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Best Bills In The Biz: NZ Comedy Trust Confirm New Names For Their Festival Line-up Shows


The countdown is on and the line-ups are looking stellar for the 2021 NZ Intl. Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo - kicking off with the Best Foods Comedy Gala on April 30 in Auckland and May 2 in Wellington! An incredible collection of names have been added to the bills of the brilliant line-up shows produced by the NZ Comedy Trust - the tireless charity making comedy tick behind the scenes.

Big laughs from bitesize sets are on the menu for the Best Foods Comedy Gala, with some outstanding new comics joining the blockbuster bill! With their pop-bangers laden with killer punchlines, the musical comedy duo Two Hearts will be cranking up the energy in both Auckland and Wellington, joined by the witty and political James Nokise - the reigning Fred Award winner from 2019. Auckland gets treated to another James, as Frickin’ Dangerous Bro’s James Roque joins in the fun, along with the always impressive Eli Matthewson and brilliant up-and-comer Liv McKenzie. The capital also gets a curated line-up of new names, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Jonno Roberts stepping off Broadway and onto the Opera House stage, joined by our own vaudevillian heroine Penny Ashton. Hosted by the inimitable Justine Smith in both Auckland and Wellington, there’s still one more announcement of acts to come to complete the Comedy Festival’s awesome opening event, with previously announced Ben Hurley, Tofiga Fepulea'i, Rhys Darby, Urzila Carlson, Chris Parker, Angella Dravid, Nick Rado, Guy Montgomery, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, plus Laura Davis in Wellington and Ruby Esther in Auckland.



Followers of funny-as content creators and late-night talk shows are in for a treat, as James Nokise dons his hosting hat - one he wears beautifully on his hit RNZ podcast Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower - to introduce us to the kiwi comedians behind some of the funniest viral content in Going Live, presented by ZM with the NZ Comedy Trust and Auckland Council. Inspired by the format of shows like LATE NIGHT VIBES, Joe Daymond fresh off his sold out Sky City shows, ZM presenter and entertainer Bree Tomasel, creator of crack-up videos Uncle Jack Tai, and @funcoolpopulargirl aka Rishika Iyer - the medical student with the hottest takes on TikTok, bring their hilarious digital work to the stage for a night of IRL laughs. On for two nights only, at Q Theatre in the Auckland CBD and Te Pou Theatre in Henderson, don’t miss your favourite online jokers Going Live this Fest.



Two teams of comedians are ready to battle it out in The Great Comedy Debate presented by Lane Neave Lawyers, a one-night-extravaganza of hot takes on the moot – technology will save us. Moderated by the sharp-witted Te Radar, the affirmative team of Hayley Sproull, Joseph Moore, and Jamaine Ross will argue that yes technology will save us. They’re going head to head with Guy Montgomery, Laura Daniel, and Alice Canton who are all pretty sure that tech isn’t the saviour we’ve been led to believe. With their comedic genius and intellectual superiority on the line, the audience will decide who’s right on the night in this fast, factual (ish), slice of funny business.

The Best Foods Comedy Gala, Going Live, and The Great Comedy Debate are just three of the awesome offerings from the Trust Us season this Fest - chock full of great comedy experiences and stellar line-ups including Basement Theatre Preview Show, Stand-Up For Kids with host Chris Parker, Electric Kiwi Last Laughs and Late Laughs! Every ticket bought in the Trust Us season directly supports the not-for-profit charity behind the Fest, the NZ Comedy Trust, to continue supporting the development and sustainability of Aotearoa's comedy industry.

2021 NZ International Comedy Festival
with Best Foods Mayo
April 30 - May 23
Auckland and Wellington, various venues

Click here for hi-res imagery

The Best Foods Comedy Gala 
Friday 30 April, 8pm
Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre
Hosted by Justine Smith
With Ben Hurley, Tofiga Fepulea'i, Chris Parker, Angella Dravid, Rhys Darby, Urzila Carlson, Nick Rado, Guy Montgomery, Cori Gonzalez Macuer, Laura Davis, Ruby Esther, Two Hearts, James Nokise, Eli Matthewson, James Roque, and Liv McKenzie & more to come!

Sunday 2 May, 7.30pm
Opera House
Hosted by Justine Smith
With Ben Hurley, Tofiga Fepulea'i, Chris Parker, Angella Dravid, Rhys Darby, Nick Rado, Guy Montgomery, Cori Gonzalez Macuer, Laura Davis, Ruby Esther, Two Hearts, James Nokise, Jonno Roberts, and Penny Ashton & more to come!
Going Live
Presented by NZ Comedy Trust & ZM
Supported by Auckland Council
Q Theatre, Rangatira: Tuesday 11 May, 7pm
Te Pou Theatre - Henderson: Sunday 16 May, 5pm
Hosted by James Nokise
With Joe Daymond, Bree Tomasel, Uncle Jack Tai, and Rishika Iyer
The Great Comedy Debate 
Supported by Lane Neave
Q Theatre - Rangatira: Tuesday 18 May, 7pm
Moderated by Te Radar
Affirmative team: Hayley Sproull, Joseph Moore, Jamaine Ross
Negative Team: Guy Montgomery, Laura Daniel, and Alice Canton
Proceeds from these events will support the New Zealand Comedy Trust to run the annual Comedy Festival and continue their work in the development of the local comedy industry.

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