Comedy festival review: Adam Wright & Rick Threlfo in Gloriously Average

by Lord Sutch

Comedy festival logoIt’s a bold marketing ploy calling your show “Gloriously Average” but that’s what two up-and-coming Wellington comics have done.

And they got about half right with the title.

Their show, held at the Cavern Club is a good case of developing comedians still finding their feet. There are moments from both of them that show real potential, however that potential is still somewhat under-developed.

The show is opened by Canadian Rob Harris. He doesn’t waste any time in getting to the dark stuff with an opening gag about cancer that the crowd isn’t sure how to react to. He has a lovely laid-back delivery and his assessment on the graphic images on smoking was an original take on a well worn subject. The crowd reward with him some good laughs for even some of his darkest material.

Despite being the warm-up act, Rob displays a skillset that both Adam and Rick can learn from – if a joke fails, don’t remind the audience of it. Just push through to the next one!

He’s only with us for a few minutes before he brings on Rick Threlfo.

Rick is certainly dressed the part. I’m a big fan of the smart casual comedian, and Rick is both of these things. However he struggles to grab me from the outset when his first few gags are him reading humorous tweets he’s found on the internet. That’s fine – if you’re going to go further and present me with an angle that’s beyond “here’s some dumb shit a person said”. I can find that myself, I want a comic to open my eyes and show me a different perspective. He has a nice stage presence, however he still needs to find his voice. His toe dipping into one-liners showed an acute comedy brain which can be better utilised than some of the “here’s another funny thing I found” material he delivered. We saw flashes of good stuff when he took us on an adventure of positive thinking and I would have liked him to explore this style further.

There was a sense that he has a really good 10 minute set, but the stretch to the 20-25 minute mark was a bridge too far. Also, learn your material and don’t keep referring to the stuff on the table! It’s distracting for the audience.

Adam Wright was on next and he immediately got the laughs with a nice (if not well worn) bit on his surroundings. Adam has a lovely manner about him that’s gentle and makes the audience warm to him. He again gave us a few examples of funny things he’s found which didn’t scratch the surface. However there were parts where he went further and was rewarded with some of the biggest laughs of the night. His take on the racism in Police 10-7 is particularly good and shows a good eye for finding the comedy and probing just that one step further.

There’s obviously real potential with these two, they just need to find their own voice and get beyond the surface of a funny thing they’ve found.

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