I just spent a year in New Zealand, reacquainting with the country I was born in, catching up with family and friends, and working hard on my comedy in a environment that was new to me in that respect.
I was very new in the country when I saw a post on a Facebook page saying that the New Zealand International Comedy Festival submissions were open. Although a couple of shows I have in development were not ready, I wondered if there could be a way that I could be involved. So I posted a little shout out asking if there was anyone who wanted a support act before their show, with a video of me performing at the Sydney Comedy Store.
Shortly afterward I got a message from a comedian who I was vaguely familiar with, called Ashton Brown. We typed back and forth a bit, and discovered that our acts were very different. Ashton is an elaborate and humourous storyteller, I am a one-liner jokey comedian. I remember talking about the partnership with fellow comedians and I got a few strange looks, and comments such as "Richard Lindesay and Ashton Brown? That's a weird mixture", but I suspected it would work well due to our underlying similarities in our humour and attitudes.
We developed a show that was divided into three parts; a sketch with both Ashton and I, a 20 minute standup set from me, and a 20 minute standup set from Ashton. The sketch excited me the most, as it's something I hadn't done before and I knew that it was an area that Ashton was accomplished in.
Working with Ashton was a highlight of my comedy career, and we thoroughly enjoyed developing the show, and the lead up. It was a nice surprise to be chosen by Spy from NZ Herald as one of the top picks (NZ Herald - Fools Suffering Gladly), and the interviews with Te Waha Nui (Te Waha Nui - Fools Suffering Gladly Article) and the Attempted Comedians podcast (Attempted Comedians.com - Joke Science and NLP).
The show was a lovely success. Performing the sketch was thoroughly enjoyable and was a great way to warm the audience up and kick off before the standup. And the mixture of my one-liner style and Ashton's storytelling really did work, with the audiences staying onboard throughout both. We received great feedback and reviews from Speakeasy (Speakeasy - Fools Suffering Gladly Review) and Theatrescenes (Theatrescenes - Fools Suffering Gladly Review), as well as being the top pick for a double act from New Zealand Comedy Review (NZ Comedy Review - Festival Summary).
Fools Suffering Gladly was easily the highlight of my short time in New Zealand comedy, and I'm sure will lead to more collaboration between Ashton Brown and I. Watch this space. In fact, watch this website - www.FoolsSufferingGladly.com