Auckland Encore 2017: James Acaster – Recap

After a quickfire run of his last 3 shows, James Acaster decided to treat Auckland with one more bonus show – a prologue to the ‘trelogy’ to fill in the gaps. Considering there was only a few days to sell tickets the turnout was great which is not at all surprising; he definitely has developed quite a solid fan base here.

While Recap does revisit and tie in to some elements of what was covered across the three shows, you do not need to have seen them to enjoy this one (though you probably wished you had gone!). Some material will be familiar to those who are not new to Acaster’s work but such is his talent as both an adept comedian and skilled storyteller that it will feel like you are hearing it for the first time.

Over the course of the show, we are regaled with amusing stories of early life in his hometown Kettering particularly his job as a lollipop man and we also get reacquainted with his alter ego, Pat Springleaf. In between, Acaster weaves in hilariously extensive research on a breakfast staple, a game of flirty Twister and a hapless tale involving a wooden duck. As usual, each anecdote is perfectly paced and impeccably timed so as to generate the most laughs.

Recap is another highly enjoyable and wonderfully whimsical hour from James Acaster which gives fans the opportunity to relive earlier material while introducing new audiences to old comedic gems. If you’ve not experienced one of his shows before, make sure you get tickets quick-smart next time he’s in town!

To find out where James Acaster will be performing next as well as when he’ll be returning to our shores, check out his gig list on his website. You should also follow him on Twitter.

Check out what I thought of the trelogy!
*Read my review of Recognise here.
*Read my review of Represent here.
*Read my review of Reset here.


Auckland Encore 2017: James Acaster – Recognise

When you consider the two extremes of stand up – conventional style versus more offbeat – James Acaster’s brand of comedy definitely sits in the latter category. His eccentric perspective is very much the pulse of his material and this show is no exception.

Recognise is the first chapter of the trilogy and is a cleverly written, multi-layer narrative in which Acaster discloses to the audience that he is actually an undercover cop posing as a stand up comedian so he can infiltrate a drug ring. This far-fetched yet somewhat plausible premise is the recurring theme but in between we are treated to an entertaining diatribe of a variety of things from the mundane to the farcical.

Over the course of the hour we learn of Acaster’s love for finding loopholes, the time he concocted a long drawn out revenge scheme involving bananas and what he thinks is New Zealand’s best kept secret and why which was an audible crowd-pleaser. His anecdotes all demonstrate a witty and devious mind which is a staple in his shows.

Acaster is an animated and captivating raconteur, using his signature whimsical and sardonic candor to superb comedic effect.  In this particular show, there is also a physicality which he adopts as well as audio and visual props he uses that add yet another humorous layer to his material.

Recognise is another enjoyable top notch offering and one that feels more personal than its successors which is refreshing. Whether or not Acaster really is a covert detective is debatable but what is undeniable is his innate ability to effortlessly garner laughs no matter what he talks about.

James Acaster is performing Recognise, Represent and Reset across different days and times at The Basement until April 23rd with a bonus show on Sunday evening. For more details and to book tickets, click here.

*Check out what I thought of Represent here.
*I saw Reset at last year’s NZICF. To read what I thought, click here.

Auckland Encore 2017: James Acaster – Represent

James Acaster is back on our shores for a whirlwind run of his last 3 shows. Tickets to see him always sell out – and quickly! – so this is definitely a treat for those who did not manage to get in the first time.

Acaster describes Represent as 100% whimsy which is 100% accurate.  His trademark idiosyncratic discourse and seemingly haphazard, impulsive style brings us on a side-splitting journey of outlandish proportions. With celebrity gossip updates, amusing snippets from his time as a juror and the most hilariously absurd fable, there is not one dull moment to be had.

Acaster is a skilled storyteller who reads the room and feeds off it extremely well, with every anecdote strategically placed and each punchline perfectly timed. His comedic instincts are second to none; even when the narrative takes unexpected turns at no point do you feel he has no idea what he is doing or where he is going – in fact this is all part of the fun.

The most impressive thing about Acaster’s delivery is his unostentatious yet apparent confidence and effortless way in which he has the audience hanging on to his every word. Even when the show brilliantly goes a bit meta in which he proceeds to actively analyze it, we don’t question it but keep going along for the ride.

Represent is a highly enjoyable and wonderfully eccentric hour, one that’s a fair bit quirky and a lot funny. It is the perfect taster to get those laughing muscles going in preparation for the upcoming comedy festival season.

James Acaster is performing Recognise, Represent and Reset across different days and times at The Basement until April 23rd with a bonus show on Sunday evening. For more details and to book tickets, click here.

*I saw Reset at last year’s NZICF. To read what I thought, click here.


NZICF 2016: James Acaster – Reset

James Acaster

We all have regrets, we’ve all made mistakes. How great would it be if we could just hit the reset button? This premise is the springboard which James Acaster leaps from for this year’s show.

Like his previous shows, Acaster’s signature awkward demeanor pair extremely well with his low-key, ever so eccentric style of comedy to form an endlessly entertaining hour. Over the course of the show, we are regaled with amusing anecdotes that are seemingly just random thoughts but are all perfectly placed to flow and fit into the jigsaw that is the overall narrative.

Acaster’s material, unlike his unassuming stage presence, is incredibly assured but also extremely intelligent. From a hilarious blinds decision-making internal monologue to his favorite Kiwi expression, every little detail has been expertly crafted and impeccably timed to have maximum comedic impact.

The second half takes a slightly bizarre turn, which Acaster himself acknowledges, but albeit claims that he has lost control, something tells us that this is all a clever ruse and we are in safe hands. His innate ability to effortlessly draw the audience in and have us hang on to his every word is impressive.

There is something quite special about what Acaster brings to the table – there is no one in the circuit quite like him. Reset is yet another solid, subtly brilliant hour from this festival favorite that will not disappoint and will leave you in stitches.


Reset is on at The Classic April 26th – 28th then May 3rd – 7th at 7pm with an extra show on the 6th at Q Theatre at 9pm. He then kicks of his Wellington season at San Fran May 10th-14th at 8:30pm.

His Auckland season is pretty much sold out (hence the extra show) so if you haven’t already got tickets, best get in quick! For more details and to book tickets, click here.