Fire in the Meth Lab

29 November 2017, Common Room, Hastings It’s only been a couple of months since Jon Bennett’s hilarious Fringe in the ‘Stings offering Pretending Things are a Cock.  In my household we’re still cracking cock jokes and sniggering at pink Havaiana jandals in shop windows, so I was quick to put my hand up to see…

Tourettes and Skyscraper Stan

9 November, Sitting Room Session, Napier They seem an unlikely pairing; poet/novelist/once rapper Dominic “Tourettes” Hoey and tongue-in-cheek country crooner/songwriter, Skyscraper Stan (Stanley Woodhouse). At a glance, they’re quite a sight, Woodhouse’s leather jacket and clean shave alongside Hoey’s beard and snapback cap. Intriguing, for sure, but also had me asking the question that comes…

Oops I Did it Again

6 October, Common Room Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 I found Sera Devcich intriguing to watch: she was confident, gorgeous, and engaging. I loved the way she moved around Common Room’s funky stage, creasing her face into numerous comical expressions, and effectively using her physicality to the point it was hard to take your eyes…

Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette

6 October, Hastings Function Centre Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Louise Beuvink enters to three seconds of the Andrew’s Sisters’ trumpet sounds wearing a forties dress, flared and waisted. This type of ‘waisted’ is never mentioned however. She opens by thanking Hastings for packing out the venue for her. She is genuine and has us…

Otto und Astrid- Eurosmash!

6 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Coming of age in Ireland in the 1990s, the spectre of the Eurovision Song Contest loomed large. Tonight in the Spiegeltent, Otto und Astrid force me to confront my childhood trauma and come up laughing. I’m in good company. Told part in dialogue, part in song, the…

Tom Knowles – Allergic to Love

5 October, Hastings Function Centre Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Tom Knowles and his band’s show Allergic to Love – curse of the 80s far exceeded any expectations I could have thought up for an 80s inspired rock opera. I was picturing 80s song covers, heavy gimmick and spandex. I found spandex, sure, leopard print…

James Nokise – Talk a Big Game

5 October, Green Room Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 James Nokise is my cousin. Well, I can’t actually prove that but, being a Samoan, I’m going to claim him as that. Before Australia does. We all know Nokise by now, his intelligent cheek and political satire, his Edinburgh Fringe Festival success and of course, his…

Let’s See What Happens

5 October, The Eastbourne, Hastings Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Stand-up comedy can be a tense traction of interplay between audience and raconteur, even at its best. And for Sanjay Parbhu’s Let’s See What Happens show this was amplified by a slow stream of punters entering in late, along with his self-admitted and ruffled nervous…

A Guy, a Girl, a Lawnmower / Husbands and Other Lovers

5 October, The Eastbourne, Hastings Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 A Girl, A Guy, A Lawnmower In the fading daylight, from behind what used to be the service counter of the old Opera Kitchen, pop a pair of shrouded figures, mismatched in height, striking a Beckettian tableau. What are they wearing? Hijabs? Witches’ robes? No,…

The Māori Sidesteps

4 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Right from their requested introduction of “Horis with stories”, the Māori Sidesteps treated a packed Spiegeltent to an evening of wit and song. The five-strong Sidesteps, who have a hugely successful web series, revive the Māori Show Band tradition of the Howard Morrison Quartet and Prince Tui…

Heart Goes Boom / Head Goes Bang

1 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 I wasn’t sure what I was in store for tonight. I hadn’t been to a stand-up comedy show for years and I knew nothing about Jamie Bowen. But, as the sold-out Spiegeltent was told in the introduction to Jamie Bowen to prepare to peel back the skin…

The Listies Make You LOL

1 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Look, I’m not the biggest fan of scatological humour, yet as the mother of three sons aged between ten and three it plays more of a role in my daily life than I had ever planned. Some seek out fart jokes, others have fart jokes thrust upon…