Eating the Dog

June 30th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Auckland Girl and I went to the première of Eating the Dog by Te Radar at last night.

It was a wonderful stroll through obscure tracts of New Zealand history, and we spent most of the evening giggling and laughing away. I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t enjoy it, and if you love learning about obscure history you’ll love it.

I’d never seen Te Radar perform before and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the show. His newspaper columns have never struck me as hugely funny, so I went along unsure about how I would enjoy the night.

Te Radar was excellent. Physically he looks like a ginga-lite version of Carrot Top (the las Vegas comedian). He was dressed to match, and kept the audience engaged through out. While he is a comedian, he wasn’t telling jokes. What he did is effectively take people through a powerpoint history of some amusing and obscure parts of NZ history, with great enthusiasm for the wonderful Kiwi attitude.

It was not comedy of the laugh so hard your ribs hurt type. But it was very funny – there is a wealth of material to laugh at.

I was genuinely fascinated by the history that has been lying around in our regional museums. The Taranaki highwayman of the 1890s was a most unlikely criminal. You can only applaud the former Cromwell Mayor who upon hearing of a vote of no confidence being passed in his absence identified the mover, locked the Council doors, whacked around the mover and then asked who the seconder was. As no one put their hand up, he declared it could not have been a valid motion.

The gold mining submarine was also fascinating, and I intend to view it the next time I am in Middlemarch.

The favourite part had to be the relatively well known Bob Semple tank built from corrugated iron. They reminded me of the 2004 Killdozer.

The play is on until the 10th of July. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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5 Responses to “Eating the Dog”

  1. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Radar has a boyish charm that appeals to many… non confrontational always pleasantly surprised and down to earth.

    Te Radar … Is that you or Rader being funny.. bit old school.

    I bet theres a good story behind the heading “Eating the Dog”.

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  2. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Should be popular with NZers of Korean heritage

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  3. pappito (34 comments) says:

    I loved this show in May at the Comedy Festival!

    Especially it is really fun to see for a foreigner as I am. Even this country’s history is just couple of decades, it is full with pioneers, heroes and heroic stupidity – mostly on a good purpose. The whole show is rather about effort and kindness (how about the ice cream with uranium taste? :) than the jokes.

    I’ve learnt a lot about this country and after the show I just love it more.

    The most important thing I’ve learnt – kiwis are able to laugh on themselves (not just on the ozzys) – big respect for it.

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  4. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    I agree pappito, a comedy show that is educational. I wonder if he has updated the show since May (actually it was May (??) 2009 when I saw it in Auckland). I loved the bit about Brunner tramping around the West Coast of the South Island.

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  5. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    I cast Radar in a radio campaign recently and thoroughly enjoyed working with him. A very pleasant guy, very diligent and also most forgiving when I kept calling him Rhys.

    “Well you look and sound similar,” said I.

    “Our bank accounts don’t,” he retorted.

    In answer to the obvious question, no, I gather his siblings are not all named after Maori navigational systems. (Te Sonar? Te GPS?)

    Must go to the show.

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