Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
SquareSums&Co’s show Bunny, written, directed and performed by Barnie Duncan and produced by Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee is a love letter to clubbing and an exploration of dealing with grief. Made in the weeks following the death of his mother, Robyn, Duncan brings this iteration of Bunny to BATS with a year of development under its belt, having been made for the 2021 Comedy Fest.
Fab Beasts is a double bill of two short comedy shows about mythical creatures. The first, The Utterly Last Unicorn is about a group of property managing unicorns fighting for a place on Noah’s ark. The second, A NESScesary Detective is about Detective Ness, a loch ness monster detective who solves a local murder.
Sara and Jordan Aren't Supposed To Be Here is a very funny, cringe comedy, a little reminiscent of the America Office. Sara and Jordan are members of the most popular up and coming Wellington band, T-Sauce and the Unexpected Mannequins. They haven’t played their first gig yet, in fact they don’t know how to play any instruments, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting together a workshop - how to start a wildly successful band. We are their first paying customers, and there will be no refunds.
Oddacity is delightful, hysterical, and ridiculous. The show is a collection of circus, cabaret, and comedy sketches, each more silly than the last. It’s one of those shows that when you try to explain, you have to preface your description with ‘it sounds stupid but…’. Oddacity is the definitive ‘you had to be there’ show, and you do not want to miss out.
Like most creatives, I have a list of people I want to make a show with. Some are obvious: friends of mine from the spoken word scene, previous collaborators, talented peers. Some are farther reaching: the writer of that play I reviewed which I couldn’t find fault with, or directors I have followed for decades. But nowhere on this long and inclusive dream list have I included anyone I was ever in an actual relationship with. The closest I got was making a solo show about a particularly memorable break up. We hadn’t spoken for a year when I performed it to a room full of strangers, but even that was too close for comfort.
Comedy connoisseurs Eli Matthewson (The Male Gayz) and Brynley Stent (Funny Girls) are far braver than I.
Me ’n’ Ma is a wholesome and delightful addition to this year’s Comedy Festival. We are welcomed into the space by a beaming Hamish Parkinson who offers popcorn and lemonade on the way to our seats. He greets every audience member with warmth and gratitude, setting the tone for the heart-warming 55 minutes ahead.
Mr Fungus Returns is a mischievous and entertaining children’s show, with room to become a family favourite. Mr Fungus (Fergus Aitken) leads us through an hour of mime, prop-work, and clowning which has a basic two-part structure. Act one is an elaborate physical journey as Mr Fungus makes his way to the theatre. Obstacles include a snowstorm and a cleverly executed bus journey in which Aitken switches between seven or eight familiar, bus-dwelling characters.
Dolphins are fun, friendly, and full of energy, and Thinking Dolphins at BATS was also all of these things. As I walk up to the Heyday Dome, the doors are closed and I panic that the show has already begun! Thankfully, this was only to keep the mysterious stage smoke within the theatre. As soon as I stepped into the space, the actors greeted me and spoke enthusiastically to the audience. Their energy juxtaposed the ominous smoke and the moody blue and green lighting palette.
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