Young Guns is a showcase of emerging talent in Wellington. Every person on the line up made at least the semis in the recent Raw Comedy Quest.
Rob Harris is the MC for the evening and even though the crowd is(abysmally) small he uses his skill and experience throughout the night to create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere for everybody. He knew when to stop and tell one of his jokes and when to just roll over to the next act.
Adam Chown was first off the bat. He was a finalist in the Raw Comedy Quest, gaining the ‘Highly Commended’ award. He deals with some serious topics and at times edges beyond the boundary, but he does it skillfully and manages to disarm the seriousness and keep it funny. At 34 he hardly qualifies as a young gun but his bit about the pre-internet days in Wales draws plenty of laughs.
Next up was Rhian Wood-Hill. He has a story telling style which, whilst still developing definitely has potential. He sets up his first punchline with a consistent, youthful, energy and I’m left feeling uncertain about how a 25 year old can talk about being in a ‘famous’ band with any sense of nostalgia, but he did and it was funny. He dealt with a member of the audience challenging him about how hard (or not) it is to play the bass exceptionally well; he threw back without missing a beat.
After a brief interlude from Harris we moved on to Aidan Grealish. I have to state that I am a big fan of Aidan’s rants, especially the ones about tall people, but tonight he starts slowly with less energy than usual. However by the time he got to the last bit the intensity of his pent up frustration had emerged and he had the entire audience laughing.
Rounding off the night was Josh Davies. Josh was also a finalist in the Raw Comedy Quest and his sense of timing tonight was perfect. His style is clever and inciteful and he dots his comedy with surreal takes on everyday life. His punchlines are powerful and he has the audience in hysterics the whole way through. At times he surfs close to the line of un-PC comedy but because of his skill with his delivery and his ability to make you love him even as he hates on you you find yourself laughing.
Overall Young Guns is a great show to check out in the festival if you want check out some local talent. Everyone in the show made either made the semis or the finals in the hotly contested Raw Comedy Quest so it’s a great place to get a taster of some local up and comers for a mere $15.
Young Guns runs until Saturday 30 April, 10pm at The Fringe Bar.
More information and tickets here: http://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/young-guns/
*This review was written with Oliver Probert and originally published at ArtMurmurs.nz