A CRAFTED, CONFIDENT PERFORMER
NZ International Comedy Festival 2012|
FASITUA AMOSA is the INFO-CRACK WHORE!
at Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Wellington
From 2 May 2012 to 5 May 2012
Reviewed by Maraea Rakuraku, 4 May 2012
It takes me a while to figure out why Fasitua Amosa looks familiar and even then, I get it wrong. It's only when he's 10 minutes into his set and busting out a few actors moves, I realise I'm looking at Matt, from the brilliant drama series – The Insiders Guide to Happiness (2004). Then, he was a graduate of the Unitec's School of Performing and Screen Arts and it was his first crack at TV. Now, he's a church-going, pontoon relaxing, Shakespeare teaching, French market coffee drinking, information-seeking JASA (just another Samoan Aucklander).
There are certain givens about Comedy gigs. It's likely you'll laugh or perhaps cringe and inevitably there is someone in the audience whose laugh will irritate you. As the owner of such a laugh I tend to be forgiving. However, the punter pre-empting the punch line and laughing abnormally heartily when Amosa first kicks off is a little distracting. However, as anyone who's ever attended anything where the audience is buzzing with expectation, it settles down.
The only other expectation I'm sure I share with those present is: you're brown, that equals funny. And it does. Amosa knows how to covey a punchline and tell a yarn and he really delivers when he combines performing with the telling of story.
The Parnell coffee stand is brilliant. I'm still laughing a day later about that one. I even heard hints of Russell Peters' 'white boy' coming out in some of it. But it was hints and I can't help but think that the time (10pm), venue (Cavern Club) and the placement of stage and seating (right by the toilet) dampens the energy of the performance.
That's not to say his material isn't good. It is, and as wide-ranging as the publicity blurb says. He is an info glutton. At the time I didn't quite believe him about the Infancy Gospel of Thomas yet it exists, I Googled.
The humour is clever and the audience was appreciative and he has that combination of just being on the right side of good taste. Though, I have no doubt with different circumstances that could change.
Partway through the set I start to wonder if he's a little bored as he takes an umpteenth sip from his wine glass but it's all a device to gain thinking time, switch topic or maybe even calm nerves. Though, I doubt it as he's meant for stage. And that's all ok until as an audience you start to expect it. Every. Single. Time.
Comedy audiences are an unrelentingly demanding lot. We want funny and we want it now. Amosa is a crafted, confident performer with loads more to share and given the right location and crowd, he could really go off.
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