Idiots of Ants: Comedy Festival Review
Last year, I missed this comedy troupe due to comedian clashes. (That's the shows, not some kind of bizarro comedy fight club...)
It was, without doubt, my biggest regret of the Comedy Festival 2012. Thankfully, this year I've managed to rectify that - and after sitting through their one hour show Model Citizens, I'm even more mad that I missed them last year.
Sketch shows can be hit and miss, but this four piece (Andy, Elliott, Benjamin and James) have managed to package up rapid fire skits and sketches into something that transcends humour.
The show began as we were filing in with 2 of them on stage at Rangatira at Q Theatre in a front room of a flat set up, before cleverly breaking through the fourth wall, and insinuating their way into the audience's lives. A series of technical snafus certainly blighted their first night in Auckalnd (as their typo revealed at the end) but it showed no signs of throwing them off their game.
Sketches at gunpoint, war soldiers controlled by other forces, a song about the man who took the audience to dinner, a sex change sketch and an ongoing compunction to use two members in the front row for a series of continuing gags - they all came at us thick and fast. High paced energy, frantic and frenetic The Idiots of Ants are a troupe which are clearly destined for real greatness with their sly and wry look at life.
Like the Goons, the League of Gentlemen, the Pythons, they've clearly got some form of magic trapped in a moment and are using it to their extreme advantage. Despite moments of corpsing on stage (due, no doubt to the fact they're having such a good time) the show was an extremely slick and fun affair which ended all too quickly. They managed an hour of tautly paced, quick fire humour which proved to have an extremely high hit rate and amused greatly.
Idiots of Ants last year won the best International show and I can see why - they are one of the best and brightest groups of intelligently sly comedians at the festival so far - and they left me with two things as I walked out - a) a huge beaming grin over my face and b) a desperate unhappiness that the show was over, and had only lasted an hour. I could easily have seen more.
This is the New Zealand International Comedy Festival's first must see act - do yourself a favour, and don't make the same mistake I did last year.