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Event: 2021 NZ Intl. Comedy Festival – May 2021

Get ready for a great line-up of laughs as the full programme for the 2021 NZ Intl. Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo has launched! Audiences will be treated to a feast of comedic treats, with tickets on-sale from midday Thursday 18 March for the banquet of offerings from the best Kiwi comedians, back in venues live across Auckland and Wellington for three weeks in May.
With homegrown comedy on a meteoric rise, Aotearoa’s local heroes are rightfully claiming the spotlight in the Comedy Fest. It’s no secret that Kiwi comedy has been punching above its weight for a long time, in terms of the size of the scene and the incredible talent within it. Now is the perfect time to celebrate the local voices packing the programme, with a collection of shows of the same sky-high calibre the Fest has attracted for years. The 2021 line-up will showcase a huge range of comedy styles, with stories and great jokes reflecting our current world.
Shaking up the format for a very special year, the 2021 Fest is being presented in specialty seasons, making it easy for audiences to find their own special selection of shows for a world-class comedy experience this May. The Comedy Fest Seasons are broken down into: Keen Observers, Party Shows, Crowd Pleasers, Trust Us, Something to Say, Good Weird, Billys, Yes and…, and Fresh Faces.

Producers of the Festival, the NZ Comedy Trust, are excited to introduce some new shows in 2021. The Great Comedy Debate, brought to life with generous support from law firm Lane Neave, will be hosted by the sharp-witted Te Radar. Teams will include Hayley SproullLaura DanielJoseph Moore, Guy Montgomery and more special guests to be announcedCome prepared for good points, hot takes and wild yarns over the most debatable moot of the moment: Technology will save us!
They’ve been heating up your feeds with the funniest, freshest content around – especially during lockdowns, and now they’re hitting the stage this Comedy Fest! Going Live celebrates these comedy Instagram icons and talented TikTok stars for a talk-show inspired night of IRL laughs. This will be a chance for fans to see their faves up close and personal. There will be two performances happening, first on 11 May at Q Theatre and then 16 May at Te Pou Theatre, in Henderson.
Returning in 2021 are a series of Trust produced line-up shows with truly something for everyone in the Trust Us season. The always popular Basement Theatre Preview Show will whet your comedic whistle with a tease of their programme before the Fest kicks into high gear; Chris Parker gets his goof on to host a show for our smallest comedy fans in Stand Up For Kids, tailored to 4-8 year olds; Wellingtonians get their own curated line-up of Festival excellence with the weekly blockbuster Late Laughs; and the Festival closes with a bang as the 2021 Fred and Billy T Awards are handed out after live performances at Electric Kiwi Last Laughs, hosted by Michèle A’Court! Every ticket bought in the Trust Us season directly supports the not-for-profit charity behind the Fest, the NZ Comedy Trust, to continue supporting the development and sustainability of Aotearoa’s comedy industry.

Recognising and supporting Kiwi comedians with outstanding potential and commitment to their comedy career, four up-and-coming comics are in the running for the Billy T Award this year: Brynley Stent, James Mustapic, Josh Davies, and Lana Walters. Carrying over from a truncated 2020 run for the most prestigious prize in Kiwi comedy, the nominees all perform their solo shows in the Billys season during the Fest. The decision will be made by an industry judging panel following a final performance at the Electric Kiwi Last Laughs where the winner will claim their iconic yellow towel, $2,500 prize money, and join the ranks of previous winners including Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (as The Humourbeasts) and Rose Matafeo. Snap up your tickets to see these rising superstars and claim your “I saw them when…” bragging rights!

NOTE – copy for this article provided by Elephant Publicity.

April 30 – May 23, 2021


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