Jamie Bowen's travelling chaos
Jamie Bowen is not your standard stand-up.
Just the way he describes his New Zealand International Comedy Festival show, Munfred Bernstein's Cabinet of Wonder, suggests something out of the norm.
"It's a story about a raconteur who has travelled around the world and collected a whole lot of curiosities, he sings songs about them.
"It's like watching your drunken musical uncle, wrestle and tackle a chaotic narrative."
The show, which opens this Saturday, was part of last year's festival before travelling to Adelaide for 30 back-to-back shows.
It was inspired by Bowen's own habit of collecting things, rather than photographs, and as well as a crazy story, the one-man-production features Bowen singing, playing instruments and interacting with the audience.
And while many comedians may cringe at the thought of hecklers piping up, Bowen encourages their input.
"I like a good challenge. Not negative ones - I mean, don't come along with 'your mum sucks', you don't know my mum, you've just made a gross judgement, having never met my mother, that's uncool. But come along and yell stuff out to Munfred, that's part of the show, it will be fun.
"Sometimes it goes really well and sometimes it completely derails the whole night, but then you get to spend the rest of the night watching me fumble and try and get it back."
Last year, the show was the very first recipient of the Creative Comedy Initiative fund, awarded to performers that push the boundaries and are "a little bit different to your usual stand up".
For Bowen, the cash injection meant he could devote more time, energy and resources to honing the show - he hired a rehearsal room, brought in a director to bounce ideas off and a script editor to tighten and tone the story.
And now, Bowen is on the hunt for a bit more cash. He is one of three shows Rhys Darby and his wife Rosie are producing for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The only problem is it costs around $1500 just to list each show in the programme, plus flights, accommodation and promotion.
The trio and the Darbys have set up a Pledge Me webpage - similar to one Taika Waititi ran to raise money for the US release of his movie Boy.
The aim is to raise $6000, with any donations over $5 welcome.
Munfred Bernstein's Cabinet of Wonder
April 28 - May 5 at Vault, Q
Tickets from Q Theatre.
- © Fairfax NZ News