Last night, Thursday 18th of 2018, a new winner of the Raw Comedy Quest was crowned, to a packed house and a standing ovation. The humidity level was 71% but there was more than enough aircon for everyone inside Rangitira at Q Theatre, on the night of the final of The Raw Comedy Quest 2018.

For some this night is the highlight of the festival, it’s a spectacle to see the very best rookie comics, the comics who might possibly be the future of New Zealand Comedy, as they show their stuff in a full Rangitira, the largest room in Q Theatre. Some of these acts could well be stars in the future, but on that stage, they were all stars on the night. Brought on one by one by MC Justine Smith (multiple Comedy Guild “Best MC” award winner), who kept the audience well warmed and hyped for the big event, in a way only a long time staple of New Zealand comedy can.

Since Febuary, new comedians have been competing in this Raw Comedy Quest competition, pulling out their best anecdotes, one liners and cheeky puns on stages throughout New Zealand, in order to make it to Q for the final.

We’ve been through the heats and the semi final, and all that remained were 11 comedians. Becky Umbers, Edward Warren, Hannah Campbell, Joe Daymond, Joseph Scott, Joshua ‘Jack’ Thompson, Josiah Day, Tasman Stephenson from Auckland, Sean Collier and Gabby Anderson from Wellington, and Aaron Jelly from Christchurch.

Each came up to do a 6 minutes set, using their best, tightly crafted material that they’ve written, tried and tested. I was impressed by the distinct mix of styles on display, while there were the more observation based comics and story tellers you’d expect to see at a stand up show, there were also performers who did one liners, musical comedy and more alternative and surrealist comedy, showing that in this competition, as long as funny is funny, there is more that one way to skin a cat.

I truly believe every single one of these performers was a star on the night, you can expect to see all of them on line up shows across the country in the near future.

This being the case there could only be one winner, Wellingtonian Gabby Anderson, who had some fantastic energy, owning the stage as she delivered some clever, relatable comedy.

The runner up was Sean Collier, an act that delivered some interesting social commentary within the punchlines.

A commendation was given to Josiah Day, an act who has a knack for playing with energy and expectations, a name that has been spoken of for a while within the Open Mics of Auckland.

The Raw Comedy Quest Final is truly a spectacle to watch, the climax to a year long story of comics honing their craft and open mics all over the country.

With Raw starting up again after this Comedy festival, why not come check out Raw Mondays at the Classic, you could be witness the start of the journey of a future winner, it could even be yourself.


What: Monday Raw

When: Every Monday at 8PM

Where:  The Classic

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