I returned to my duties as comedy reviewer/weatherman on Tuesday, to see 2018 Fred winner Chris Parker at The Vault at Q Theatre. It was opening night of his new show Iconique a show about his own icons, and how he might become one himself.
I confess I did not see the award winning Camp Binch show from the previous year, and dutifully this was one of the first shows to grace my wishlist this time around. I had little idea of what to expect, having only seen him in snort or television adverts, but clearly I was to expect a certain calibre from a Fred winner.
I found a packed out room in the Vault, sure sign that Parker is accumulating a following, there was definitely an air excitement, helped by the upbeat pop music being played, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Mariah Carey, definitely on theme and well paired Parker’s high energy performance.
The show began with a bang, Parker delivering a musical number introducing the show, in the style of euro pop, with accompanying dance moves, an excellent way to define the energy of the room, and get everyone pumped. He then spent the 5 minutes performing material while catching his breath, a fact he effortlessly lampshaded throughout.
I should say at this point that this wasn’t purely an hour of stand up comedy, there were sections of stand up sure, but this was broken up by segments of sketches and musical numbers.
This show felt like a full dramatic performance, aided by Alexa, Parker’s co-star of the piece, providing some great back & forth, and delivering some great commentary on our relationship with modern technology. I liked Alexa, she was kind of like a sassy Hal 9000.
Our relationship with modern technology was a major theme of the show, and how majorly it affects our lives. He also delved into his own history, musing about his own experiences on social media, from Bebo to Instagram.
He also relayed his personal experiences, providing a backstory for his own flair for the dramatic, and examining gay stereotypes and role models, presenting observational comedy about his experiences in the LGBT community, including something I was not aware of about Ponsonby Countdown.
The production values were amazing in this show, with lighting and effects you wouldn’t necessarily expect at a comedy show, lights that reflected the mood of the show, created tension and even in some cases provided us an extra physical joke.
Parker went all out in every aspect, his performance included observational comedy, anecdotes, act outs as well as the aforementioned musical and dramatic flair. Iconique is the kind of experience you seldom see at the NZICF. A one man variety hour. Recommended for fans of theatre as much as it is for fans of comedy.
Who: Chris Parker
When: 7:15PM, 7 – 11 May
Where: Loft at Q Theatre
When: 6:30PM, 14 – 18 May
|15 °C||Passing clouds|
Thought I’d get a little visual for ya