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Gala goes off!

Posted by Miranda Lee On the 28th April 2012 Back

I entered a competition and out of all the entrants, (likely a pool of about seven people, probably including two non-English speakers) I have been selected as the winner. I am proud to be your official blogger for the 2012 Comedy Festival.

Last night, the Comedy Festival 2012 opened with a hiss and a roar, otherwise known as the Comedy Gala. I had never attended a comedy gala before so had no idea what to expect, but it had to be a step up from my usual Friday night (which involves listening to Toto and eating Roquefort, FYI). If you haven’t been before, go. Write it in your diary for next year, keep a post-it on the mirror, set your iCalendar to send your iSelf a note. I was so impressed with the show that this is really going to be a rubbish review – as reviews are supposed to be a critical evaluation of an event (I googled ‘how to write a good review’), discussing high points and low points. But I don’t really have any opposing views; everyone was bloody good!

The Gala is a selection of the many acts on offer over the Festival, allowing them a 4 minute time slot to give the audience a taste of their own brand of humour. This year’s host of the Gala, Greg Behrendt did a great job of massaging the crowd and became more funny as the show went on, which was a pleasant surprise. The show itself was well-paced and moved easily between the different styles of each act.

If I have to name favourites, and I guess I do, they include: The Boy With Tape on His Face, who I’d heard a lot about, who eventually coaxed two awkward audience members into locking lips, and The Idiots of Ants’ Model Father character telling Dad jokes that were so spot-on they very well may have called my own father for their source material.

Jared Fell was also an unexpected delight, and I am intrigued to see what he would do with a full hour; in fact all the NZ comedians did us proud with their homemade humor. I was suitably impressed by the standard of them alongside the international acts.

The UK’s Milton Jones’ deadpan humor, which included a laboured ascent to the microphone to the tune of Lionel Richie’s Hello, was some of the most naturally humorous behaviour I’ve seen in a long time. Jason Byrne and Stephen K Amos also exuded natural confidence and charisma that I will be definitely seeing again, and the dry wit of Steve Hughes Aussie/English hybrid was complimented perfectly by the more comical acts such as The Axis of Awesome and Dead Cat Bounce.

I also wasn’t expecting how likeable and funny the women were, particularly South African import Urzila Carlson. Instead of doing the usual women’s lib shtick about failed relationships and emotional eating, she was crass and original and I liked it a lot.

My head is hazy from the strain of laughing too hard; or perhaps it’s from the after party. Either way, I had a bloody enjoyable night and too bad if you missed the Gala. The bottom line is, everyone was brilliant. Go and see them. Quick smart.

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