Nokise's comic slant on NZ gangs

By Annette Lambly

The So Go Gangsta show which opened the recent Auckland International Comedy Festival is coming to Dargaville.

And Kaipara District Council community development facilitator Heidi Dreyer says the June 14 show could provide a launching pad for regular Kaipara comedy festivals.

James Nokise comedy shows have a serious message.

With Nokise's involvement with gangs behind the light-hearted entertainment, the show takes a serious look at gangs, including the perception, the history and political comment on gangs in New Zealand.

Mrs Dreyer approached Nokise after being captivated by his Auckland show.

"The show was so funny ... it tells a story in a humorous way and, while there is strong language, it doesn't come across as offensive."

Published reviews say "Nokise's comedy is smart and from the heart", and "this bro has got major comedic game and has the audience in the palm of his hand".

He has two Dargaville shows. The first, aimed at younger people (also open to adults) at 6pm in the Dargaville War Memorial Hall costs $5.

A one hour adults-only show starts at the Dargaville Club at 8pm costs $15.

Tickets for both will be on sale from Saturday.

Mrs Dreyer hopes the show will lead to an annual comedy festival being held in Dargaville.

"I floated the idea with a number of the acts in Auckland and got an absolutely positive response."

Nokise is a Samoan/Welsh stand-up comic - the first Pacific Islander to work full-time on the United Kingdom stand-up comedy circuit.

With more than four years on the British professional comedy circuit under his belt, and having been twice nominated for New Zealand's top comedy award, Nokise is also a veteran of five Edinburgh Fringe festivals including hosting and headlining duties during the inaugural "Best of Kiwi Showcase" in 2004.

Since then, he has risen to be one of the top young comedians in New Zealand, performing successful one-hour solo shows in six New Zealand International Comedy festivals.

As a playwright, his first play, The Minister's Son, was nominated for a Chapman Tripp. His second, Public Service Announcements was nominated for a New Zealand International Comedy Festival Award.

- Northern Advocate

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