Review by Grace Chua

Grace went down to the Cellar at Q Theatre to check out Kiwi newcomers Harry Thompson-Cook & Jack Ansett. Here’s what she thought of their show Straight Outta ’98.


The show kicked off in a dank misty basement called “the cellar”.  The perfect place for an 11pm comedy show told by some twenty-year-old comedians who are up to no good. A tall skinny guy Harry comes out in a rainbow paddle pop shirt holding a glass of beer. He tells us he has great fashion sense as the shirt he wears reminded him of a youth hostel shower curtain. It certainly did.  

Harry is mildly tipsy, holding a beer and starts sharing his woes as a male teenager struggling to get laid. But the biggest woe of all apparently, is to not realise when a girl is giving him the greenlight for some action. He mines this story to great effect, winning us over with anecdotes which are as relatable as they are cringeworthy.

Harry lets us all in on a little secret (one that probably won’t come as a surprise), that guys are idiots and if girls would like to have sex they should ask men directly for it. Otherwise, the unfortunate girl will have to endure a night spent with guys like Harry ignoring all the painfully obvious signals that they put out.


Interestingly it was Jack’s 20th birthday and he was going to give a comedy show anyway. He introduces himself by drawing attention to his looks – somewhere in the realm of the kid from Home Alone doing meth. Coming from Christchurch Jack contrasted the difference between what Aucklanders think of Christchurch people. Mostly that people from Christchurch are racist. “We had one Korean kid in our class, we are not racist” he jokes. I look around and see that I am probably the only Asian person seeing his show. 

Jack’s self-deprecating set also saw him talk about how moving to Auckland has made it difficult to make friends, the quirks of his family and the mystery of his sexual orientation. How his granny asks him if he has met any nice girls while secretly whispering in his ear, “It is alright if you don’t fancy girls”.  At this point I also wondered the same. He debunks it at this stage and humours the audience by asking who thinks he’s gay. I see a lot of hands raise.  

He changes topic after demonstrating all the different sex positions he has tried. I assume it is to emphasis how straight he is right now.

Harry and Jack are a dynamic duo with fresh new content and millennial perspectives. Straight Outta ’98 is definitely worth a watch if you are wanting to reminisce your awkward teenage years growing up and moving to a new city. 


What: Straight Outta ’98
Who: Harry Thompson-Cook & Jack Ansett
When: 9-12 May
Where: Cellar at Q Theatre

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