Rolling Out The Red Ramp: New Wheelchair Access Opens Up Wellington’s Comedy Scene
Wellington comic Dave Batten will get to celebrate his 30th birthday in true style, rolling in to headline a star-studded line-up at Petone Club thanks to a brand-new portable wheelchair ramp on Friday 19th March.
Dave, who has athetoid cerebral palsy, describes himself as more of a sit-down than stand-up comedian, more than happy to make light of the things that set him apart. Providing a big source of inspiration for his comedy, Dave’s cerebral palsy requires him to use a motorised wheelchair full time to get out and about. Until recently, the biggest barrier to Dave’s career has been simply getting into venues, with most comedy clubs around the country not being wheelchair accessible, often meaning that Dave has been carried upstairs to his gigs.
The comedy community has rallied in support of ensuring access for performers and punters alike, with the Humorous Arts Trust investing thousands in a portable ramp that can be used around the Wellington region. Dave’s birthday gig will be one of the first times the ramp will be in action, making performing markedly easier for the hilarious, and often downright filthy, comic since he launched his career in 2016.
The ramp is just one of many ways that the Wellington comedy scene is growing in its commitment to accessibility and diversity, elevating talented voices and simply hilarious stories to make sure we can all share a laugh together, without boundaries. Wellington’s Raw Comedy Quest has seen many comedians from different backgrounds share the stage together, several of whom will feature on the line-up for these special, and newly accessible, gigs in March.
Dave will headline his birthday gig on 19th March, MC’d by Paul Douglas, who has won three Comedy Guild awards over the last two years, alongside a stirling line-up featuring Fred Award nominee Eli Matthewson, 2016 National Raw Comedy Quest winner Lucy Roche, and 2020 National Raw Comedy Quest finalist Lesa Macleod-Whiting. Dave will also headline at Upper Hutt Cossie Club the preceding Friday, March 12th, with 2017 Billy T Nominee Patch Lambert, 2020 Wellington Raw Comedy Quest finalist Lianne Karaitiana, 2018 National Raw Comedy Quest winner Gabby Anderson, and Fred-nominated MC James Nokise.
Friday Laughs -