Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Adventures of Jimi Samoa

The New Zealand International Comedy Festival is in full swing. Last week, my sweetie and I watched the comedy sampler on tv and decided which comedians we'd like to see based on their performances. Upon consulting our budgets, we revised our list; only one show survived the cut.

James Nokise was our choice. Billed as a Samoan/Welsh comedian (I couldn't help but laugh already!) and with a previous show called Beige Against the Machine, his comedy snippet looked promising. The Adventures of Jimi Samoa was all about James's alter ego, Jimi Samoa, the funny guy who got himself into and out of situations and adventures. This is essentially the story of James's life; Nokise never misses an opportunity to send himself up or poke fun at himself. Plenty of in-jokes about Lower Hutt (which Wellingtonians can appreciate), Samoan culture, growing up bicultural with a Samoan minister father and Welsh mother, all-boys schools, and more.

After a successful opening night last night, I'd heard his radio interview on More FM this morning, albeit 45 minutes later than scheduled as he was still drunk from the after party the night before. It seems like James didn't stop drinking even after that interview and turned up for tonight's show somewhat inebriated; it wasn't as bad as it sounds, but I am a little surprised.

At times morose and melancholic, especially the segments which explored the aftermath of his relationship breakup, there were a few other serious moments and one very definite message: domestic violence is never acceptable. The show isn't exactly what we expected (don't ask me what we expected; we just know it wasn't quite that) but not one I'd write off completely. I'd be keen to see the talented James Nikose perform again sometime, but perhaps in different circumstances.

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