It was a wet Thursday evening, there was a distinct chill in the air, the temperature sitting at 12C (although it certainly felt like 11C). The humidity had come down since yesterday, sitting at 76%, certain to rise after the days rainfall, a cool 16Km/h wind blowing from west north west, classed as a gentle breezed on the Beaufort Scale, enough wind to give the leaves in the trees motion. The sky was partly cloudy. (Props to local good comedian Finn Nicholas for looking the weather up for me, as my phone had run out of data)

On this night I had come to The Classic Studio, to see young talents Maia Smith and Ruby Esther, in their first comedy festival show, Fully Grown Children. These acts have been tapped for great things, originally featuring in the Class Comedians Programme as high school students, both achieved success in last years Raw Quest (New Zealand’s yearly competition for brand new comedians), Maia as semi finalist and Ruby the eventual winner of the competition.

The room was filled with upbeat music, what seemed like a combination of funky pop, indie rock and I think I even heard a little ska in there. On the stage two microphones, indicating that this would be one of those shows where both comedians come to the stage to introduce the show. This suspicion was proven correct as both Maia and Ruby came to the stage, greeting the audience and opening the show with an introductry song full of great self referential humour, referencing the challenge of filling a shows run time (something that served as a running gag throughout the show)

This was followed some introductory banter. Ruby and Maia bounced wonderfully off of eachother, arguing about the billing and running order on top of the show, the conversation felt natural and flowed well, both playing the traditional roles of a comedy double act, with Maia playing the more extreme and overtly confident personality, and Ruby being the reserved and down the earth one, providing excellent contrast, and playful conflict.

Maia was the first to perform her set, which was made up of observations, anecdotes and some neat comedy invention. Discussing her time at school, her sporting achievements and her television inspired aspirations. She was unwaiveringly confident, nailing punchlines left right and centre, describing ludicrous scenes from her daily life. She also engaged into some excellent audience interaction, with a looseness that displayed that she was in the moment, and in control the whole time.

Ruby was the second to perform, following further banter. Revealing aspects of her life and personality, telling us of her issues with anxiety, her relationship with her parents and the realities of transitioning from high school to university. Engaging in story telling, observations, song and even a few poems. (some of which were suprisingly dark, in great contrast to her cheerfully awkward demeanor) Ruby, was immensely engaging, using her refreshlingly awkward shtick and unique perspective of life to deliver material that is both funny and clever.

Fully Grown Children was an excellent debut show for Maia Smith and Ruby Esther, who obviously but a lot of thought and effect into every aspect of the show, the writing was tight and the show was well constructed, and most importantly it was entertaining, splendidly light hearted and tongue in cheek.

I can safely recommend this show to anyone, it was very accessible comedy and definately a unique experience, in particular fans of self referential and self depricating comedy.


What: Fully Grown Children

Who: Maia Smith and Ruby Esther

When: 7:15PM, 15 – 19 May

Where:  The Classic Studio



NZ Comedy International Festival In Review: Fully Grown Children - Maia Smith and Ruby Esther
Comedy fest first timers Maia Smith (Raw Quest Semi Finalist 2017) and Ruby Esther (Raw Quest Winner 2017) bring you their debut show Fully Grown Adult, an hour of light hearted, tongue in cheek comedy.
  • Great chemistry between the duo
  • Well constructed
  • Some wonderfully self referential humour
7.1Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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