It is clear to see why Brendon Green was a Billy T Award Nominee in 2014 as he’s a great storyteller, clearly intelligent, and has a way with words while engaging his audience.
His latest show, ‘Best Friends’ which is performed at the BackBeat Bar on K’Road, segues between comedic moments that effortlessly flows into three tales (his Tillogy) celebrating his relationship with Tilly the cat. It is an hour long performance that won over his audience with his clever use of wordplay building on each story segment and interwoven with comic interludes.
This is a fun, imaginative and at times hilarious journey. Tilly is central to his life and you get the distinct feeling she is more important than his newly acquired girlfriend. He very cleverly intertwines his daily ‘stay-at-home’ life with the cat, his only companion, while he writes his short stories and comic twists and then practices them on Tilly and, as a consequence, slowly but inevitably wins her friendship. Tilly is an SPCA rescue and Brendon comes back to this fact at the end of the set with an ‘aw shucks’ moment.
What I loved is the way he uses intelligent and dramatic stories to share life’s lessons with his audience. But it is not all serious and Green meanders through anecdotes about being tall (he is six foot four), the challenges of cutting toenails and the humorous wordplay his surname can create and there is a great narrative about his relationship with his parents (his Mum’s more down-to-earth approach contrasts sharply with his anxiety driven father, both of whom have clearly helped shape his own anxiety and, fortuitously, were in the audience on the night and were a great foil for his wit). While I enjoyed the comic interludes it is in the stories where Brendon really shines and his talent is wonderfully showcased.
Great comedy is not necessarily all about gut wrenching laughs through the entire set. It can also have pathos, get you to stop and think and quietly chuckle at the ideas the comic has evoked. Brendon Green does all of this, building tension as he plays with your emotion, and then breaks it with the next comic laugh. I found his approach really engaging.
Brendon Green is celebrated as one of New Zealand’s top comedians and has produced a varying range of highly rated routines including ‘Best Bits’, ‘Story’ and ‘The Green Effect’. ‘Best Friends’ adds to his stature as a great comedian and storyteller.
As we left the theatre Brendon asked the audience to donate a few dollars to the SPCA – Tilly’s original home. Caring, nice, decent and funny guy. You get the strong feeling Brendon is all of these things.
You can read Marika Jackson’s ‘Talking Comedy’ interview with Brendon Green here.
What: Best Friends
Who: Brendon Green
When: 16 May – 20 May
Where: BackBeat Bar on K’Road