“There are three career options if you live in New Zealand; rugby, farming or Lord of the Rings,” Rhys Darby faithfully informs us. Best known for his role as Murray Hewitt, the band manager of cult series Flight of the Conchords, Darby returns to the Fringe with This Way to Spaceship, an eclectic show which draws on Darby’s talents as a performer.
Darby instantly commanded the audience’s attention – not an easy task considering the size of the venue – and held the crowd captivated throughout his performance. Laughter filled the room as he entertained with tit-bits from his life so far, taking situations we’ve all been faced with, and catapulting them into something far more entertaining. And as for Darby’s dance moves, who knew the man had additional talents?
Despite a good set, and someone who is clearly a very natural comedian, the spaceship reference didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the show, and failed to add to what was already a good set. Somewhat random, the strength of the content alone could have carried itself, without the sporadic ‘trips into space’.
Darby has achieved what he set out to do – bury the ghost of Murray Hewitt, and stake claim to being a comedian in his own right. An entertaining show, Darby’s charisma alone is worth the price tag.