Alan Davies laughs at life's pain

By Mike Dinsdale


I never knew there were so many Poms in Whangarei.

The concourse at Forum North on Sunday ahead of Brit comedian Alan Davies' show was like a tour through the many and varied accents of the Mother Country.

The Capitaine Bougainville Theatre holds about 350. It was sold out and it seemed the vast majority of them were ex-pats who had turned up to have a good belly laugh with some top Brit humour.

And Davies is very British, or very English if you want to be pedantic, but his humour is universal, with Life is Pain touching on topics we can all relate to (apart perhaps from filling one's pants at school and his thoughts on British cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy), and the laughs just kept rolling along.

The premise of Davies' show is pretty much self-explanatory, and he uses his upbringing in Essex, uni life as a drama student with a lesbian tutor and his parenthood to illustrate that life is indeed pain at times.

As a way of illustrating that truism it has to be noted Davies, who normally sells out far larger venues than Forum North, only came to Whangarei so he could watch the Twenty20 cricket game yesterday between England and a NZ XI.

However, his arrival was greeted with the summer rain we are all used to and he was concerned the game would be called off.

But, as with everything else, he took it in good humour and proceeded to have the audience in stitches with his humorous observations of the vagaries of life in general.

Life is Pain does not follow any set script, with Davies using the first part to banter with the audience and pick up on local quirks he could have a good poke at during the rest of the show. Clapham's Clock Museum ticked all boxes as a butt of the humour throughout the show, while the Kiwi accent was also commented on a couple of times, and everybody's favourite Kiwi target - Jafas - was also well traversed.

Davies was a bit put off at times, with a couple who were from his home town in Essex stopping him short when they said he was from the "posh" side of the tracks. There were also several QI moments in what was a very informal, but extremely funny evening. But I dread to think what Davies will be saying about Whangarei when he needs a topical joke to throw into the set on the rest of his tour.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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