Robin Williams coming to NZ

By Russell Baillie

Robin Williams is coming to New Zealand to perform two stand-up shows as part of his international Weapons of Self Destruction Tour.

He'll perform in Auckland - at Vector Arena, the second comic to play the 12,000 capacity venue after Billy Connolly last year - and Christchurch in mid November.

Williams has been here before, but only on the promotional duties for films like Bicentennial Man (with Sam Neill) and What Dreams May Come (by Vincent Ward).

This time he'll be playing 90 minute live sets, the content of which is more risque and political than the sort of movies he's best known for.

Williams says in an extensive interview with TimeOut tomorrow that it will be interesting to see what material in his routine will play outside the United States where he has been touring since early 2009, the jaunt interrupted by Williams having to undergo heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. And the reason he's gone back out on stage again?

"It pays the bills actually, " he says in an extensive interview with TimeOut tomorrow, "I have been doing small movies. Small movies are great to do but they don't pay the bills."

Though New Zealand director Ward's 1998 film might be considered one of Williams' career misfires, it remains a firm favourite for the comedian.

"For that is a movie where there is no middle ground. People either love that movie or hate it. I have never met anyone who goes 'that was okay'. I have people come to me and say 'that movie affected me so deeply' and others say 'what a crock of shit'. There is no between.

"And Vincent who is an amazing director, when I saw The Navigator I thought this guy is incredible.

"It was kind of one of those things where they tested the movie and he had this amazing ending which required you take a leap of faith ... that is a movie that should never be test screened."

*Robin Williams, Vector Arena, Saturday November 20. Tickets on sale September 2.

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