Comedy duo make Buskers return
Daredevil Chicken Club have returned to the Christchurch festival that propelled them to global success with a hit show in New York and a year-long tour of Australia.
Husband-and-wife comedy duo Jonathan Taylor and Anne Goldmann credit the World Buskers Festival with launching their careers and allowing them to develop routines that have taken them around the world.
The duo have become festival favourites in their six appearances in Christchurch with brilliantly outrageous routines involving bananas and warped cabaret.
The routines they developed for the World Buskers Festival led to them being signed up for successful adult cabaret and circus show, Empire. The show first ran in a circus tent erected on a vacant lot in Times Square, New York, for three-and-a-half months in 2012 and then toured Australia for most of 2013.
Despite the international success, Taylor said Christchurch felt like their creative home.
"We came into our own here. It was a great venue for us to learn how to express ourselves," he said.
"This festival is an incubator for us. When you see a street show you have that sense of anything is possible."
"We were defined by this festival. [Festival director Jodi Wright] gave us freedom. It was really scary but the greatest opportunity for us. It made us who we are now."
Wright spotted the duo putting on street shows in Denver, Colorado, in about 2005.
"They would drop hundreds of bouncy balls down the road. I thought: 'That is cute. You don't see that very often'," she said.
"You could tell they were going to be something. I'm delighted and thrilled that they were able to use the festival as an opportunity to develop material."
Goldmann said doing 10 shows a week in the middle of New York was "like being in a cement mixer".
Taylor said the experience was "crazy".
"It was at the epicentre of New York theatre, with all the producers and money makers of the business. It had never been done before," he said.
The duo negotiated to take 10 days out of the Australian tour of Empire so they could return to Christchurch for the festival.
The duo will be hosting the Buskers Burlesque show every night, one night of the Comedy Club and two street performances.