When Flight of the Concords arrived on our radios and screens it was an absolute revelation. Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie produced an all singing, all dancing, Kiwi comedy masterclass. However, probably the crowning glory of that series was Rhys Darby as the hapless Murray. Darby teamed up with Clement’s again for the latter’s directorial feature debut What We Do in the Shadows. They re-unite once more for Short Poppies, co-directed with Michelle Walshe, a mockumentary about small town New Zealanders.
David Farrier (the man behind the brilliant Tickled) is a journalist on a mission. A mission to discover the real people of New Zealand. Armed with just his camera he heads to a small town and document the lives of a cross-section of the community. All played by Darby, we meet a lifeguard obsessed with winning the ‘Best Legs’ competition, a UFO fanatic, the town’s grande dame, an antagonistic park ranger, an amateur conservationist, a ‘blokey’ lawyer and an artistic car park attendant.
Short Poppies is a collection of fun bite-sized pieces. With guest appearances from the likes of Karl Urban, Bear Grylls and Sam Neill, it feels light-hearted and fresh throughout. Darby, who has been a stand-up comic for two decades, is undoubtedly the star of the show. Even when the lines are thin on the ground, he’s a masterful performer. Throwing himself wholeheartedly into each role. Short Poppies is a fun collection of Kiwi snippets which showcases Rhys Darby’s phenomenal comic talent.
Short Poppies is released on DVD by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment on Monday 29 May.