Words Glenn Blomfield
Once again NZ International Comedy Festival starts. Opening Night was a busy affair, with hordes of people catching the first shows, I made way to Emma Newborn at the Basement theatre. The intimate theatre was at near full capacity.The evening was a 50 minute show, not stand up, but a one person acted comedy theatre. Emma took on the role of our protagonist Coral, just like the living growing organism, there is more that meet the eyes with this organism that lays under the sea, but has allot to offer, but yet needs to be understood.
Just like a Richard Attenborough discovery our planet documentary, we have a microscopic view of the strange and wonderful organism that is Coral. We view her life as a day at the office, a lonely receptionist, working for a Carpet underlay company, Coral idolises her boss Brian. The day is building up to a big business product carpet underlay demonstration. The only problem is Coral is left to run the show, and that naturally doesn’t bode well. The show is all about Coral and this day and its build to its apocalyptic style ending.
Emma Newborn has built a slow build show, quirky and patient, it grows comedic nuisances with subtle growth, building into more comedy anarchy. The general audience were laughing along, enjoying the character Coral. For me it was a slower build, there was a few laugh out moments, that shines of comedic cleverness, but what really won me over was its build to its manic ending, it throws it out there, Coral explosive energy was laugh out riot finish.
Overall the show works as an enjoyable experience, it is more on the quirky, oddball comedy, where it builds up to the final act, where things go laugh out loud comedy, you just have take the ‘Coral’ ride to get there. Emma Newborn is showing signs of shinning bright in NZ comedy.