Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster | Auckland Fringe 2018 (Week Two)

Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster is a tantalising title – and when you’re sifting through the Fringe programme and have sweet childhood memories of Sesame Street it’s tempting to pick a show that might offer some nostalgic indulgence. Alas, this show didn’t feature my beloved furry blue friend (aside from an introductory voice) but unquestionably focused on cookies – and that can never be a bad thing. The actual show itself wanders between a TV game show, a law revue (except it’s not a spoof) and stand-up comedy. Written by Will Moffatt (who also plays Chuck Wheaten) and the six-strong ensemble cast, it was a non-stop sugar-laden extravaganza where audiences determined the nefarious cookie thief that stole Simon Shrewsbury’s (Eli Matthewson) beloved Valentine cookie. The three suspects are broad stroke stereotypes which renders them unfortunately quite bland, particularly Kirsty Bruce’s French kitten and Sneha Shetty’s IT professional, but Kyle Sheilds had surprising moments of authenticity and truth (despite his blokey stereotype) and the drama unfolded at an engaging, if haphazard, pace. High levels of audience interaction, singing and lots of pointed fingers, and with different guests every night, the show was never the same. If you still walked out disappointed at the absence of your favourite telly character, at least, you know, there were cookies!