I didn’t write a review of this show – because I interviewed Ben ahead of the tour. What a treat that was – Ben Elton on the phone. Actually you can have a listen! First I wrote it up for my newsletter and site, then I decided the audio was good enough, so I shared it for the podcast.
This was my third time seeing Ben Elton live. He’s been to New Zealand three times – for his three comedy tours. The first in the late 90s. I remember feeling elated walking in, he was a legend. A comedy hero. And I was a bit drunk and one of the younger people in the audience.
Flash forward to my 30th birthday and Ben Elton is back in town, nearly a decade after his last visit. And I’m there with friends and family – the day after my 30th birthday party. It was, again, wonderful.
And then – more than a decade on this time – and right in the gap between plague and when things “felt kinda normal” again we have this legend of literature and comedy back on the stage. And for all the jerkoffs that think he’s past it, or that he sold out, or whatever, this was one incredible show. The way it built. The theme he developed. The way he took on the subjects. It was virtuoso stuff. And what a journey. Going from nervous, drunk, giggly fool raised on the young ones and pinching myself to be in the audience, through to jaded and spat out reviewer, too bored or incapable of contextualising the show at the time and having spoken on the phone to one of my enduring comedy heroes. Life is funny sometimes huh.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.