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Tim Batt: Vote Batt - review

May 5, 2016 Theatre

Tim Batt is running for political office — he doesn’t care what office — and he greets his audience in the guise of half-politician/half-comedian, dressed in a jacket and stripey tie over a t-shirt, red shorts, high-top sneakers and socks, shaking hands and posing for photographs.

Once onstage, the two-time Billy T nominee declares that ‘politicians make the stupid reality’, so he’s allegedly leaving the whole comedy thing behind and devoting himself to politics. Batt involves his audience in choosing his campaign slogan, and outlines his points-of-view through personal stories. The highlight of the evening was the tale of his and fellow Kiwi comedian Guy Montgomery’s trip to California to explain his drug policy.

Along the way, Batt tells us why he has named each of his legs, what human body part politicians most resemble (probably not what you think), and how his current favourite politician bears similarities with a TV programme from several years ago. And he explains why politicians will always refer to voters euphemistically.

Much of this is humorous and insightful but this meta approach to political campaigning — revealing the secrets of seduction while trying to exploit them — creates an uneasy hybrid between Politician Batt and Comedian Batt, and the evening never really takes off. If he had played either a committed politician in full bluster mode or the clever comedian lampooning it all, the laughs would probably have gained more traction. And while he name-checks a few Kiwi politicians, much of the focus is on the language and mannerisms of American-style politics, which suggests that he not only doesn’t care what office he’s running for, he doesn’t care where.

Vote Batt, until 10 May, Montecristo Downstairs, Book tickets.


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