DeAnne Smith - Get Into It

India Essuah • Gather and Hunt

Smith was refreshingly open, impressively self aware and just really damn clever ... Picking favourites this festival is a hard task but I definitely think you should catch DeAnne Smith before she jets off to charm her next round of audiences. 

Within the first five minutes of DeAnne Smith’s first Auckland show one audience member was in a fit of knee-slapping laughter while another had already let out a snort. Smith was the one to point these two out and she was stoked by their reactions; she was constantly canvassing the crowd, trying to figure out what we wanted from her. She was transparent about the fact that her first priority was not only making sure the audience cared about her, but to convey how much she cared about us too… Even if she had to break up with us at the end of the night.

Smith was full of infectious energy and her genuine charm had the audience offering up answers to every question she threw at us, however personal. Some of her funniest moments came from this audience interaction and Smith was on a first name basis with a few people by the end of the show. Don’t let this deter you from heading for the front row though, Smith clearly wasn’t out to make fun of anyone and would steer in the complete opposite direction if she ever came close. 

This also served to show her dexterity – there were moments Smith could have settled for the easy laugh but she never did. Whenever it seemed she was heading for an obvious punch line she took things to the next level or turned the subject completely on its head. Or, she just laughed at herself and her penchant for poop jokes (there were a couple). Smith was refreshingly open, impressively self aware and just really damn clever. 

There were incredibly personal, philosophical, political moments galore but Smith masterfully kept the atmosphere light as air. If a joke landed softly she’d be the first to acknowledge it and within seconds she’d have played it off and taken it somewhere hilarious. She was as quick as anything, but it didn’t feel like work to keep up – her effortlessness kept the show super breezy, no doubt thanks to hours of work behind the scenes. 

Smith also had a knack for turning the simplest situation into a platform for a rapid line of anxious existential questioning. One brilliant anecdote was simply based on a waiter giving her a glass of water while the action went on inside her racing mind. Towards the end of her hour-long set she brought out her famed ukulele, playing us a series of delightfully dark tunes about diversity, death and almost everything in between. 

Picking favourites this festival is a hard task but I definitely think you should catch DeAnne Smith before she jets off to charm her next round of audiences. 

Eat & Drink at Citizen Q

Visit Q

So you’re coming to Q. You’ve even picked a show and bought your tickets. You’ll need to know how to get here. But that’s just the beginning. Arrive early and head to the cafe, you can have dinner or just a snack. You’re only missing one thing - a drink. It’s lucky we’ve got a great bar then... more

Support Us

Whether you’re an individual who loves the theatre, or a company who’s looking to forge a new creative partnership, we’d love to hear from you.

More about Supporting Q