Here is the news ... it’s a funny show

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Fresh take: Toni Pot­ter, left, and Jamie Bowen are mix­ing things up at this year’s com­edy fes­ti­val.

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