We’re bringing Wellington our biggest gala yet, as we take over the grand Michael Fowler Centre for the very first time. We’ve got the freshest stand up from a star-studded line-up to keep you laughing all night long - goodness knows we all deserve it!
Gala host Rhys Mathewson leads the lineup, joined by Tofiga Fepulea'i and Justine Smith, plus keep reading to see some newly announced acts! There’s still loads more cracking talent to come, for what is shaping up to be one heck of a show! Check out all the deets below
Rhys Mathewson has won the Fred Award for the Best NZ show at Comedy Fest, taken out the Billy T Award, is a regular on 7 Days, and has just been announced for Dancing with the Stars! He made his first Comedy Fest appearance back in 2006 at age 15, as part of the New Zealand Comedy Trust's Class Comedians high school programme. Three years later he was crowned the youngest ever Billy T Award winner at just 19 years old, and has now racked up over 10 Comedy Fest shows. His high energy and sharp observations make him the perfect comedian to take the audience on an epic live comedy experience leading this incredible lineup.
Plus, newly announced!
Kura Forrester is blazing trails through Aotearoa’s comedy scene. After receiving the 2019 Billy T Award for her show Kura Shoulda Woulda, Kura cited “finding the funny in honesty” as her approach to creating her hilarious shows. Appearing in Golden Boy and Educators, as well as a regular on Shortland Street, Kura has shown her prowess in both serious and comedic acting, both playing up the dramatics as well as providing the comic relief. Kura’s outrageous stories and warm presence are sure to have you in stitches.
Fresh off of THREE’s Dancing With the Stars, Eli Matthewson is having a major moment. Eli’s amazing stand up is backed by his strength in writing, as head writer on Have You Been Paying Attention?! and with writing credits on Golden Boy, as well as winning the Director's Award at the 2019 NZ International Comedy Festival. The 2021 Fred Award winner is taking his show Daddy Short Legs to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
Pax Assadi is back for what’s sure to be another ripper Best Foods Comedy Gala set. Since hosting the Best Foods Christmas Comedy Gala in 2020, Pax has been working non-stop, creating the smash hit show Raised by Refugees, touring with Frickin Dangerous Bro - On the Road, as well as curating the newly announced lineup of The Comedy Mixtape. He’s just been announced as the new host of The Great Kiwi Bake Off and was a judge on talent show 60 Seconds. Thankfully we’ve nabbed a spot in his busy schedule for the most wonderful night of comedy of the year!
Kura, Eli and Pax join the wonderful Justine Smith and Tofiga Fepulea'i.
Chris Parker is unfortunately no longer able to join the lineup due to scheduling conflicts.
We've got even more incredible talent to announce over the coming months, for what is shaping up to be one stellar night of live comedy. But why wait? Book your seats now before they’re all gone!