We made our way to Montecristo on a chilly Sunday night to watch the opening of Brendon Green‘s new festival show, “Eggs and Ham“. A show about the secret of happiness, in light of the fact that human endeavour is essentially pointless.
The show is framed around a selection of stories, songs, and poems, which all focused on the theme of appreciating the little things. In Eggs and Ham, Brendon talks about the moments that enrich his life: from interactions with friends, to time with spent with his girlfriend, to an awkwardly hilarious funeral.
When walking into the downstairs room of Montecristo (nicknamed “the dungeon”) we were greeted by the image of Brendon on stage, idly playing his guitar, providing ambiance, and creating a relaxed feel. I was impressed by how intimate the room felt, a feeling which only intensified when the lights went down. I felt at ease and ready to experience some top-notch comedy.
I got the strong impression that the rest of the audience was right there with me; a relaxed and genial audience, who wanted little more than to laugh and be entertained (fortunately there were plenty of opportunities to do both). Contributions from the audience were minimal and well spirited, and while there was some audience participation, it was limited to a singalong when Brendon picked up his guitar and performed some music.
I was also impressed with the way Brendon, like any good comic, managed to feed off the energy in the room. His performance was an appealing mix of high energy, but at the same time, casual. There were moments in which he gauged the amount of build-up on a joke from the reaction of the audience.
Brendon’s material was hilarious and insightful, while sitting firmly within the ‘positive’ spectrum of comedy. The stories were interesting, and the songs; a good mix of comedy and catchiness. I found Brendon’s observations to be another high point – they were sharp and on-point, regardless of whether they touched on relationships, body image, or the nature of life and death.
The show came together nicely, and felt like a whole cohesive piece of work, which is not an easy thing to do, while the ending largely hinged on a number of call backs to the first half of the show. His experience at the funeral provided a neat book-ending as it not only acted as a nice jumping off point to discuss happiness in the face of death, but also a conclusion, in which he applies this discussion to his experience at the funeral.
Eggs and Ham is the first show that I’ve caught at this year’s New Zealand International Comedy Festival, and it was a strong start. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I feel the energy, atmosphere and tone was perfect for the subject matter. I highly recommend Eggs and Ham.
- Smart and insightful material
- Great energy and positive vibe
- Great use of call-backs
- You could occasionally hear noise from the show upstairs