Twitter coinage "binch" began life as a humble cookie with a slither of milk chocolate adorning its bottom. Recently, it's grown in stature to become the not-so-subtle synonym for another b-word. Yes, that one. In line with such playful etymology, Chris Parker's new show Camp Binch, direct from its award-winning season at the NZ International Comedy Festival, promises "blokes, brews and banter." In case you're running for the exit at that lineup, these archetypes of Kiwi comedy translate in Parker's idiom as "gays, Fanta," and a deconstruction of Kiwi "masculinity." His is a piece about trying to be one of the boys, and realising instead the arbitrariness of the category itself. With its low entry age (R13), moreover, Camp Binch will likely spare us the type of humour that blunts so much stand-up comedy these days with its reliance on the now insolvent shocks of vulgarity, homophobia and sexism.
For those unfamiliar with Parker, he is a regular on Auckland's theatre and comedy circuits (think Snort), and counts TV3's Jono and Ben amongst his television credits. Likewise he is no stranger to the NZ International Comedy Festival. Back in 2015, his autobiographical No More Dancing in the Good Room won him the festival's Best Newcomer award. It offered a poignant and funny retelling of growing up gay in suburban Christchurch — an inexhaustibly comic and cathartic territory to which Camp Binch marks a returns.