Now based in the UK, Rhys is one of New Zealand’s youngest professional comedian. At the 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, Rhys was written into NZ comedy history when he was awarded the coveted Billy T Award with his show RHYSPECT, making him the youngest ever recipient at only 19 years old. Rhys now sits amongst NZ greats and past winners Dai Henwood, Ben Hurley, Brendhan Lovegrove and Ewen Gilmour to name a few.
At the 2011 NZ International Comedy Festival, Rhys performed his 3rd solo show “RHYS MATHEWSON IS FUN” to much acclaim from the critics and his audience. Rhys also made his “Comedy Gala” debut in front of 2,000 people, as well as “First Laughs” the opening event of the Wellington Festival in front of 1500 audience. He also appeared in Festival events “Late Laughs” and “Stand Up For Kids”. He was also invited to perform in the Festival’s nationwide roadshow “The Comedy Convoy” – all this, making him one of the most in demand performers of the 2011 Festival.
Rhys’ energy and youthful take on complex issues has seen him recognized and now acknowledged as a comedic force among his local and international peers. Rhys was recently nominated for “Best Male Comedian” at the 2010 NZ Comedy Guild Awards, putting him on the same platform with our most established comedians. In 2010 Rhys was invited to host the Classic’s 13th Birthday party and was indoctrinated onto the Classic’s Wall of Fame.
Rhys was plucked out of obscurity in 2006 as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival’s Class Comedians programme. His talents were recognized by the industry and he soon began gigging professionally and returned to perform ensemble shows at the Festival while at still at school. Then in 2009 his first solo show “The Best $18 You’ll Ever Spend” won him the Festival’s “Best Newcomer” Award and the critic’s respect. In 2009 he fled to the Edinburgh Fringe to immerse himself in his craft and ended up performing as a guest in UK great Phil Nichol’s, show.
Rhys has also appeared in TV2’s 2009 “Christmas Gala”, and then in 2010 in TV3’s “AoteoroHA” series and ” 7 Days” and in C4’s Jono Project and WannaBEN. You can catch Rhys on TVNZ’s new youtube channel “Unstuck TV”, and on Sunday’s on Channel U. Rhys is also the new Co-Editor of Auckland University’s student magazine, Craccum.
Rhys’ charm, self deprecating humour, his wonderful story telling talents combined with his perfectly delivered on-liners and physical presence have now established him as a sought after comedian and writer in the entertainment industry.
“this ferociously talented young comic’s got them eating out of his hands”, tvnz.co.nz, 2011 NZ International Comedy Festival”
“…strong material, a winning charm and some vicious risque one liners – coupled with some very intelligent and genuinely funny stuff…” tvnz.co.nz, 2010 NZ International Comedy Festival.
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