Gig of the week – Jan Maree

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You’re more likely to see Jan Maree in a cotton pinny than a PVC jumpsuit these days – the motor-mouthed Kiwi comic has shifted focus from the bedroom to the kitchen.

Saturday sees the Whatawhata-based funny gal open a four-date Southern double-header with her “stand-up comedy hero”, 2008 NZ Comedy Guild Best Male Comedian Brendhan Lovegrove.

Shows at Revolver on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday make way for a Monday night slot at Cromwell’s Golden Gate Lodge.

As one-time columnist for NZX magazine and host of both the adult lifestyle expo Erotica and Alt TV’s late night show XXXing Uncensored, Jan Maree earned a reputation as a straight-talker on matters of sex.

But with those roles now behind her and a follow-up to her cooking-meets-comedy performance piece Eat Me in development, she’s keen to explore other options.

“The Erotica thing was mildly understood because I didn’t actually take my clothes off,” she explains. “No one would stick around anyway. They’d run off screaming.

“But I’ve decided to stop because there are other things taking up my time, and also because I wanted to pursue other things that might have been hindered by my choices.”

Alongside her regular gigs as comic and MC, Jan Maree runs a Waikato University continuing-education course on writing and performing stand-up comedy.

She plans to pen a column next year for online magazine Womenz, taking “a lighter look at daily life”.

But her first priority is to fine tune her routine for the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival – an event she had to skip this year due to the illness of her partner, Rick.

“That was the end of a lot of gigs, from March till July-August,” she says.

“So I pretty much disappeared off the radar and, of course, I felt it difficult to write comedy.

“The greatest sadness was that I wasn’t doing the festival, so with Rick looking forward to a clean bill of health my plan is to get into it next year and do the shows I didn’t get to do this year.”

Jan Maree and Brendhan Lovegrove perform at Revolver on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 8.30pm