The Northern Irish Michael Legge orchestrated proceedings of The Big Show 2014 in classic fashion by making a couple of lads in the front row wish they were not there. For a comedy show that stretches over almost two hours he did a wonderful job. First up was John Gordillo who thankfully did not read out travellers reviews of Palmerton North like he did the Grand Canyon, his style was distinctive and relaxed as he revealed insights into some of the tricks comics use to increase self-esteem. Sarah Pascoe followed with a rolling performance that delved into illustrations of vaginas and irrational hormonal jealously. Watch out for her solo shows, she will not disappoint.
The third act of the night was the energetic John Robins who made us all feel like pricks for ever mentioning that Lord of the Rings was filmed here. Bless him – too right cuz. Robins got the crowd stirring with his emoticon-fellatio gag and the pitfalls of turning 30 and developing gout. To end the night Tim Fitzhigham took the stage enveloped in what looked like some kind of manic jetlag trip, his eccentric manner was just what night required but sadly it seemed he was pushed for time but killed it nonetheless.
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Hosted by Ireland’s’ Michael Legge’, featuring ‘John Gordillo’ and ‘John Robins’ with special guests ‘Sara Pascoe’ and ‘Tim FitzHigham’ (all Brits) ‘The Big Show’ runs from Monday the 5th to Saturday 17th of May at the Auckland Town Hall’s Comedy Chamber.
Each bringing their own style and flare to the stage the five performers were certainly a mixed bag for the sometimes stilted audience. As can happen with any two hour show the audience were buoyant to start but gradually got quieter throughout the gig making it slightly more difficult for the later acts. That being said though, I think there needs to be a point for any comedian when after repeatedly getting a poor response from the audience to questions asked, that they probably need to stop asking. The standouts of the evening would have to be the energetic performance from host ‘Michael Legge’, the playful and quick thinking mind of ‘Sara Pascoe’ and the clear audience favourite ‘John Robins’ whose genial and explosively funny style was a hit.
Once warmed up and comfortable with their format, I have no doubt that this combination of talented and well tested comedians will be a festival highlight. Would I go and see their individual shows? – Yes. Would I recommend you see ‘The Big Show’? – Yes. If it’s value for money you’re looking for ‘The Big Show’ gives you plenty of bang for your buck – plus, you may see it differently, you may have a different favourite, no two test drives are ever the same and you’ll only find out by heading along!