Urzila Carlson’s show is about second opinions – ones we ask for (Does my bum look big in this?) and ones that are unsolicited and, often, unwelcome.
Carlson’s style is relaxed, engaging, and made the audience feel almost like we were in a lounge room, chatting with a friend. This was enhanced by the intimacy of the tiny Portico room at the Town Hall, which was filled to capacity.
The serious message of the show is how a second opinion saved Carlson’s life as a 20 year old, which gave her the courage to grab life by the throat and live life large and loud. She doesn’t shy away from discussing her faults and the audience loved her for it.
We were treated to her opinions on children – her concept of “Child Libraries” whereby childless couples could “try before they buy”. And once you’ve seen this show, you’ll know why you should never eat food that’s been dropped on the passenger side floor of a car.
The audience laughed from start to finish – every gag hit the mark. This show will be one of the hits of the festival and will sell out every night, so buy your tickets now.
Urzila Carlson has been a part of the local comedy scene for a while now but I believe she hit the comedic jackpot last year with her now famous catchphrase “don’t go falling in love now!”. Since then she has become an undeniable local favorite.
Don’t let her South African accent throw you; she now calls Aotearoa home and we have been more than happy to return the favor, proudly embracing her as our own. The Long Flight To Freedom, put simply, is an autobiographical recount of how Urzila came to be in New Zealand.
Throughout the hour, she shares candidly a collection of comical stories that span from birth to childhood and finally to present time. Dreaded family holidays at the farm, a memorable family team building exercise involving a resident mouse, tips on dealing with noisy neighbors and her genius plan on disciplining her soon-to-be-born “Jesus baby” – Urzila bares all. Her casual delivery and laidback style made it feel more like a conversation among friends which suited the narrative perfectly.
There is no doubt that Urzila was born to do comedy. From start to finish she had the audience hooked on her every word. Her ability to garner laughs from the crowd so effortlessly coupled with her skill in delivering material so naturally that it feels completely unscripted is a real gift and mark of a brilliant comedian.
This is an entertaining hour of getting-to-know-Urzila that will bring endless laughs. Everybody needs to see this extremely talented lady live – here’s hoping for an encore, and in a bigger venue!
Urzila Carlson is a rare sort person who, upon ending a story and expecting those listening to laugh, has obviously never heard herself saying, "Oh... I guess you had to be there." Lucky for us she's decided to share this undeniable talent with crowds of people. Just ask anyone packed in to Q Theatre's Loft last night. Urzila really knows how to spin a yarn (and win you over while she's at it).
Before we laid eyes on her, Urzila had us in fits of laughter by not so humbly (or subtly) introducing herself from off stage. Urzila then proceeded to take us from West Auckland to South Africa and back again, sharing the ins and outs of her life, and the world as she sees it – definitely uniquely, but explained so relateably I found myself nodding furiously as I shook with laughter.
During long winded travel tales I often find myself averaging ten yawns a minute, but Urzila's had our mouths agape for entirely different reasons (laughing/being shocked/more laughing). A Long Flight to Freedom could be compared to the stories your parents told you about what life was like when they were young – except they're far more interesting, maybe a little less believable and infinitely funnier (sorry Mum).
I feel I could quiz Urzila for days, selfishly forcing from her more tales from life in South Africa and fresh observations of New Zealand. Urzila's world was once one filled 'holidays' ruined by wild animals, and she points out the contrasts to New Zealand life pretty ingeniously. I'm not sure if I'll be able to look at the front page of our newspaper quite the same again.
Also in Urzila's favour is the fact she is just really, really likeable. Not suprisingly, she doesn't seem to take herself too seriously (at all, really), and no part of her life was off limits when it came to material. She also understands the fear of being seated the front row, so isn't one to pick on the audience. Her show had the vibe of catching up with a friend you don't see nearly enough of, the sort of friend that never quite ceases to suprise you with just how hilarious they are.
Our comedy favourite appeared on stage at The Loft at Q Theatre looking uncharacteristically frazzled last night, and quickly explained she hadn’t slept for two nights.
That’s because her partner Julie is due to give birth to their first baby, an announcement that brought a huge cheer from the packed audience.
