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March 16, 2009 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Ha-Ha? Fringe Bar

We are very lucky to have an abundance of north-westerly winds, pigeons, cafes and comedy talent in this city. This column will endeavour to deal with the latter.

Wellington has a thriving comedy scene with many of the nationwide comedy greats having originated from Wellington itself with our unique brand of adventurous, fresh, energetic and humour.

I will attempt to deliver you some of these exciting adjectives in the form of reviews, interviews, profiles and comedic writing. There is truly no better place to start this rip-roaring journey than with the development of Wellington’s first solely comedy venue—The Fringe Bar.

The transformation of old Blue Note to the Fringe Bar was a project 6 months in the making, spearheaded by comedians Derek Flores and 2008 Billy T Award Winner Steve Wrigley. Located on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets, the Fringe Bar offers a much needed venue for both rookie and seasoned comedians to gain extra practise and stage time with a live audience.

The Fringe Bar’s exciting new regular comedy line-up features New Material Mondays—“a chance for new comedy recruits and old pros to try out new material” (commencing 9 March) and Wednesdays with WIT—Wellington’s only regular improv night, featuring the capital’s sharpest minds delivering “spontaneous hilarity” (commencing 11 March).

Both shows start weekly from 8pm and won’t break the bank at $5 for New Material Mondays and $8 for Wednesdays with WIT. Tickets are available at the door.

For anyone with the desire to get on stage and face the masses themselves, rookie nights run regularly at The Fringe Bar or at San Francisco Bathhouse. Contact Derek Flores at the Fringe Bar ( or Ziggy at San Francisco Bathhouse (

If you are interested, or pop along and lend your support.

Remember, 87 percent of people would rather choose death over public speaking*, so audience members: smile and laugh loud. Or alternatively grimace, and watch these statistics unfold†.

Statistic based on hurried Google search and, while almost definitely incorrect, is still alarmingly high. It’s death, people. You can’t come back from death.

†Most comedy shows will not include people choosing death over public speaking whilst on stage.


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