Notorious Proudly Presents: Tom FurnissThe Importance of Being Furniss
May 11, 2016
Basement Theatre, Auckland
3/5 Stars


I first came across Tom Furniss when he directed a music video for my friends The Leers. I went to his Comedy Festival show in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only watch 7 Days when he’s on. So I’m in a difficult position here. I’m a Furniss Fan. I didn’t want to, but I had expectations. In that sense, this show was disappointing. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good show!

Tom walks on the stage, greets us with “danger woo,” and proceeds to explain at length why we don’t need the greeting ‘hello’. He wears a striped shirt, reminds me of Jordan Mauger, but with more of a prison uniform vibe. His jeans are too tight. I like his shoes though.

Near the beginning of the show, some people come in late. Tom sneaks into the audience, takes a seat and heckles them as they come in, pretending the show hasn’t started. This gets a good laugh and it was nice to see him break that boundary between stage and audience.

The show format is that of a typical stand-up set. A series of unrelated short stories or jokes, some better than others. One thing Tom does really well is tie them all together by referencing previous jokes when telling another. Each time he does this he gets an extra laugh, and certain threads that run throughout get funnier and funnier.

The show ends on a sweet note. Tom speaks of falling in love with a woman and how she helped him to understand the importance of being Furniss. At this point I am left feeling like the show needa a little something more.

Just as I’m wondering if comedy shows ever have encores, Tom returns to the stage, a single spot light on him. He’s changed. Now dressed in a white, semi-transparent leotard and tights. This isn’t quite what I’d imagined. He proceeds to – how can I describe this? – prance around the room to a remix of Adele’s Hello. Various moves are attempted, some ballet-like, some more like karate. He pulls out a jam jar of paua shell shards. The crowd is in hysterics. Why? You’ll just have to go and see to find out.


The Importance of Being Furniss will be performed till Saturday May 14 at Basement Theatre as part of the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival and tickets head to