Words Trevor Cameron

Wilson Dixon, New Zealand’s favourite country-singing cowboy philosopher gives a seriously polished performance at Auckland’s unique Loft at Q Theatre – under the guise of a low-key delivery and cleverly crafted songs that reward the attentive ear!

The Loft is an ideal space for Wilson Dixon to perform his magic, which he absolutely did, as he enthralled the late night audience on Friday night in one of the early performances of this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival.

He delivers his home-spun stories with an unruffled deadpan expression that has his audience quietly chuckling one second and then roaring with laughter a moment later. In doing so he makes his mark with perfectly judged patter and innocuous off-the-cuff comments and throw-away lines that are superbly crafted and delivered.

His characterisation of life ‘back home in Cripple Creek, Colorado’ is not only hilarious but provides a unique commentary and homespun wisdom with an astute eye on small-town ways that has meaning wherever you live.

Whether it is relating the decision of his ex-wife Maureen (there are more than a few Maureen’s in Cripple Creek) to move in next door with Dwayne, their neighbour, or how his parents gave the name Dennis to both his twin brothers (named after different family members named Dennis), he never fails to engage and amuse his audience.

Dixon knows how to play his audience and does so beautifully when he breaks into his country songs providing highly humorous gags and musings about life that provide a continuous string of ‘chuckle insights’ I personally, enjoyed his ramblings about the difference between country music and why jazz just doesn’t hack it.

Wilson Dixon has great appeal to all ages – as evidenced by his audience – who were clearly charmed by his affable manner and reflections.

A few comments from those seated in close proximity to us:

“Terrific. Loved it!”

“Certainly kept you entertained – couldn’t stop smiling”

And that sums up his approach to comedy. He’s a comic who delivers with careful listening – and rewards his audience with buckets’ full of smiles (and not necessarily gut-wrenching laughter all the time). He requires both attention and engagement – and truly delivers.

So if you are wondering about which shows are worthy of your hard earned dollars for this year’s Comedy Festival, make sure Wilson Dixon is high on the list. And if you are heading to Q Theatre, get there a little early to soak in the ambience of the place and share a good glass or two of pinot before the show.

What: What A Country

Who: Wilson Dixon

When: 27 April – 5 May

Where: The Loft at Q Theatre