre background, her main attention has been focused recently on her role as Alice on Shortland Street.
She says the return to the stage is a welcome one and she is enjoying the less predictable, improvised nature of the role. “It’s lots of fun,” she says. “It’s very freeing.” The five cast members will play multiple characters in the show and there will be surprises on every night, says Jamie, including the gratuitous use of animal costumes and cameo appearances every night from local celebrities.
Director Ben Crowder descries the hour-long show as a kind of hybrid comedy and theatre show.
“It’s not a typical thing that appears at the comedy festival,” he says.
“People are used to one stand-up walking out with a microphone – this is not that.”
The Auckland International Comedy festival starts today and runs throughout May.
We Are Experiencing Some Issues runs from May 12 to 16 at the Aotea Centre’s Herald Theatre.
For tickets phone 0800 Buy Tickets (0800-289-842) and for information see www.com edyfestival.co.nz.
Fresh take: Toni Potter, left, and Jamie Bowen are mixing things up at this year’s comedy festival.