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Porne, brunch and cardigans at the comedy fest

Gerrit Gray Doppenberg
International Comedy Festival
The International Comefy Festival is well under way  International Comedy Festival

Christchurch comedians are gearing up to storm the stage at this year's international comedy festival in Auckland.  

A handful of local talent will be heading up to perform their various shows.  

Jadwiga Green will be performing at the festival, doing her hour “Cardigan Faget” at the Basement Theatre in Auckland over the weekend.   

She is the latest winner of the RAW comedy competition, the largest novice comedy competition in the country, and the first winner to ever be based in the South Island.  

 

Jadwiga Green performing
Jadwiga Green performing Erik Norder Photography

Green comes from a theatre background, migrating to stand-up comedy three years ago.  

She says the chance to perform in the fest is a recognition of talent and hard work.  

Her show will go into issues such as mental health, gender, sexuality, reflecting her own struggles with depression and anxiety, which she says was helped by comedy. 

Green is a trans woman, and found that quite often her identity was the butt of the joke when it came to stand-up comedy.  

There’s considerably less prejudice now in the comedy scene, but Green emphasises there’s still work to be done.  

Her show's name came from an incident where her friend was wearing a cardigan and was harassed by passers-by.  

“It just seems ridiculous to me. It really stuck with me, he was wearing a cardigan, who cares? He's just a clean, well-dressed man. That was it!

“It’s examining how petty and trivial people can be with you just as an excuse to act horribly.”  

Performing helps with anxiety, and Green wants to move forward to become more comfortable interacting with audiences and just have fun while performing.  

She will be performing at the Basement Theatre Thursday through Saturday.

Ray Shipley and Emma Cusdin are doing a show together at fest called “Brunch”. 

“It’s about the power of friendship and breakfast television. Will our friendship last in the cut-throat world of breakfast television is the question we ask ourselves in this show.”  

It’s a play without a script, a parody of all the stereotypes of breakfast television.  

Stalwarts of the Christchurch comedy scene, both have been going out to brunch for a number of years and decided it could make a great show.

 

  

Emma Cusdin and Ray Shipley
Ray Shipley and Emma Cusdin Ray Shipley

Shipley’s background is in poetry and stand-up, and Cusdin is a longtime improv performer for the Court Jesters.  

Shipley says the show is a little left field, a little silly, it’s fun and heartwarming.  

It’s a departure from their normal stand-up, which they admit can have an agenda.  

Comedians can struggle for audiences if they aren’t a big name, but the duo say the festival does a great job supporting acts on the rise.   

They will be performing their show “Brunch” at the Basement Theatre, Thursday through Saturday. 

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Audrey Porne performing at a show Audrey Porne

Audrey Porne has a distinctive name, and an hour-long stand-up show that recently sold out a local venue for a dry run.   

Her show “The Porne Identity” was in the festival last year – but was postponed along with the rest of the festival due to Covid.   

Her career started in 2017 after winning a stand-up competition for people who had never performed before.   

Although she says she’s had no difficulty being a woman in comedy, she ran into obstacles confronting harassment in the industry.   

“It’s hindered opportunities for me, which is really sad. Sad for them, not for me.”   

In her words, her show is a fun, silly harmless hour of comedy. No messages, no hidden meanings, just stories from her life that she finds funny or embarrassing.   

She will be at the Classic Insider Studio at 10pm, Thursday through Saturday.   

  

All tickets are avaliable at https://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/