BY HAZEL REID

 

The NZ International Comedy Festival is almost here! Tickets to all of the events are available through the festival’s official website.

 

This year’s festival boasts over 110 local and international comedians with shows taking place on stages across Auckland and Wellington throughout April and May. We’ve selected ten of our faves, and there were some seriously difficult decisions involved in this process. As there are so many options, we wish you good luck in choosing which shows to attend to get your laugh on. Don’t procrastinate too long, or you might miss out!

 

7 Days: NZ vs The World
25th April @ Q Theatre, Auckland
Have you ever watched 7 Days and said to yourself, “I would make a great audience member because I have the best laugh?” Well, now’s your chance to join Jeremy Corbett, Dai Henwood, Paul Ego, and guests live for one night only at Q Theatre, where it’s also being filmed for that week’s TV3 show.

The 7 Days crew in their natural habitat.

Arj Barker
17th May @ The Opera House, Wellington & 18th – 19th May @ Skycity Theatre, Auckland
This American-born comedian has thrilled audiences all over the world, and now he’s back with a new show to headline this year’s festival. Arj Barker arrives on New Zealand soil this month to host the Best Foods Comedy Gala before performing his solo show, Organic.

 

Rose Matafeo
1st – 5th May @ Basement Theatre, Auckland & 8th – 12th May @ Big Theatre, Wellington
I saw Rose at last year’s festival and loved her hilariously relatable, tell-all show from the back row. She’s already shared her comedic abilities with Kiwis on Funny Girls and 7 Days, and thrilled overseas audiences with her live show. So make sure you head along to one of Rose’s Horndog shows this festival.

 

Laura Daniel x Joseph Moore
1st – 5th May @ San Fran, Wellington & 15th – 19th May @ Q Theatre, Auckland
Two Hearts is back after their successful 2017 run. Join Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore (who you may recognise from Jono and Ben and Funny Girls) for their 2018 show, Restart the Hearts, and experience more catchy tunes, eye-opening dance moves, and even loads of confetti.

 

Guy Williams
1st – 5th May @ Big Theatre, Wellington & 18th – 19th May @ Q Theatre, Auckland
Guy isn’t new to the Comedy Festival circuit, but this year he wants to “do a political show that doesn’t suck.” There’s no guarantees this is something that could be pulled off without a hitch, but after seeing his previous shows (here’s his 2017 election year routine) it’s clear that Guy’s new stand-up is worth a shot.

 

Melanie Bracewell
8th – 12th May @ BATS Theatre, Wellington & 15th – 19th May @ Basement Theatre, Auckland
After seeing Melanie make music-goers at Rhythm & Vines Festival stop in their tracks a couple of years ago, it didn’t surprise me to see that she’s a 2018 Billy T Award nominee and won Best Newcomer at last year’s festival. Spend an hour with Melanie and her Melodrama performance this year.

 

Angella Dravid
1st – 5th May @ Q Theatre, Auckland & 15th – 19th May @ BATS Theatre, Wellington
Angella is probably my favourite part of Jono and Ben (sorry boys), so I’m excited to see her back on this year’s line-up with Barcelona, a show about her trip that didn’t quite go to plan. Don’t miss the 2017 Billy T award winner.

 

Urzila Carlson
3rd – 6th May @ Skycity Theatre, Auckland & 8th – 13th May @ Big Theatre, Wellington
Urzila is a Comedy Festival and 7 Days panelist regular. After you’ve seen her live this won’t surprise you. I still recall seeing her a couple of years ago and I sat in the front row (some may say rookie mistake) and she made me jump, then pointed it out to the whole audience and proceeded to call me a “whimp” on Twitter. Urzila easily remains in my top picks for the festival. Tickets are selling fast!

Urzila Carlson caught mid-yarn.

Corbett, Ego, Henwood (& a bit of Hurley)
9th – 12th May @ Q Theatre, Auckland
You’ve seen them rolling in fits of laughter on the TV (and causing other people to), witnessed Dai’s dance moves on Family Feud, and now’s your chance to see them all without the desks on the same stage. Jeremy Corbett, Paul Ego, and Dai Henwood will be joined by Ben Hurley for the show- aptly named 3’s Company– which runs for three nights only.

 

Last Laughs
20th May @ Skycity Theatre, Auckland
Head up into the city on the last Sunday of the NZ International Comedy Festival and join Ben Hurley at Skycity to witness who takes out the coveted Billy T and Fred Awards. The award finalists and an international guest will be amongst the nights line-up, so head along and celebrate this year’s winners (and amazing nominees) at the final 2018 show.

 

Bonus hot tip
There are multiple shows scheduled at different times on each night, so why not go for back-to-back laughs in the city? Grab your pals and make a night of it!

 

From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, HAZEL REID is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.

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