Courtney Rose Brown
Chris Jones had the unlucky placing of being the first performer in the lineup, beginning with an enthusiastic, fast paced energy. With the incorporation of some movement (which I would have loved to have seen more of) Jones takes us on the journey of his morning routine and how he tries to have it down pat, but always seems to arrive at school when no one else is there, or without pants. Jones has an unique charm to his five minute set, where he laughs at his own jokes and chooses to point out when he’s being funny, which brings in more laughter throughout his routine.
Next up Finnbar Greville hits the stage and he makes sure to let us know how “risky” his behaviour is as he partakes in extreme sports. He warns us about the most extreme sport of them all: “relationships”, especially after sending an ‘I love you’ text message. This generates a louder laugh from the older audience members as they could relate to the perils of the extreme sport in question. Greville rounds it off with talking about a fun game of texting while crossing the street and seeing how long it will take for a bus to hit you.
Zoe Lewis enters on a broomstick, greeting us all as muggles, wearing a Slytherin shirt. Lewis greatly entertains the audience with her tales of a Christian camp, that she turns into a wizarding camp as she is half Christian and half witch. Sitting near her family, I get to experience firsthand the delight of them listening to her set for the first time and snorting in surprise at some of the content as they shrink down in their seats. Ending her set riding off on her broomstick, she receives some of the loudest applause of the afternoon.
If you thought you knew something about trains, you would soon realise that you know nothing as Tommy Secker hits the stage. Secker brings a lovely grounded confidence to the stage, as he delivers his mainly deadpan set about his passion for trains. This transitions cleverly into his passion for romance and ‘the ladies’ as he provides a foolproof way to get the girl of your dreams into your arms. He presents three questions that the love interest have to answer correctly, so that they can jump aboard the love train and you guessed it, they’re all to do with detailed train knowledge.
Issac Rajan is also a stand out, with a calmness on stage as he tells us about his family relationships, acne and his transition from boy into big boy. He emphasises this dropping of childhood by flashing us a quick glimpse at his big boy pants. Rajan talks mainly of his grandmother in his set, where he takes on a clear physicality for her part as she offers him advice on his acne. Some of his comments are quietly contested by family members in the audience, which makes it clear that he has taken some creative license in his material. This adds another layer of laughter to some of the absurdities of his set.
Madi Potiki-Grayling is the second Harry Potter fan of the evening to grace the stage wearing a Hogwarts shirt a flannel shirt and a beanie. These she tells us, as well as being covered in cat hair, are the staple clothing items of being a lesbian. This leads into her story of the struggles of deciphering whether girls are gay or hipster. Potiki-Grayling has enormous, confident stage presence and one of the best structured sets of the afternoon.
Karan Naidu has charm and clearly a knack for getting others in trouble. His set delves into the unpredictable nature of youth which had the audience giggling the whole way through.
Don MacKenzie is half New Zealander and half Vietnamese, he uses clever word play throughout his routine, making sure we know what half of him is a New Zealander. With mainly using sexual humour, there are a few parents around me who give surprised giggles at his content. He concludes his routine with some of the best comedic timing of the group, with little golden nuggets of how being half a New Zealander, instead of saying yeah, nah, he just says yeah.
Olivia Pettigrew concludes the line up, lifting the energy with intensity and confidence. She sadly lets us know that she will soon die, as in a couple of weeks she will turn sixteen and is closer to having “all of her happiness leave her eyes.” This joke gets the loudest laugh of the show, although that may have just been from me, as I know the struggle is all too real. Pettigrew ends her set by targeting her mother, blaming her for her lack of boobs and her unfortunately, all too soon impending death.
Wellington’s Class Comedians Showcase at The Hannah Playhouse showcased talent and names to look out for in the future. The structure of some of the jokes didn’t quite work, perhaps due to the limited time frame of five minutes, as they seemed to end quite suddenly. However, the lineup used great comedic timing to bring freshness and a new energy to a stage.