Jingle Bellethon Telethon — Basement Theatre

There's no better way to kick off the silliest season than laughing at a fake telethon as it falls to pieces.
Emma Clark-Dow
Published on November 12, 2023


Vying for the silliest event of the silly season is Basement Theatre's annual Christmas comedy show Jingle Bellethon Telethon which will be showing from Wednesday, November 29–Friday, December 22, with the talented Janaye Henry and Bea Gladding at helm.

Henry and Gladding have conceived the show in collaboration with co-writer Jamaine Ross, known on the comedy circuit as "the Māori guy with the beard and the hat". The Billy T Award-nominee is an expert at comedic social commentary and will bring his infamous storytelling skills to this Christmas comedy special.

Although younger millennials and Gen Z-ers may not be familiar with the concept of a traditional telethon whereby celebrities encourage people to call in to raise money for various charities, Jingle Bellethon Telethon isn't that. Henry, Gladding and Ross are giving the general idea of a telethon their own spin, promising an "unhinged" performance.

The audience will act as a live telethon audience and will be introduced to a rowdy crew of performers and locals who have been tasked with running the telethon. However, they come up against a number of telethon-adjacent issues throughout the night, with some situations carefully scripted and others made up on the spot. As you watch — and laugh — along, you'll see if the group's scrappy effort raises any money at all — or fails miserably.

Either way, strap in for a night of Kiwiana goodness, as the crew poke fun at our inherent Kiwi ingenuity: the idea that we can fix anything with some elbow grease and a bit of masking tape.


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