The New Zealand International Comedy Festival begins this weekend bringing local and international comic heroes to our stages. Here, Urzila Carlson talks about her forthcoming shows.

Describe your show in 10 words or less:

Opinions can save your life or really hack you off!

Will we have heard any of the jokes before?

No, it's a brand new show.


So, why should we go to your show instead of saving our money for Flight of the Conchords in July?

Because I'm better to look at and you get to listen to my accent for an hour. Who doesn't love a good South African accent?

What is your pre-show ritual?

Panic. I find the raw kind the best kind of panic.

Is dying on stage a rite of passage for a comedian or something to be avoided at all costs?

I would hope we all try to avoid it, but alas it will happen to us all, and if you are lucky it happens really early in your stand-up career and doesn't happen as frequently after that.

Are members of the audience fair game? Or should they be treated with respect at all times?

I don't pick on the audience but if they are looking for trouble I'm happy to give 'em some.

If you were a superhero who would you be?

Is Shrek a superhero?

For those of you who don't have a musical aspect to your show ... how do you compete with all those clever dicks offering the double whammy of musical comedy?

My show always has the promise of some nudity, I haven't had to use it, but I will if I need a double whammy.

Who will you be heading along to see during the festival?

Justine Smith and Irene Pink in "The Pitch".

Who: Urzila Carlson
From: South Africa
In: I'm Going to Need a Second Opinion
Where and when: Vault at Q Theatre, 8.45pm, April 28, and May 1-5