For those who are already following the long-standing topical comedy satire series on TV3, 7 Days needs no introduction. New Zealand’s version of the UK’s Mock the Week, this special comedy festival edition sees three Kiwi comedians take on ‘the world’, specifically Australia, Wales and England.
7 Days regulars Paul Ego and Dai Henwood along with Rose Matafeo made up the NZ panel while the international side was represented by Chopper, Lloyd Langford and James Acaster. Just like the televised show, the two teams took it in turn to poke fun at recent news stories through various games that are led by seasoned host Jeremy Corbett.
Jamie Bowen was excellent as the emcee-of-sorts, ensuring the crowd was informed of the cues involved with live recordings while also keeping us pumped for the evening’s proceedings. The panel are impressively quick-witted in ‘finding the funny’ in whatever words, images or scenario get thrown at them while also bouncing off each other’s jokes seamlessly.
I felt the first half started off a bit slow and took a while to rev up but come the second half things flowed a lot better. A brief appearance from Rhys Darby with his former band-mate Grant Lobban (together they form Rhysently Granted) to perform in one of the sections was a cool surprise and sneak peek in to what they are about.
Each comedian held their own brilliantly but for me the international corner had a bit more of an edge up. Chopper in particular stood out the most with some of the funniest punchlines of the night. Langford was probably the least vocal of the group but when he did have something to say, it packed a comedic punch. Acaster’s wonderfully awkward persona brought a different yet entertaining energy that complemented the trio nicely.
Overall, while you might not find yourself laughing non-stop from start to finish, more than enough material is dished out to keep everyone entertained. Be warned though, being a live recording session it makes for a pretty long sitting (over three hours) but this is all part of the experience.
The 7 Days format is a clever blend of infotainment meets improv that’s easily enjoyable and just loads of fun. If you love comedy and have always wanted to be a part of a live studio audience, this annual comedy festival special is definitely one to catch.
7 Days airs every Friday at 9:30pm on TV3.
Jamie Bowen, Rose Matafeo, James Acaster, Lloyd Langford, Chopper and Rhysently Granted all have solo shows at the Comedy Festival. Go to www.comedyfestival.co.nz for dates and to book tickets.