Hamilton Gardens, English Flower Garden, Hamilton
19/02/2020 - 19/02/2020
Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2020
Michele is helping us make sense of it all, by realising it doesn’t make sense.
Plenty of things have happened since Michele A’Court’s Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter – personally, professionally, and bloody globally.
Now she’s returning to the Hamilton Gardens with another solo hit show, perfectly positioned to comment on and find humour in the changes having experienced them first hand.
A bestselling author of the book of the same name, and How We Met, Michele has been a fixture in the New Zealand comedy landscape for over two decades – because some things just don’t change.
Delivering her irreverent and insightful view on things through TV appearances, newspaper columns, and comedy shows from Kaitaia to Stewart Island, this show is the classic comedy antidote to all the nonsense.
English Flower Garden, Hamilton Gardens
Wednesday 19 Feb 2020
$30 General Admission
Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,
Wonky world can be bad, sad and funny yet Michele also finds optimism
Review by Cate Prestidge 20th Feb 2020
The start time of 6pm feels early for comedy but the pretty Hamilton Gardens setting of the English Flower Garden with the sun lowering gently behind the trees is a lovely spot after what we’ve all agreed was a “bloody hot day”.
After two decades in the comedy scene, Michele has a deft way of managing the audience, bringing us in for a collective moan about the heat and cheerily greeting latecomers arriving for the front row sponsors seats.
“Come on in, and where the f*@! were you? I was about to phone.”
And so the R16 show is underway.
Michele’s comedy speaks to things she knows, feels and observes, but also to things that are universal truths. She is happy with who she is but she’s not happy about some other stuff; racism, sexism, ironing or the f%$#@!* BMI.
Yes, there’s lots of sweary bits and she doesn’t shy away from packing a few political punches and challenging the audience. Some hit the mark better than others but she moves quickly between a wide ranging set of entertaining reckons on everything from menopause and middle-age, sex and optimism. Her piece on the gender pay gap and how it the inequity might be addressed leads to a lot of laughter, as do her suggestions for recycling, including handy tips for ex-husbands.
I am with my sister, who nearly wets her pants at some of the suggestions put forward for women to maintain interest in long-term monogamous relationships [spoiler alert]: “Try a limp, just lurch to the side a bit, unless you have a limp already of course, then maybe try leaning to the other side.” My sister’s an amputee, so of course we spent time afterwards working out her options. [ends]
A’Court is an engaging comedian who mixes self-critique and confidence in her performance. While the show focuses on a lot of issues that women in the audience relate to, there’s plenty for the chaps to chuckle along with – just try not to wear a terrible shirt. Her occasional singling out of people is gentle with threads connecting throughout the show and while there are a few shy moments in the audience response, she’s accomplished at reading the ‘room’ and adapting on the fly.
Some of the material featured in her 2019 tour On the Road with Jeremy Elwood but I find it accessible and fun to hear again, especially being with first-timers in the audience. I’d like to see where she takes and extends some of her new material in her next show. Yes the world is a bit wonky and that can be bad, sad and funny but her 2020 Vision has also been about optimism, and that’s where she leaves us.
As a gentle mist of rain drifts over, she asks, “You’re alright aren’t you?” And we are. All of us. Especially the menopausal women.
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