Local variety acts stand out

Dunedin magician Jonathan Usher (right) is presented with the Lou Clauson Top Variety Artist...
Dunedin magician Jonathan Usher (right) is presented with the Lou Clauson Top Variety Artist Award by Mick Peck at the recent Variety Artists Club of NZ Benny Awards in Auckland. PHOTOS: STEVE BONE
Dunedin entertainers stepped into the limelight to perform for their peers at the recent Variety Artists Club of NZ 2022 Benny Awards in Auckland — with one of them walking away with a top award.

Magician Jonathan Usher, singer Steve Larkins (Mercury Rising) and comedian Simon McKinney were excited to appear at the awards ceremony and made the most of their chance to showcase their talents alongside fellow New Zealand entertainers.

Dunedin performer Steve Larkins (Mercury Rising) performs his tribute act at the Benny Awards...
Dunedin performer Steve Larkins (Mercury Rising) performs his tribute act at the Benny Awards function earlier this month.
Usher was also thrilled to receive the Lou Clauson Top Variety Artist Award.

"I had volunteered to go to Auckland and perform at the awards, as I thought it would be fun to try and make people laugh and show them things amazing," he said.

"Receiving the Lou Clauson award while I was there was a real bonus — it was great to be acknowledged alongside so many fantastic performers."

Dunedin Comedian Simon McKinney performs at the Variety Artists Club’s Benny Awards function.
Dunedin Comedian Simon McKinney performs at the Variety Artists Club’s Benny Awards function.
After tough times for entertainers due to the pandemic, opportunities to perform at corporate events and conferences were now growing, as confidence increased, he said.

"June was good, and July is looking even better."

brenda.harwood@thestar.co.nz

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