Culture & Arts, Things To Do

Get ready to laugh: National comedy competition is coming to Otago

Jan 24,2020

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Remarkably Funny and Dunedin Comedy are teaming up to bring New Zealand's premier amateur comedy competition to Otago for the first time this February and March. "The Raw Comedy Quest has been running for over 20 years, and is now established as a rite of passage for new kiwi comedians", says Reuben Crisp of Dunedin Comedy.

In previous years, Otago-based comedians have only been able to enter via events in Christchurch or further afield. Remarkably Funny's Tim Müller says, "Last year Queenstown hosted a single satellite heat as part of the Canterbury-based competition, with the local winner Hugo Huntington finishing equal runner up in the South Island finals in Christchurch. With thriving stand up scenes established in both Dunedin and the Southern Lakes area, the time is right for a stand-alone Otago competition."

The competition is open to New Zealand-resident amateur comedians who have been performing for no more than three years. Mr Müller emphasises that absolute first-timers are also encouraged to enter, "What makes a competition like this so exciting to watch is that, with all the acts relatively new to comedy, absolutely anything could happen. There are a lot of talented performers entering after a year or two of honing their craft, but there's also every chance someone could step on stage for the first time and blow the audience (and the judges) away."

This year, there will be seven Otago-based shows as part of the competition, including heats in Dunedin, Queenstown and Wānaka and the final in Dunedin on March 28th. The Otago champion will win a trip to Auckland for the national finals, to be held as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival in May. The full dates are:

Southern Lakes
• HEAT 1 - Tuesday, February 4th, 8:30 pm Yonder, Queenstown.
• HEAT 2 - Thursday, February 13th, 8:30 pm, Mint Bar, Wānaka
• SEMI-FINAL 1 - Tuesday, March 3rd, 8:30 pm, Yonder, Queenstown
• REGIONAL FINAL - Saturday, March 28th, 10 pm Emerson’s Festival Theatre, Dunedin (as part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival)

The competition is open to New Zealand-resident amateur comedians who have been performing for no more than three years. Mr Müller emphasises that absolute first-timers are also encouraged to enter: "what makes a competition like this so exciting to watch is that, with all the acts relatively new to comedy, absolutely anything could happen. There are a lot of talented performers entering after a year or two of honing their craft, but there's also every chance someone could step on stage for the first time and blow the audience (and the judges) away."

Sign up here or for information on entering and purchasing tickets, head to the competition Facebook event page.

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