Fringe 2008, Paramount Theatre
Feb 15/22/29; Mar 1 | Reviewed by Helen Sims

THIS SHOW must have the most apt title in the Fringe. After 45 minutes of sitting in tight conditions I still had no idea where the comedy was. Hence I left early – catching my last bus home seemed a higher priority than sitting through any more of this painful sketch “comedy”. This makes Where’s the Comedy the only show I have ever walked out of. Despite an audience that was drunkenly eager and supportive, their enthusiasm died down progressively as the jokes got worse and the performances got flatter. I wasn’t drunk – perhaps that was part of the problem? However, drunkenness just seemed to induce heckling. This gave me an insight into what TV would have been like had actors in the US just decided to go on and make it up during the writers strike.

Where’s the Comedy involves eight performers doing skits “written by them and performed by them.” Some of them are frighteningly eager; others look bored and like they are there under obligation. Originating from Dunedin, the performers seem to be mostly a mix of current and recently graduated acting students. I recognise one from the Lonesome Buckwhips – so there must be comedic talent in there somewhere? Perhaps they just need a really good writer?

I’m not sure if anything happened in the last 10 minutes of the show to redeem it. But I highly doubt it. Thankfully the performers only charge a koha to watch, so you don’t feel too short-changed. It’s on as a late Friday night offering, with one Saturday performance on March 1st, composed of the “best bits” of the three Friday night shows. Each show promises to be “completely different”, so perhaps this Friday’s will be an improvement.