50 Minutes with Ivanja Dabrowska

Silo Theatre, Auckland

09/05/2007 - 12/05/2007

BATS Theatre, Wellington

22/05/2007 - 26/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Created by Ciara Mulholland

Presented by stroke29 and Andrew Kaye

Slick, sensual, rapid-fire comedy that you don’t want to miss 

Meet Ivanja Dabrowska – a Russian dominatrix with a soft touch and a dream of buying her own cruise ship takes to the stage in a solo show.  Her ratings on Russian cable are not getting her closer to her goal so she is bringing her spanking lifestyle show to the world!  Loosely based on Martha Stewart’s daytime fodder, Ivanja (played by Ciara Mulholland) will entertain with handy tips, special guests, fine singing and a live band.

Audiences may remember Ciara Mulholland from Once Were Warriors National Tour or from Hairy Mclary in Christchurch. She was also in Cherish which was in Otago Arts Festival, as Audrey in Downstage’s Little Shop of Horrors, award winning Sniper (2004 Chapman Tripp – Most Original Production) or Karaoke Poetry (2005 Best of the Fringe). She also did time with Alt-Country band Grand Prix and is a member of the Word Collective who bring you Howltearoa and Newtown Spoken Word and the Word Festival in Thistle Hall.  But more importantly Wellington audiences will have watched Ivanja develop over 2006 in Heavenly Burlesque I and II, Frolickhausen and World of Wearable Arts.

Ivanja is a great comic character that has developed out of guest appearances in several high profile gigs around the Wellington live performance scene over the last 12 months.  “As an actor she is a treat to perform because she takes over and i don’t have to do anything!” says Mulholland.  “She is witty, smug, on the pulse and very very funny and that recommendation comes from the woman who created her!”

You just might learn something useless that you didn’t already know! “I had dinner with Ivanja – she sure slapped the native out of me”   Borat

Dates:  Wed 9 – Sat 12 May, 9.45pm
Venue:  The Silo, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $30 Conc. $25 Groups 10+ $20
Bookings:  Ticketmaster 09 970 9700
Show Duration:  50 min

Dates:  Tue 22 – Sat 26 May, 9.30pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington City
Tickets:  Adults $18 Conc. $13 Groups 10+ $15
Bookings:  BATS 04 802 4175
Show Duration:  50 min   

Ciara Mulhollnd

James Coyle on keys and Tony Wyeth on drums

Theatre , Comedy ,

50 mins

Consummate performer

Review by John Smythe 23rd May 2007

This is Da Da with a difference: when Ivanja Dabrowska the dominatrix – and occasional diva – commands, say "Da, mistress, da."  She is both formidable and fulsome in a bursting from her bodice kind of way, and BATS is her dungeon.

This self-employed immigrant worker from Russia – created by Ciara Mulholland – also employs two surly musicians: a tongueless mute on keys (James Coyle) and a wife-seeing drummer (Tony Wyeth).

But this dominatrix is diversifying and this is a lifestyle show. Among other things we are learning to make "pink lemming-tongues". This demonstrator role may go some way to justifying the use of head-set microphone which is otherwise redundant in a small space like BATS. Although it does allow the bass to be turned up to deepen the sexiness of the voice. Unfortunately this also softens the consonants and – dare I say it? – attention must be paid to clearer articulation under such circumstances.

Audience participation includes whipping of cream and of bottoms. Amid the tea-trolley niceties there is brief mention of her past (more of this please), commentary on this land of ours (the Land of the Tight White Arse), insights into Ivanja’s day job, sharing of her dream of owning her own cruise ship …

And songs: ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’ and ‘I Hope I Never’ to name but two. Not only does she sing wonderfully, she is also accommodating herself to our native culture by incorporating Mâori actions, not to mention a touch – or rather a twirl – of poi. We are, I think, supposed to be honoured.

Muholland is a consummate performer bringing a strong character to the stage who fills her allotted 50 minutes splendidly.
For more production details, click on the title at the top of this review. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.  


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