95%* of the time New Zealand politics is pretty ridiculous. Similarly, so are NZ gangs. So So Gangsta is an almost marriage of the two. An exploration of NZ history, politics and gangs under the superb guidance of Wellingtonian comic James Nokise.
The show begins with an abridged version of New Zealand history. Highlights include our absurd obsession with national sports players and our love for insidious racism. James Nokise is no stranger to racism, being half Welsh, half Samoan he’s been picked up by the police for just looking like he might be a guy who robbed a shop but he was also kicked out of a youth gang for using words like syntax.
It’s these experiences which shape the course of the show and while you could say that it’s pretty sh***y that he’s experienced things like this at all, it has worked in his favour. As Nokise points out, where would comedians be without politicians like Don Brash? And while it may have been a pain in the ass to get held up at Heathrow as a possible terrorist (because customs staff couldn’t find Samoa on a map) it makes for a good laugh later. Stupid people are naturally comedians best friends.
It’s playing on stupidity that allows So So Gangsta to work so well. Nokise has got a talent for seeing the holes and fallacies in the arguments of stupid people and stupid organisations and isn’t afraid to put it all out there. What results is a crowd howling with laughter. It’s political satire at its finest.
If you have a chance to slip into Q Theatre tonight I would highly recommend this show. It’s full of far too many wicked one liners to count and as a result has you laughing so hard it hurts. Otherwise, Wellingtonians have a chance later in the month at Fringe Bar.
Oh yeah and that gangsta as font on his belly? It’s actually Old English. SOSO GANGSTA.
*possibly a made up number.