Comedy Is Back On The Street

Friday 13 March 2009

It’s that time of year again! Comedy from all over the world and our own backyard will again congregate in Auckland and Wellington to take part in the 17th annual NZ International Comedy Festival from 1 May.

NZ audiences can look forward to seeing some of the biggest international names in comedy including the Emmy-award winner Wayne Brady (host of the Crunchie Comedy Gala and star of his own solo show Making S%!t Up), Black Books star Dylan Moran, Scotland’s Danny Bhoy, Ireland’s Ed Byrne, UK’s Steve Coogan (best known for his role as Alan Partridge) and ‘Chopper’ (otherwise known as The Ronnie Johns Half Hour’s Heath Franklin).

2009 also sees the return of some of the big names of New Zealand’s comedy past – Te Radar, Andrew Clay, Paul Ego and Philip Patston are all back on the Festival stage.  Also returning to the Festival mic are perennial favourites Dai Henwood, Ben Hurley, Brendhan Lovegrove and Jeremy Corbett.

Comedy Divas, Class Comedians, Crunchie Comedy Convoy, Late Laughs and the Nickelodeon Kids Comedy Season are all returning to entertain Festival audiences in 2009. Comedy Divas has proved to be such a sensation in Wellington it has moved to the majestic Embassy Theatre while Auckland audiences can enjoy Diva antics in the new surrounds of SKYCITY Theatre.

The Cadbury Crunchie Comedy Convoy takes Festival humour to the masses, moving through Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North and New Plymouth before crossing the Cook Strait to tour Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Invercargill and Queenstown.

This year the NZ International Comedy Festival also offer shows that appeal to a variety of comedy palates. The Kransky Sisters (AUS), We Are Currently Experiencing Some Issues (NZ) and Wayne Brady (US) are examples of comedy that offers an alternative to traditional stand-up, giving the Festival a wide appeal to all types of comedy lovers.

Deaf Awareness Week also kicks off on the 1st of May; so to tie in with proceedings one of the world’s best known deaf entertainers John Maucere will be joining the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival line-up with an Auckland performance.  A number of comedians throughout the Festival will also feature a NZ sign language interpreter – bringing comedy to a brand new audience.

And what would the NZ International Comedy Festival be without the Last Laugh awards ceremony; the final performance & presentation of the prestigious Billy T Award and the equally as prestigious FRED Award, named after two icons in NZ comedy - Billy T James and Fred Dagg.

Who’ll walk away with the revered yellow towel this year? Who’ll walk away with the gumboot? Who will walk away with a smile on their dial?

That last one is easy – you will.  Book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on the programme, tickets, booking info and breaking news throughout the festival, visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz

The NZ International Comedy Festival
Auckland 1 - 24 May
Wellington 3 - 23 May
The Cadbury Crunchie Comedy Convoy 19 - 30 May.