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Read: 5 Star Comedy Preview was non-PC gold!

It’s not often I can say that I loved every performance during a night of stand up comedy – but at the aptly named 5 Star Comedy Preview at SKYCITY Theatre last night 3rd May 2019), proved to be probably the best night of laughs I’ve had in a long time. 

Over two hours seven Brits and a Canadian managed to deliver a mix of crude non-PC humour that was a delight.

First up was host Ian Smith. Hailing from the north of England he had a relaxed charm but razor sharp wit and the tone of the evening by mocking New Zealand tourist traps and then flipped by sharing an anecdote about bestiality in his home town. 

The rest of the comedians followed that theme with stories of dysfunctional families, references to human genitalia, homosexuality, sexism, racism, and drugs. There were perhaps a couple of moments where the audience wasn’t sure about whether or not an act had gone too far, but mostly they lapped it up and by the night’s end were calling for an encore. 

All of these comedians were brilliant but there were some stand out moments. 

Paul Sinha from tv’s The Chase described his parent’s reactions to his coming out and gained rapturous applause after announcing he was getting married. He had clearly done his homework about our country and made some brutally funny references to New Zealand culture including a dig at “gays are sinners” rugby player Israel Folau.

Alistair Barrie delivered a hilarious excoriation of British colonialism and Russian state murders. While Tom Haughton, a self titled ‘posh twat’ brought the house down by pretending to have liked being spanked by his father and for showing an early-in-life obsession with the musical Cats

Preview shows can often provide a variety of comedic types and delivery and this one didn’t disappoint. We got an incredibly funny demonstration of 90s dance moves from Scotsman Chris Henry, and a brilliant description of upsetting a gym instructor by Brennan Reece. 

But the star of the night had to be Phil Nicol from Canada. He bounded on stage with so much energy he could almost have been on cocaine and Red Bull. His act involved a lot of crude jokes and some sexually explicit songs about homosexuality. In fact Nichol hammed up his gay side despite the fact he’s actually straight. At one point he flirted with a straight man in the audience and got him up on stage to sing ‘I’m the only gay eskimo in my tribe.’ It ended with an impromptu kiss. He continued flirting after the man returned to his seat and and even stripped almost naked on stage while the host was trying to wrap the night up. Nichol had no shame, and all of the comedians pushed the boundaries – the result was a fantastic night of laughs!

Some of the comedians have shows of their own during the festival, and I really recommend you check them out – details are below:

Visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz for details:

Go see these shows:

Ian Smith ‘CRAFT’ 4-18 May, The Classic Studio 

Chris Henry ‘AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DATES’    4, 11, 18 May, The Classic Studio

Brennan Reece ‘EVERMORE’  4-11 May, The Classic Studio  

Alistair Barrie ‘THE INTERNATION-AL’   14-18 May, The Classic Studio 

Lauren Pattison ‘PEACHY’  4-11 May, The Classic 

Paul Sinha  ‘PAUL SINHA’  sold out except – 19 May,  SKYCITY Theatre 

Phil Nichol ‘YOUR WRONG’  14-25 May, The Classic 


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