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Fringe Review: A Comedy Omnibus

Fringe Review: A Comedy Omnibus

Reviewed by Lorraine Ward

A Comedy Omnibus
19 - 22 Feb
http://www.fringe.org.nz/comedy/a-comedy-omnibus/
Reviewed by Lorraine Ward

Many Wellingtonians catch a bus after work. Most of them are heading home after a long day at the office.

On Wednesday a bus load of us (literally) gathered at the Cenotaph to catch Mike Bodnar's Comedy Special. Mr. Bodnar, his conductor and his driver were to take us on a humorous anecdotal tour of Wellington.

After a brief discussion of safety regulations - oxygen masks would descend if we hit a pocket of turbulence or bad puns; all the safety exits were welded shut and the bus took off. Our first stop was a few metres up the road, outside Parliament, where we learned about the characters and history of publican Dick Seddon and temperance leader Kate Shepherd. A few metres further still and we are outside a church, chanting gregoriously in praise of Matt Elliott, one of the major theologians of New Zealand comedy.

The journey continues, now we are on the Terrace, learning about the former topography of Wellington, and where the major fault lines lie. Right under the bus apparently.

Mr Bodnar delivers with style and charm. He uses a diversity of accents, the promised bad puns, and quirky anecdote. The bus is rocking. With laughter.

Heading down The Terrace we hit Vivien Street, turn into Taranaki Street, wait at the traffic lights for the turn into Courtenay Place. Past Reading Cinema and Blanket Man, round past Te Papa, back into Manners Mall, right into Willis Street and on the home stretch. My usual perspective of the inner city, my home turf, has changed.

The wheels on the bus go round and round and we are heading towards the railway station, so Mr Bodnar segues into a story about Thomas the Tank Engine. Complete with accents, it involves Helen the Red Engine, John the Blue Engine, a tagger, and ends with a pun so excruciating that bus and passengers groan to a stop outside the Cenotaph.

None of us are in a hurry to get off the bus. It's not that we can't. I think it's just that we are hoping that the ride will continue.

We are a captive audience, and a captivated one.

*******

A Comedy Omnibus on the Fringe Website

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