Comedy breaking out all over New Zealand
16 Apr 2012
NZ International Comedy Festival - Auckland / Wellington
27 April - 20 May 2012
Kiwis are preparing for three weeks of show stopping hilarity as New Zealand transforms into comedy central for the 20th edition of the NZ International Comedy Festival.
The festival - which runs simultaneously in Auckland and Wellington - features a diverse cast of international and local comedians, including new talent and return visits from old favourites.
This year will see more than 200 performers and 100-plus comedy performances covering stand up, sketch, improv, theatre, children's and musical comedy - something to amuse every audience.
Greg Behrendt (US) - multi-talented stand-up comic extraordinaire and co-author of best seller He's Just Not that Into You - leads the overseas contingent with ‘Clown from the Neck Down’.
Other international names include baby-faced UK trickster Chris Cox and ‘people's puppeteer’ Jason Byrne, from Ireland.
Returning festival favourites include: David O’Doherty (IRE), Craig Campbell (CAN), Wilson Dixon (USA), and local acts The Boy With Tape On His Face, Brendhan Lovegrove, Steve Wrigley, and Rhys Mathewson.
Janey Godley returns
Glasgow-born award-winning stand-up comic Janey Godley, on her fourth return visit, told Stuff news that she can’t wait to be back in New Zealand.
"I love the Kiwis, nothing shocks them," she says. "Kiwis are sophisticated, sharp and can take the subject matter much better than any other country I've been to. There's something about people who've worked hard on the land and have a big, white long cloud across the land: we're basically the same people."
Godley - "one of Scotland's finest on-stage treasures" according to the UK's Guardian newspaper - was awarded best show concept of the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival.
Another UK favourite back for this third visit, Terry Alderton was voted The Sun #1 Comedian in 2011. Alderton holds the record for the most encores at London Comedystore.
The 2012 NZ International Comedy Festival kicks off in Auckland at the Comedy Gala (27 April), hosted by Greg Behrendt. He will also be at the helm at First Laughs in Wellington's Opera House (29 April) along with 16 comics including Ben Hurley (NZ), Janey Godley (SCOT), Stephen K Amos (UK), Marcel Lucont (FR), Urzila Carlson (SA / NZ) and Rhys Darby (NZ).
Auckland’s 5 Star Comedy Preview at SkyCity will feature eight acts, and the Comedy Showcase at the Bruce Mason Centre brings together seven acts.
Away from the two main centres, The Comedy Convoy and Kiwi comedian Rhys Darby (manager Murray in the hit HBO series The Conchords) will perform in regional towns. With an average ticket price of around NZ$26, the Festival is not only a popular event, but also very accessible.
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