The mum-to-be had her cellphone on a stool throughout her New Zealand International Comedy Festival performance, checking it at intervals to see if there was any news. And yet after two nights without sleep Carlson was on fire, firing one hot zinger after another and taking the audience on ride after ride of high-pitched hilarity. Her one misstep of calling a drug-sniffing dog a ‘dog sniffing dog’ just yielded fresh jokes about dogs sniffing asses. She’s quick, this one.
One of the most enjoyable things about an Urzila Carlson comedy show is how much she laughs at herself, actually enjoying her own jokes as much as the audience. In The Long Flight to Freedom she tells incredible tales about her life in South Africa, from lions in the carport to being forced to strip down to her undies at work.
Our favourite moments were when she compared the stories South African media have to cover, to New Zealand and its marmite crisis.
She also touched on her impending motherhood - her views on punishment and how she will get around smacking laws - and marriage equality, which she jokes she was against. “It was the last thing saving me from getting married!”
On that note, we made it through the show without any text messages or calls announcing she better get her ass to the hospital. Carlson said it would have been special and she would have remembered us forever if it had been the night her baby was born, but as it wasn’t, she’d forget us straight away.
If she had received the call, she was out of there, and someone else was going to have to finish off her show. “It’s not hard, you just have to be an angry South African lesbian,” she boomed. And with that she was off the stage and back to the hospital.
We’re pretty sure that baby will come out of the womb giggling.
samesame.com.au'...you can see why New Zealand have embraced Urzila as their own after watching this 60 minute stand up delight.'open/close
South African/NZ Comedian Urzila Carlson brings her debut solo show I’m Going To Need a Second Opinion to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and you can see why New Zealand have embraced Urzila as their own after watching this 60 minute stand up delight.
Urilza has a disarming quality that makes her humour all the funnier as she takes us through the second opinions that we can’t avoid and often give. Watching her perform is like sitting comfortably with a friend and as she lures you in and you’re suddenly hooked. She owns her material and as she jumps between sets you never care because you’re hooked by her comedic charm. Urzila really wields her stand up like a surgeon… with a knife that lures you to the backseat of her car, straps you in and then takes you on a highway ride of fun and laughter.
Her impersonations rocked the room as we were trying to breath and keep up with the laughter of this sold out crowd. Urzila owns her physicality and just when you think you can’t take anymore she hits you with physical comedy to die for. If her facial expressions weren’t enough just watch out for her eyes, I was sitting in the front row and had to keep looking away as I she’d hit a beat and have a look that made you laugh all the more.
Seeing Urzila was a fantastic way to kick off my comedy evening but watch out for her accents – sure you can laugh along as she stands up with a South African accent but when she pulls out some aussie slang she really rocks it, and she steals the show with an amazing impersonation of her mum as she grinds your funny bone.
Disarming and a surprise at every turn is how she rolls as Urzila bounces comedy at you from every corner in a stand up that saved her life! Not to ruin the end of the show, but she lives. No one needs a second opinion to see this show, get to the Town Hall before she heads back home.
Following her hilarious set on TV3’s Comedy Gala, it comes as no surprise that Urzila Carlson’s shows at this year’s comedy fest have all sold out. To those lucky enough to have nabbed tickets – well done, you obviously have impeccable taste.
The Loft at Q Theatre was packed out last night as Carlson ambled on-stage, starting off with a warning that her phone would be on all night as she’s expecting a text to say her partner had gone into labour! If doing a comedy show on your first-born’s due date isn’t commitment to your craft, I don’t know what is.
Carlson’s hour-long solo show, entitled The Long Flight to Freedom follows the story of her childhood in South Africa and her move to New Zealand. Her style is very conversational as she ambles through stories of her birth as a massive premature baby, holidaying in wildlife reserves surrounded by deadly animals, and dealing with crime on a regular basis back in South Africa.
She seamlessly intersperses her narrative with hilarious observations, provoking belly laughs from the audience with remarks about insufferable screaming kids in malls, being her own version of noise control in West Auckland and ‘Marmageddon’.
With Carlson you get the sense that her on-stage persona and her real personality are the same. It feels like she’s chatting to a roomful of mates. She is enthusiastic and vivacious, yet unassuming and incredibly funny.
The hour soon flew by and I didn’t want it to end, though I suspect my exhausted stomach muscles were relieved…