On Thursday evening in went to Basement Theatre to see Into The Moonlight, the latest hour of comedy from Paul Williams. I knew him better for his charmingly awkward performances as the assistant on Taskmaster, and was very interested to see how that translated to his own show.
As I entered the theatre I noticed a projector had been set up, indicating a multimedia aspect to the show, piquing my interest as very few comics work with screens. There was also a small keyboard piano sitting on a chair beside the screen, indicating that this wasn’t going to be a standard stand up show.
In The Moonlight essentially serves as a one man variety hour with a love story as a recurring element, with segments and tangents throughout. Williams performed songs, poems and stand up, occasionally displaying funny images for him to comment on or showing prerecorded material. The extra visual element went a long way to punctuate some fantastic observational, topical and anecdotal comedy.
This was all framed in a brilliantly meta way, going as far as featuring his director as a character, portrayed by the wonderfully deadpan Sanjay Patel. I certainly enjoyed the meta commentary running through to show, as it created a second narrative, giving extra levels of engagement.
Paul Williams is clearly a unique talent, able to utilize the numerous feathers in his cap, and his innovative use of tech can really create a comedy experience, an experience seldom seen in New Zealand. The songs contained in the show were a highlight for me, because as well as having some great lines, they were genuinely good songs.
Recommended for fans of meta comedy, musical comedy and comedy that combines a theatrical element.
What: In The Moonlight
Who: Paul Williams
When: 6:30 PM 4 – 8 May
Where: Basement Theatre
When: 7:00PM 18 – 22 May
Where: Fringe Bar