This show is a mixed bag. As the title suggests, the reasoning for these two comics coming together is one’s discipline and control contrasting with the other’s lack thereof. While this works to a certain extent, Stellingwerf, a four-time New Zealand Comedy Guild Award Winner, is certainly a comic with strong jokes, but doesn’t seem particularly ‘ordered’. If there is an ‘order’ to be interpreted, it’s only in comparison with the bizarre second act.
I was left wondering when the show was going to end
Stellingwerf enters first, quick to warm up the audience and showing his ease and confidence by calling out a rude audience member with their feet on the stage. His crowd work is excellent and produces big laughs in the small room. His strongest material comes from his background as a criminologist, giving him a unique perspective on the dark subject matter of death row. His set builds in strength, with some hilarious material on homeopathy nearer the end. Unfortunately, it seems his time is over far too soon and he introduces his partner, the ‘tarpaulin comedian’, David Correos.
Compared to Stellingwerf’s assured presence on stage, Correos’ entrance is a bit of a departure. He throws out some lukewarm jokes, laughing hysterically at his own wit and seems thrown when he doesn’t receive the appropriate reaction. His energy is infectious but without much payoff. His impressions of emojis don’t get much of a reaction and his annoyance is clear. Strange physical comedy becomes more a shock tactic than a joke and at one point he eats an egg, shell and all, before yelling ‘WHY?!’ at the audience. Exactly – why? All these bizarre moments are interspersed with some decent observational comedy, which creates an odd rhythm but serves as some respite.
Alternative comics have been celebrating the joy of stupidity and silliness for years, and fantastically so. However, these comedians often have some reasoning and wit behind their material. Correos doesn’t even come across particularly likeable on stage. He ends with some relatively strong material about his circumcision and claims that however the audience feel about his set, we’ll remember him, which ultimately seems his reasoning for the entire show.
Chaos and Order doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. The theme is not brilliantly executed and despite Stellingwerf’s great opening set, I was left wondering when the show was going to end.