Shipley introduces the show as “a romcom in stand-up form for their girlfriend,” and what follows is a hilarious and honest sharing of titbits from Shipley’s life. The Billy T award nominee lives and breathes in the moment and leaves no action, reaction or punchline without comment. The Studio at BATS is a perfect venue for this comfortably intimate show with forty-ish audience members packed into a little white box, to share in an hour of unadulterated giggles. At the end of the show, Shipley amends their initial ‘romcom’ description, saying it “just wound up being a show about my Mum, and my relationship with shame,” which seems a fitting correction with the latter becoming a key feature of the show. There is something truly refreshing about a comic who is self-deprecating without being cruel to themself.
The tech for the show is very simple. Shipley is lit by soft pinks, holds a mic in one hand, and has one sound cue at the very conclusion of the show. That’s it. The simplicity of the tech (operated by Bekky Boyce) reflects the simplicity of the show. It’s a stand-up show which is warm, intimate and hilarious; never complicated. I can’t help but feel that any extravagant tech would only get in the way, as it often can in comedy shows, and I admire Shipley for having the confidence to strip it all back and just do what they are so very good at.
I am reluctant to give away too much of the content of the show because I sincerely hope that everyone comes to see it, but I will say that it contains the most hilarious road-cone based set I have ever heard, and I will never look at Christchurch airport the same way again. I leave the theatre after what feels like only a few minutes, as an hour of top-draw comedy has flown by, and march directly across the road to BK. All this laughter has made me hungry.
All This Crying is Making Me Hungry is on a BATS 9-11 May. Grab your tickets on the BATS site, or for more information on other shows in NZ International Comedy Fest, visit the NZICF website.