Nic Sampson's new show Jewel Heist is a clever blend of stand-up and theatre, drawing together multiple aspects of Sampson's talents as a performer to create a deeply rewarding comedy experience.
Jewel Heist tells an elaborate story of Sampson's attempt to steal a precious diamond from the Auckland Museum; an adventure that stems from his realisation, on the cusp of turning 30, that his dream is to own a boat. Fans of Snort will recognise Sampson's ability to slide in and out of multiple characters with ease - he does an empty nester mum as well as he does a fitness-mad personal trainer, at times playing up to three or four characters in one scene.
Sampson does not once loose grip on his story, made all the more impressive by its twisting structure and ongoing comedic threads that are referenced throughout. The audience on opening night proved to be thoroughly invested in the show's narrative, with several plot twists prompting audible gasps.
Aside from his dramatic capabilities, Sampson is first and foremost a great comedian. He injects his show with a healthy dose of locally specific humour, which may get lost on patrons from outside of Auckland, but lands well with those familiar with the references.
That's not to say the show is only for locals; Sampson's bitingly smart comedic talents and quick-witted improvisational skills provide plenty to laugh at for all. Sampson has once again proven he's a force to be reckoned with, and Jewel Heist is his best work yet.
Who: Nic Sampson in Jewel Heist
Where: Basement Theatre
When: Until May 13