Next comedy show brings big names to Kerikeri

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Ryan McGhee, one of five comedians taking the stage at Kerikeri, loves Kiwi audiences for their willingness to laugh at themselves. Photo / Provided

A two-hour comedy showcase will bring some of New Zealand’s favorite artists to the Turner Center in Kerikeri on Friday 27 May.

The diversity of newcomers and veterans alike proves that comedy in Aotearoa isn’t just for the big cities and, in fact, according to newcomer Ryan McGhee, is much more fun to watch with a small local crowd.

“The best thing about regional gigs is that the audience is really up for a laugh,” McGhee said.

“It might even be some people’s first time doing comedy, and they’re just there to have a good time.

“There’s more energy in the room and more opportunities to joke around with the audience too.”

McGee, who is originally from Scotland and only recently obtained permanent residency in New Zealand, said Kiwis are similar to Scots in terms of their willingness to laugh at themselves.

“You can be very real with the people on stage here,” he said.

McGhee’s act pokes fun at the Kiwi-isms he noticed as a newcomer here, as well as the differences between life in New Zealand and his final home of Sydney, Australia.

He also shares his hilarious experience of living and dating in New Zealand versus Scotland, and Sydney’s very superficial gay scene.

McGhee said the night’s lineup offered such a diverse lineup of comedians, which is a rare opportunity at a small local gig.

He said it goes well in New Zealand, where there is very little hierarchy among comedians.

“You sit in the Green Room next to the biggest names in comedy and they chat with you, ask you how the comedy is going, just chat with you,” he said.

The evening will be hosted by Michele A’Court, who won Comedian of the Decade at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards in 2010, and is likely to be familiar to many from her television and radio work in more from the scene.

The headliner for the evening is Jeremy Elwood, who is best known as a regular panelist on TV3’s 7 Days and RNZ’s The Panel.

Other comedians include Tongan Maori comedian Opeti Vaka from South Auckland, who won the Wellington Raw Comedy Quest in 2019, and actor-turned-comedian Sera Devcich of The Project and 7 Days.

McGhee, who has only ever known comedy in a Covid world, describes it as a perfect opportunity to shed light on life’s challenges.

“With everything going on in the world, comedy is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kick your worries out for a few hours,” he said.

The Turner Center recently released 50 tickets to the gallery at just $29.90. Door-to-door sales will be available but advance purchases are recommended.

Standard tickets cost $49.90, student and senior tickets $39.90 and are available at iticket.co.nz.

The event was made possible through the support of Pub Charities Ltd and the Far North District Council through the Creative Communities programme.

This event is R18. The performance may include strong language and adult themes.

For more information, visit: turnercentre.co.nz.

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