For the uninitiated, Le Comique is a raunchy and riotous affair offering a smorgasbord of unconventional delights for those after something a little bit different during the comedy festival. As well as some good ol’ stand up, this year’s eclectic lineup included music, clowning, cabaret and even a spot of dessert.
The fabulously sullen French flâneur Marcel Lucont was the fitting host of the evening’s audacious and outrageous festivities; his misanthropic observations were the perfect accompaniment in between acts. We were also treated to some excellently improvised songs derived from audience requests with the help of the on-stage house band as well as his unashamedly risqué sex poetry.
Rose Matafeo was first up with her usual style of conversational comedy laced with sarcasm. From cat cars to cynical Christmas crackers, her set was easily enjoyable and a great way to kick off the show. Up next was 2015 Billy T award winner Hamish Parkinson whose awkwardly comical though less-than-kosher attempt at seducing an audience member was met with amused trepidation and shock.
Musical duo Fan Brigade was one of my favorites from the night. These talented ladies combined comedy and crooning to fabulous effect with their hilarious tongue-in-cheek song about sexism. Anarchist cook George Egg closed the first half amazing the crowd with his ingenious ways and innovative solutions to whipping up meals using very limited means.
After the interval, the evening revved up with the arrival of the terrifyingly unpredictable comedy-monster, Red Bastard. There was absolutely no barrier between audience and performer as this cult sensation had the audience at the edge of their seats, and at one point even running from them.
The Artist (Formerly Known As Jesse Griffin) was the penultimate act of the evening; his utterly ridiculous entrance revealing the ‘unholy trinity’ was so absurd it was brilliant and had the crowd in hysterics. Welsh comedian Lloyd Langford took to the stage convinced he was there due to a booking error yet his anecdote about a kinky night he spent in a hotel room was an appropriate fit and finale to the evening.
From the eccentrically offbeat to the downright bizarre, Le Comique is a dazzling and scintillating evening which celebrates the weird and wonderful world of alternative comedy. This is the ideal mid-comedy festival treat, particularly for those with a more adventurous palate.
Hamish Parkinson, Fan Brigade, George Egg and Red Bastard have solo shows at the festival. Check out comedyfestival.co.nz for dates and to book tickets.