After having to cancel their debut season due to COVID-19, Colossal is back with Laser Kiwi #2, the second iteration of their sellout show, Laser Kiwi, and it is well worth the wait. It follows the same unique form that can only be labelled as ‘circus sketch comedy’, with all new, never-before-seen content and the same manic energy.
The scenes cover everything, from rapid-fire sketch to audience involvement and elaborate circus. The pacing is artful, and I’m kept on my toes by the shift between quick payoffs and slow burns that you forget are left unresolved until their reveal after the show has ended, hence ‘Enlightenment’.
There are definitely some standout scenes, with my favourites being back-to-back. At scene number twelve, ‘3D in Real Life’ finally reveals the purpose of the glasses. An audience member is pulled up on stage and tailed by Zane and Degge Jarvie, who are in blue and red morph suits respectively to create the effect of anaglyph 3D. As the scene goes on, objects appear with red and blue counterparts for the group to interact with, providing some soft structure. I’m impressed by their ability to make the audience member look good. On the surface, the scene appears to have the fun and chaos of being led by the volunteer, but Zane and Degge are doing immense support work to guide the audience member through the scene and make them feel at ease on stage for such an extended period of time.
However, the absolute highlight of the show for me is ‘Skkrrrrt Pow Pow’. Imogen Stone takes to an aerial rope, showcasing some incredible acrobatics, while Degge Jarvie punctuates her moves with rap hype noises. It’s the perfect balance of humour, creativity and skill that I think encapsulates the overall form of the show. This was the moment that left me genuinely in awe.
There are a couple of scenes that could use a little tightening, such as ‘Shaken not Stirred’, which is quite drawn out. But this isn’t a surprise, as it’s a tricky scene and this is only their opening season. I expect that this will get smoother with a bit more practice.
Colossal’s stage manager, Bridget Carpenter, deserves special commendation. This show is peak chaotic energy, and at one point the stage is covered in the remains of at least four Jenga towers, so she is really on the ball.
Laser Kiwi #2 is a wild and inventive show that you should absolutely make time for. It’s on at Tapere Nui at Te Auaha from Wednesday–Friday at 7:30pm until 8 August. Grab your tickets at the Te Auaha website.