5 Star Comedy Preview Skycity Theatre

The night opened with MC Rich Wilson, returning to NZ after great success at last years festival. Rich has a great ability at reading and dealing with crowds, from a raucous club through to theatre, which has him rated as one of the best MCs in the UK. He won the audience over pretty quickly with some self-depreciating jokes and a stylish delivery. He did slip up late in the show by forgetting one comic and messing up the running order but was well recovered.  He will be hosting the BiG Show and various line up shows at The Classic.

Lloyd Langford is a Welsh comic with a very laconic laidback delivery. Listening to him reminded me of PineTree Meads or slower speaking Fred Dagg.  He was here earlier in the year which gave him some insight into local current affairs so he was able to write some very relevant material. I especially loved his comparison with our flag debate with the Welsh Flag. Lloyd’s solo show runs weeks 2 & 3. I have bought tickets to his solo show.

Angela Barnes is an award winning English comic. Very funny stories of internet dating and relationships as a middle aged women. I can see why she is so highly rated in the UK. Angela will be appearing in The BiG Show and her own solo show.

Jimmy McGhie describes himself as middle posh. Entertaining stories of life as a middle posh man living in a newly gentrified area of London. I loved his explanation of how to tell the difference between middle posh and proper upper posh. A festival regular all around the world Jimmy will be appearing in The BiG Show and his own solo show.

George Egg is an English prop comic and anarchist cook. George bounded onto stage waving a couple of clothe irons in the air. Then as he started to tell hilarious stories of life on the road in small hotel rooms he propped up the irons down side up on an ironing board and proceeded to mix and then cook mini pancakes on his improvised iron hot plates. At the end of the set he gave the pancakes to an audience member who said they were very good. George is appearing in The Big Show and other line up shows at The Classic as well as his own solo Show running weeks 2 & 3. I have booked tickets to his solo show.

Harley Breen, an award winning comic from Australia, returns to NZ for the second time. While he is very Australian he actually is quite likeable and certainly very funny. His snappy delivery and quick wit along with refreshingly honest upfront material kept the audience well entertained. His solo show runs in the first week.

Nish Kumar is an English comic returning to NZ after a sell-out season last year. Well known from his appearances on TV shows such as Live At The Apollo. Nish plays on the contradiction of his posh English accent and middle eastern-Indian looks. Nish’s solo show runs weeks 1 & 2. I have booked tickets to his solo show.

Ismo Leikola from Finland won the 2014 Funniest Person In The World Competition in the USA. I can certainly believe it. Fantastic material delivered in the standard Finnish almost monotone deadpan style (any motorsports fan who has heard Finnish race and rally drivers interviewed will know exactly what I mean). Great comic language misunderstanding and very charismatic charming manner.
Ismo is appearing in the BiG Show as well as his own solo show. I have booked tickets to his solo show.

James Acaster is an another award winning English comic who is a regular visitor to NZ. He started off joking about being introduced as the last act and not being ready as the MC had forgotten about the act that was supposed to be on prior. He has a unique delivery and style and is one of the new generation young gun English comics. Won Best International Show at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival. James has a solo show running the first two weeks of the Festival.

Ron Josol is a Canadian Filipino comic. Great stories as life as an Asian in north America. Great delivery and hilarious jokes. A fantastic comedian who returns to NZ to appear in The BiG Show in Auckland and Comedy Allstars in Wellington.

The only real critism would be the venue. Skycity Theatre itself is a nice venue with resonable priced refreshments but the parking is always an issue. The Skycity carpark is extremely expensive unless you can get the parking validated, unfortunately they do not consider tickets to a show at their theatre warrants parking validation. They require purchases over the bar or at the restaurants of $40+ to validate. So you are left with the option of finding parking elsewhere and walking to Skycity which is uphill from pretty much everywhere. 
Along with that is getting the audience seated in time. The show started15 minutes late waiting for people to get themselves in and seated (a problem at a lot of venues more often the fault of the crowd)