The New Zealand International Comedy Festival rolls on around the country. We went along to check out Iranian/Pakistani/NZ comedian Pax Assadi at Te Auaha – Tapere Iti (Little Theatre) in Wellington.
Starring Pax Assadi
New Zealand International Comedy Festival is being held in venues around the country from 26th April until 20th May 2018. Pax Assadi can be seen at Te Auaha – Tapere Iti in Wellington from May 1st to May 5th, and at Loft at Q Theatre in Auckland from May 15th to May 19th.
Pax Assadi is Brown Famous – but is he funny?
I had seen samples of the brand of comedy that Pax brings to the stage in short TV comedy show slots plus occasional appearances on 7 Days, so I knew what to expect. Or so I thought. His own show was actually a lot more involved than I imagined it would be.
The gleaming new Te Auaha venue (an NZ Institute of Creativity venture by Whitireia and WelTec), housed the Little Theatre – which was exactly as the name suggested. This 80 seat theatre gave the audience a real up close and personal show. The small venue served it’s host well, with Pax’s infectious laughter and interaction with the audience providing an intimate feel that I have never experienced with any other stand-up show. It felt like we were just round at Pax’s house, chatting and laughing at his jokes, trying to avoid upsetting his strict mother and begging for another story about his intense grandad!
“It felt like we were just round at Pax’s house, chatting and laughing at his jokes, trying to avoid upsetting his strict mother and begging for another story about his intense grandad!”
The topics varied between his upbringing, society’s view of minorities, his role as a father and his life in South Auckland. Woven among his hilarious stories, outbursts of giggles and various accents, he shared some of his personal beliefs and insights, which just made the banter feel even more authentic and honest.
As you can guess from the show’s title, Pax doesn’t shy away from the more controversial topics associated with his Middle Eastern background. He encouraged us to view all of the world’s nationalities as beautiful flowers, each unique in its own way but still part of one big garden. He also taught us to combat paedophilia with bullying. That’s the kind of show it was!
Should you go and see the show?
Absolutely! Pax Assadi provides a unique and hilarious insight into the modern world and how different cultures fit into that landscape. He’s half Iranian, half Pakistani, born in New Zealand, married to a Canadian … if you can’t find humour in all that cultural collision, then you may have left your funny bone at home.
This review was written by Julie Scanlon for Her World NZ. Her World NZ were provided with complimentary passes for the show, courtesy of the NZ International Comedy Festival. The opinions shared in this article are completely those of the reviewer.