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Smart Alecks To Battle It Out in The Wellington Pun Battle


Get ready to groan! Wits have been sharpened, wea-puns will be wielded, funny bones may well be broken. The Wellington Pun Battle Championships are back with a NZ Fringe Festival mini tournament, running at The Fringe Bar, 8pm March 1st-3rd. With a whopping total of over $1,500 (!) cash prize money on the line, you could say that the stakes are pun-ishing.

After a season of sold-out and truly cringe-worthy shows around the country, everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood transvestite, Mr. Hugo Grrrl returns as host to this intense and hilarious head-to-head pun-off. Semi-Finals #1 and #2 run respectively on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd March, with the utter pundemonium of Pun Battle Finals kicking off at 8pm Saturday 3rd.

‘The Pun Battle is the best and worst comedy show you’ll ever see, all in one’, says Hugo Grrrl. ‘It’s a rap battle, but for nerds. You’ll groan, you’ll cringe and you’ll be laughing from start to finish. The cast are outrageously talented: we have writers, improvisors, poets and some of the best comedians in the country competing, including Jerome Chandrahasen, Matthew O’Leary and Lucy Roche.’ However, the pun-ters to really watch out for, Hugo notes, are the laymen. ‘We joke that the pun battle is a place for the broken hearted because after you’ve ruined every meaningful relationship in your life with your obsessive, incessant and unsolicited wordplay, the pun battle is the one place where your awful talents can truly be appreciated. It’s the every-day dad jokers who often pun-expectedly take it out.’

Following on from Friday night’s frolicking, is ‘Kareokie Dokie! Late-Night at The Fringe Bar’. Join us at 10.30pm (March 2nd) for a rough, ruckus, and truly stupid late-night karaoke competition at The Fringe Bar, featuring talent plucked fresh off the hottest festival shows.

Hugo Grrrl, the alter-ego of comedy and cabaret producer Gen Fowler, is the creator of the project and also produces a wide variety of other projects in Wellington and beyond including The Rocky Horror Drag Show and Naked Girls Reading, NZ. Grrrl is also reigning national drag king champion (‘Yes, there is such a thing!’ laughs Fowler) and was recently awarded Best Producer in The Wellington Comedy Awards 2017.

The Wellington Pun Battle: Mini-Tournament runs 1st-3rd March at 8pm at The Fringe Bar. Tickets are $15-$17 and available through Fringe.co.nz. The Pun Battle’s of icial regional tournament’s heats will also be running every few months throughout the year culminating in the Wellington Grand Final at San Fran on November 22nd.

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