New Zealand actor Stephen Papps took the stage with his dead pan, observational comedy act. He has a polished, clearly well rehearsed delivery, with very little (if any) ad-libbed content. The main themes of the comedy show explored navigating sex and relationships, particularly in the context of growing older in our modern society.
The size of the audience lead to a very intimate show, with Stephen taking the time to make eye contact with each audience member throughout to really drive home his delivery. While Stephen’s particular style of straight-faced delivery and short story jokes may not suit every comedy-goer, he is clearly a professional and has his act down to a fine art.
Some of the content didn’t seem to resonate with the predominantly younger audience at the performance I attended, but I would recommend it to audiences at a similar life stage to Stephen Papps himself. Some audiences may be concerned with a couple of the jokes regarding women, especially trans women, as this does feature in Stephen’s punchlines.
For a few moments within the show, Stephen showcased his brilliant talent in vocal sound effects to provide background for his storytelling. This was a clear highlight and I found myself wanting more throughout the show.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Content Warning: M
Performance Reviewed: Thursday 5 March 2020, at the Library in Ayers House