Comedy Director, Geoffrey Scott Blanks, who was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to comedy in the last Queen’s Birthday Honours is busy selling tickets to the 2-hour “Raw” show in the club’s bustling foyer.
At 8pm the doors to the high-ceilinged performance space swing open. A friendly usher directs us to seats clustered around tables, cabaret-style. Candles flicker on each table. The red brick walls are hung with posters advertising comedy shows past and present. There are a few grey heads in the audience, but it’s a youngish crowd and the atmosphere is warm and convivial.
I'm on my own so I’m pleased to be seated at a table with four other women with whom it’s easy to strike up a conversation. It turns out they aren’t just here for laughs - they have skin in the game. The young woman on my left, has Nihilist printed on her T-shirt and Hysterical Feminist on her tote bag. She's here to suss out the comedy scene before making a leap from sit-down wannabe, to stand-up comedian.