The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Review: The Big Show

by Emma Maguire on May 17, 2018 in Comedy

The Big Show is a 100-minute extravaganza with three UK comedians who you may or may not have heard of. (The comedy world is big, okay?) Despite my utter obliviousness to whom two out of three of them were, this three-act show was a whole lot of fun.

Ian Smith

Acting as our MC for the night, Ian Smith performed twice during the nearly two-hour long show. Ian’s performance was utterly, utterly bonkers, and thoroughly enjoyable. Taking us through tales of visiting Waitomo, travelling to Norway and his weird neighbour with too many fanny packs, his performance was joyous and rife with ridiculous imagery. He seemed to have a severe distaste for broccoli on toast, and honestly, I can’t blame him.

Phil Wang

Phil Wang’s parents met at a kung-fu class. That’s not even a joke, it’s true.

Incredibly articulate, with a slight twinge of the pompous, Phil’s performance was the wildcard sandwiched between two fairly low stakes acts. Touching on slightly-unorthodox dating methods, the perils of having a certain last name in some parts of society, and the privilege that women have because they’re allowed to love babies (not in a weird way), his act was unique and probably slightly polarising to some. I look forward to seeing more of his work in coming years.

Jimmy McGhie

Wellington’s audiences were out in full, maniacal force when it came to the headline act. Jimmy McGhie spent a significant amount of his act fending off hecklers – from one who yelled that ‘South London was an oxymoron’, to another who said that ‘zhoosh’ was their favourite word – and it turned the whole show into a bit of a shambles. An incredibly funny shambles – because it became obvious that Jimmy had a fair amount of practice in the ‘fending off hecklers’ area, and did so with much aplomb – but a shambles nonetheless.

Jimmy was an incredibly likeable, very verbose performer with excellent turns of phrase. He was probably an act more for a Gen Y audience – as he asked how many millennials were in the audience during the show and there was a grand total of six of us (before he started resoundingly mocking our coffee culture) – but his anecdotes about millennial parents and getting older were somehow still relatable.

In all, this show was a great way to see old favourites, be introduced to new talent, and watch three shows for only slightly more than the price of one. Get tickets quickly, because they’re nearly sold out!

The Big Show is running at 8.30pm at Te Auaha in Wellington from now until Saturday. Get amongst!

Emma Maguire

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