Fresh faces confirmed for fest comedy line-up


Comedian James Nokise and journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan are joining this year’s Winter Festival comedy line-up.

Other top Kiwi names are also returning to Queenstown for the American Express Comedy Debate on June 20.

Moderator Jeremy Corbett will chair the shindig with comics Paul Ego and Donna Brookbanks, actor Oliver Driver and radio host Vaughan Smith completing the panel.

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Nokise is usually touring the United Kingdom at this time of year but has decided to stick around.

“I’m really excited I can finally come play at WinterFest.”

The Welsh/Samoan/New Zealander reckons Kiwis, particularly South Islanders, know how to have a good laugh - and not take things too seriously.

He gathers material on his travels and is often spotted chatting to locals over a coffee wherever he goes.

“I love doing social commentary. If you are going to do that you have to know what people are talking about.”

He likes the challenge of changing the set every time he’s in a new town. This is how to get the best reaction from audiences, he reckons.

Nokise cut his teeth working the comedy scene in London for five years. He thinks it’s similar to NZ and draws comparisons on British and Kiwi humour.

Comedy Night also returns to the festival this year with Brendhan Lovegrove, Jamie Bowen, Tevita Manukia, Urzila Carlson and Jeremy Corbett confirmed for June 23.

Tickets to the comedy gigs and other Winter Festival events go on sale next week with pre-sale tickets available early for American Express members.

Winter Festival kicks off on June 19.