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.

HARRY THOMPSON-COOK

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. He shares the awkward tale of being the only one having to witness putting a condom on a banana in an empty classroom during sex-ed.

But the biggest woe of all apparently, is to not realise when a girl is giving him the greenlight for some action. He tells the time of a girl who finally asked him out and came over to his place. After asking her what she wanted to do, they finally settled on watching Lord of the Rings. The worse part of all was when three hours go by in silence- being the extended version. He had completely missed the signs. The girl went on to complain to friends that nothing had happened.

At this stage, Harry tells the audience that if girls would like to have sex they should ask men directly for sex. Otherwise, the unfortunate girl will have to endure a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Wise words for us girls. We need to be less subtle.

JACK ANSETT

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. “Some people liken me to the home alone kid who gets high on meth”, he says. Coming from Christchurch Jack contrasted the difference between what Aucklanders think of Christchurch people. Christchurch people are racist. “We had one Korean kid in our class, we are not racist” he defends. I look around and see that I am probably the only Asian person seeing his show. 

Jack talks about how moving to Auckland has made it difficult to make friends. Once, his flatmate heard laughter coming from the hallway as he was chatting away to a supposed friend he finally made. He had disappointed his flatmates by inviting his uber eats driver inside for a coffee. Auckland is a small city after all. 

Jack also discusses 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 then moves on to talk about his crazy mum. The weekend routine of crawling on the kitchen floor and hiding is an example he gives when the doorbell rings. His mum yells frantically for everyone to disappear and hide. As he peeks above the kitchen counter, the Jehovah’s witnesses can be seen on their front porch. 

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. 

DETAILS

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

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