Comedy Review: Ed Amon, Corin Healy and Heta Dawson

Corin Healy, Ed Amon, Heta Dawson(1).JPG

By Andra Jenkin

Artists: Ed Amon, Corin Healy and Heta Dawson

Date / Venue: Monday May 14th, 2019 - The Cellar, Q Theatre, Auckland

I’ve seen Ed Amon, Corin Healy and Heta Dawson on the comedy circuit, so I know I’m going to have a good time when I sit down to watch their 2019 festival show, My Country. It’s mine too, so I’m intrigued to see how they experience it.

Ed has gone pro for very good reason. His gear is solid and his manner on stage comfortable and engaging. Though still officially amateurs, Corin has done his time at the Raw gigs and can be credited for producing the show as well as performing in it, and Heta will battle in the last round of the Raw Comedy competition at The Classic this year. Never mind the other competitors; he’s fighting his own daughter for supremacy, the coveted Raw Comedian of the Year award, and the right to crow over the dinner table at the Dawson house.

The three are there to greet the audience, and when I chat to Heta I discover that far from being competitive, he’s a proud dad, bragging about Courtney’s performance at the semi-finals.

Iconic kiwi music blasts through the speakers, and while I don’t know if this is a deliberate choice or simply the music played before all the shows at the festival, it’s a perfect start to My Country. We are in the Cellar at the Q Theatre, surrounded by posters for other stand-up shows and it feels like home.

The show proper starts with a familiar song that the audience can sing along to. We are located in no other place on earth than Aotearoa, land of the long white Corin (he’s tall) tanga te whenua Heta and not so new immigrant, and kiwi-as Ed. It’s political, but don’t panic, it’s funny, the jokes about race and religion easily digestible because you’re laughing as they go down. There are no sacred cows, but maybe don’t bring pork.

Its three guys on stage, bringing people together in a way that feels entirely local. Even the laughs coming from behind me sound like Billy T has come again. There’s no cultural cringe, just a can-do attitude and great gags. The audience are appreciative. We laugh at the show, and ourselves. This is one where we recognise ourselves in the set, and it’s no surprise that the show has sold out every night of the week.

There’s audience participation and visual aids, including an 80s picture that has to be seen to be believed. There’s a clear camaraderie between the three, and I’m betting this is a show that will go from strength to strength as the week goes on.

Well worth watching, this show is one where kiwi kids can take a look at themselves. It lets us know that no matter how we got here, we all belong.