Reviewed by Indigo Levett

Terry Williams, an obviously experienced stand-up comedian, provided a crisp, clear-cut and enjoyable show for a varied audience. With a great relationship with the crowd and plenty of relatable jokes, the show was an enjoyable experience for all.

Williams entered the stage with a casual yet full-bodied gusto that immediately had the audience rooting for him. He has a classic stand-up tone that keeps simplistic and doesn’t get caught up in the bells and whistles that so many comedians use. He kept his stories personal, not delving too much into national or global topics which I think were well received by the nelson crowd. His “in-jokes” about different places in New Zealand through a conversational kiwi tone, definitely showed that this show greatly appeals to the locals. His anecdotes around family and his children, added a balance to his sometimes corporate tone, which added to the relaxed feel.

Williams interacted with the audience well, without ever putting them under pressure. The audience clearly related to him and understood the majority of his jokes. And when a few one-liners went amiss, he dealt with it like a seasoned pro and managed to get a few laughs out of us anyway.

I always try to go into stand-up shows with an open mind, every comedian has their own way of doing things and each has their own stories to tell. However, I do go in with an expectation of gaining something from the show. Through comedy I think great points can be made, and I think Williams sometimes got too caught up in ‘easy’ laughs, rather than delving into more substantive bits and jokes that would have satisfied me more as an audience member. I would challenge Williams to broaden his topic range to appeal to an even wider variety. He clearly has a superb understanding of comic timing, and an honest tone that the audience can relate to, so I would like to see Williams take more risks and vary his delivery. My view on this could reflect my personal taste in the edgier shows that really get me thinking about things, while this shows’ goal is to provide an enjoyable evening filled with laughs, and this show certainly achieved that.


Livin’ La Vida Joker is part of the 2018 Nelson Fringe Festival. To check out other shows and workshops, click here.

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