James Nokise is the comedian you go see every year at Fringe. He’s the reliable Thursday night pick up, like a cup of hot chocolate, that is warm, smooth…and also original and thought provoking and completely hilarious.
This year, James returns with a slightly less ‘intense’ routine- departing from his usually strong political and social commentaries- to deliver a light-hearted critique on some of our favourite sports.
He covers everything from New Zealand female shot-put Olympians to the risqué gameplay of Dennis Rodman in the 1990s NBA.
Even with a small crowd, James fills the room with a positive energy, honesty and a self- awareness that is hard to find in amongst the frills and dramatic pauses of other Fringe productions.
He is a bloke’s bloke, capable of covering the hard topics without sounding in genuine or lecture-y and creates a forum that every sports fan will be gushing over for days.
A personal highlight was his indicting opinions on the brutality of mixed netball – we all know and hate a bitchy Wing Defence.
What is most original about the performance is the undeniable positivity and appreciation James carries for some of our favourite sporting stars.
He departs from the tried and tested comedic ploy of mocking and teasing beloved public figures to instead glorify them for their achievements both on and off the field.
Instead, it’s us as the audience that deserve to be mocked for ever doubting Serena Williams’ capacity to win a Grand Slam while pregnant or questioning the relevance of the beloved New Zealand haka.
As always, James hits a home run (sports joke haha) with a poignant poke at our unwavering love of sports in combination with lightning fast retorts to the interjecting audience.
If you’re after a guaranteed warm and fuzzy sports trivia comedy session it is impossible to look past this show.
This show could only be improved with more lycra.