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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Theatre |
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TJ McDonald A Maori Ate My Great Granddad

TJ McDonald is the only 2010 Billy T Award nominee from Wellington, and I think that his solo show A Maori Ate My Great Granddad may just win him our greatest comedy award.

A Maori Ate My Great Granddad is a personal history of both McDonald’s family and of TJ himself, and this loose theme allows TJ to swing all over the world, from Iran to Polynesian strip clubs through to the infamous Kiwi forensic psychiatric hospital Lake Alice. It turns out his great uncle was a bit nuts. As someone else who has had family there, I found that story really quite relatable. But that’s what makes his show so engaging: we can actually relate with the history he’s spinning, the yarns he’s telling. Some of the stories featuring McDonald’s grandfather could be lifted out of the Uncle Trev books, or stolen from Barry Crump. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t wish that they were related to Crump? Well, besides his actual family…

The thing that makes McDonald a watchable comic is his affable Kiwi intellectualism. This allows him to straddle a large area of comedy: in the same seven minutes I saw puns, Maori jokes, a discussion of aeronautics and Harry Potter, dick jokes and astute political observations. I can’t think of a New Zealand comedian who that would work with—maybe Brendan Lovegrove—and that’s a pretty special niche to be in.

If you’re the target demographic for the Capital Times, one of the more intelligent people in the room, or happen to like the BBC version of Who Do You Think You Are? then you need to see the show. Everyone else- you should definitely go too.

TJ McDonald A Maori Ate My Great Granddad
04/05/10, Fringe Bar

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Nic Sando is a god amongst men, fifteen fathoms high he be, with strange and wyrd powers at his disposal. Only a fool won't harken his ears to the east when he hears The Sando man stumping his way. http://thesando.com

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