Feast your eyes on the full Comedy Fest programme
Open your diaries to May and prepare yourself to binge on almost a full month of comedic delights, as the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo returns for it’s 27th year, running May 2 – 26 in Auckland and Wellington! The programme is bursting with over 140 shows featuring comedians hailing from 17 countries. On-sale from midday Thursday 28 February, this veritable plethora of comedic options will offer something for every taste.
The Comedy Fest is delighted to welcome a host of world-class international talent to our shores for their first show in New Zealand. The Brits are always a hit with Kiwi audiences, so we’re thrilled to have Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist Chris Henry, Hate Thy Neighbour’s Jamali Maddix (UK), The Chase’s Paul Sinha (UK), and Londoner Tom Houghton who joins us directly from the Tower of London (where he actually lives). An exciting contingent of Aussies are heading across the ditch, with Aaron Chen (Best Newcomer 2017 MICF & Sydney Comedy Fest), Demi Lardner (Best Newcomer 2016 Sydney Comedy Fest, Pinder Prize Winner 2018 MICF), and Michelle Brasier (Director’s Choice Winner 2018 MICF) all performing in Auckland for the first time. Plus Ireland’s ‘One To Watch’ Eleanor Tiernan makes her debut, and American Josh Wolf heads down under for the first time from Chelsea Lately’s writer’s room.
Returning to Aotearoa are some of comedy’s biggest names, including Ross Noble, James Acaster, Becky Lucas, Ed Byrne, Fern Brady, Danny Bhoy, Phill Jupitus, Paul Foot, Phil Nicols, and Joe Lycett. They join some homegrown faves, including Angella Dravid, Frickin Dangerous Bro, Alice Snedden, Ben Hurley, Two Hearts, David Correos, Penny Ashton, Guy Montgomery, James Nokise, White Man Behind a Desk and Urzila Carlson. 2018 Billy T Award winner Melanie Bracewell is back with brand-new hour, as is Chris Parker after winning The Fred Award in 2018 for the best NZ show in the Festival. Plus, this year’s Electric Kiwi Billy T nominees – Donna Brookbanks, James Mustapic, Kura Forrester, Ray Shipley, and Tom Sainsbury – will strut their stuff in their solo shows in a bid to take home the coveted yellow towel. There’s another great line-up of all kinds of improv shows on offer from SNORT, Covert Theatre and The Improvisors.
The Comedy Fest is run by not-for-profit charity the New Zealand Comedy Trust, who are again producing some of the most beloved annual features. Returning to the programme is the family-friendly Charlie’s Stand Up For Kids, the huge line-up show the Best Comedy Show on Earth (which this year will be a Mother’s Day special event), the showcase of this year’s graduates from their Withers Tsang Class Comedians Programme and closing-night blockbuster the Electric Kiwi Last Laughs. Pax Assadi steps up to host a highlight from the Trust’s programme – Dialogue Matters, featuring a top-shelf line-up dissecting a range of topical issues from the deeply personal to the incredibly funny. As always, the Comedy Fest launches with the Best Foods Comedy Gala, hosted by Rhys Nicholson in Auckland on May 2 at Auckland Live's The Civic and Justine Smith in Wellington May 5 at The Opera House – tickets are on-sale now, and moving quickly so don’t miss out! All of the proceeds from these shows will be channelled directly back into the Trust to help foster the ever growing kickass industry that is New Zealand comedy.
The full 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo programme goes live and on-sale through comedyfestival.co.nz at midday Thursday 28 February.
2019 NZ International Comedy Festival
with Best Foods Mayo
May 2 – 26
Auckland and Wellington, various venues
Full programme live and on-sale from midday, Thursday 28 February at comedyfestival.co.nz