(A Smidge of) Pidge

BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

28/08/2018 - 01/09/2018

Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

29/06/2017 - 01/07/2017

Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Wellington

12/08/2017 - 12/08/2017

Production Details

Come to The Meteor, contemplate the meaningless of life and have a laugh. Or a cry. At least we’re all in this together…

Sherilee Kahui (Wellington) stars in this one woman show about the existential dread we all feel from time to time. It asks the hard questions, such as: “Am I doing the right thing with my life?”, “Why do embarrassing things always happen to me?” and “Why does everyone hate pigeons?”

(A Smidge of) Pidge is a black comedy about identity and the anxiety that is inextricably tied to it.  It fuses clowning, song and dance to show the myriad ways in which we are all simultaneously the same and very different, using comedy to ultimately celebrate the absurdity of it all.

What people are saying about (A Smidge of) Pidge:
“Courageous performance”
“…you remind me of a kiwi version of Lena Dunham”

Hank of Thread has received critical and popular acclaim for their previous work, including winning “Best Direction” for Receiver at the 2016 Nelson Fringe Festival, winning 2015’s Two Day Plays competition at BATS Theatre Wellington, The Reviewers in 2014 (“A must-see for young or old mixed race city or rural dwellers or art lovers everywhere”. – Jo Randerson, www.barbarian.co.nz) and Kaitiaki in 2013 (“…a kind of innocent surrealism – a zany ‘why-not?’ whimsy that reminds me of the Mighty Boosh. – Hannah Smith, Theatreview).

“Pigeons are hated because they have gains [sic] too much confidence for their own good and flap in your face like they can. Plus they steal your food and who does that like for real?”

The Meteor, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton
Thursday 29th of June – Saturday 1 July

Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Cnr Colombo & Rintoul Sts  
Saturday 12th August 2017
KOHA – cash only  


Pidge, the giant pigeon, is taking to the stage at BATS.

Bringing back team members of the legendary BabyshadS from the late 2000’s, (A Smidge of) Pidge is a black comedy by Sherilee Kahui and Jimmy Sutcliffe and directed by Hannah Clarke (Puppet Fiction and NZ Fringe Director). After a solid run directed by Jane Yonge at the Melbourne and Nelson Fringe Festivals in 2017, the show has been reworked for its Wellington debut season.

About identity and the anxiety that is inextricably tied to it, (A Smidge of) Pidge fuses clowning, song and dance to show the myriad ways in which we are all simultaneously the same and very, very different – ultimately using comedy to celebrate the absurdity of it all.

Come have an absurd time with a giant pigeon that might just fly away with your heart, at BATS Theatre 8pm 27 August to 1 September 2018, book tickets direct from bats.co.nz 

“Loved it! Unexpected. Original. Intimate.” – Melbourne Fringe Audience member

“Excellent facials… the smell was terrible, but I expect that was the point” – Hamiltonian audience member

“The direction was tits” – Queenstown audience member

BATS Theatre, Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
28 August – 1 September 2018
Full price – $20
Concession – $15
Groups 6+ – $14
Book online at bats.co.nz or call (04) 802 4175 


PIGEON:  Sherilee Kahui

PRODUCER:  Sherilee Kahui
COSTUME:  Nicki Papworth
SOUND:  Daniel Fraser
PIANO:  Ian Fraser


PIGEON:  Sherilee Kahui

DIRECTOR:  Hannah Clarke
PRODUCERS:  Sherilee Kahui & Hannah Clarke
SOUND DESIGN:  Daniel Fraser
COSTUME:  Nicki Papworth
MASK:  Nell Williams
PIANO:  Ian Fraser
SOCIAL MEDIA:  Maddy Warren

Theatre , Solo ,

Bittersweet, joyous, humorous, generous

Review by Brett Adam 29th Aug 2018

Pigeons. You can’t escape them if you live or work in a city anywhere in the world. They are ubiquitous – strutting around the place, chests puffed out; playing Russian roulette with buses, cars and hipsters on Vespas; desperately trying to be the first to gobble up the dropped breadcrumbs, chips and cigarette butts of modern society.  

And there’s something sad about pigeons with their gnarled, deformed little club claws, their threadbare plumage, their gummy eyes, their tiny little inadequate beaks, their nervous avoidance of feet, dogs and loud noises.

Sad and ubiquitous yet almost totally forgotten or blanked by most of us as we rush about our vastly superior human lives. But not by Sherilee Kahui, the performer and co-writer (with Jimmy Sutcliffe) of (A Smidge of) Pidge. Kahui takes the pigeon and crafts an innovative solo show out of its foibles and inadequacies, creating an experience for the audience that is at once bittersweet and joyous. 

Kahui presents us with a number of small, beautifully shaped sections that speak to the shared minutiae of everyday urban life and the private existential angst that we all share. She flits confidently between a number of different solo performance forms – mime, clowning, stand up, storytelling, cabaret, interpretive dance – yet all the while maintains an engaging, cohesive evening.

She respects the audience, entertaining us but not dictating what we should be taking from the work. We are offered various skits, monologues and songs in such the same way that people throw breadcrumbs to the pigeons in the park.

An assured performer who plays with vulnerability and melancholy, as well as the grotesque and absurd, Kahui reflects back to us our own insecurities in a humorous and generous way. At times we watch her doing very little on the stage, yet we are drawn in by her confident, open persona. Her mundane struggles – as she attempts to move a microphone stand with little, thumbless pigeon wings, or as she tries to coax audience members to join her in a pigeon squawk – are our struggles. We recognise and share her pigeon’s world view. 

On opening night she seems to take a little while to fully relax into the piece and the first monologue seems a little forced and inauthentic compared with the rest of the show. However as the show progresses (and at one point with the help of some lubrication) she finds her stride and develops a strong relationship with the audience. Towards the end of piece she turns the microphone over to us and various audience members chirp, warble and caw their hearts out. 

The beautiful costume (Nicki Papworth) and under-utilised mask (Nell Williams) make clear the metaphor at the heart of the work. Having seen an earlier workshop showing of this piece I can say that director Hannah Clarke has done a great job of helping Kahui tighten and strengthen both the structure of the piece and the delivery. 

(A Smidge of Pidge) lets us know that whist we might all be sad little pigeons trying to eke out a meaningful existence in a crazy, uncaring world, we are also, each one of us, part of a greater flock. 


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Taking a peck at contemporary life

Review by Margaret Austin 13th Aug 2017

Opening last night at the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre, (A Smidge of) Pidge takes flight with the entrance of the eponymous bird of the title.

Is the clue as to how we are to interpret what follows given by the opening sequence? Our bird, in feathery attire, gobbles left over food from layers of wrapping paper, then vomits it up, and coos at the audience.

The pigeon – a nuisance? a scavenger? – able to give us a bird’s eye view of things? We get a hint of all three. Sherilee Kahui, our pigeon, light-heartedly laments aspects of our lives: five year plans, post-modern art, a party at Mishmosh. 

“Order your sad excuse for a life,” is this reviewer’s most memorable quote. Not being able to read the too faint printing on the torn off flipcharts is her main, most fixable complaint. Less easy is the script, which has a way to go. “We first need to crystalise the pigeon character,” says the programme note, which suggests this is a work in progress. Writers Sherilee Kahui and Jimmy Sutcliffe give us a character, but we need a more firmly established reason for her presence. 

The performance works best when music and voice-over enhance what’s happening onstage.

This appealing Pidge is taking her peck at contemporary life to the Melbourne Fringe.  


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Sharp, energetic performance plus fun facts

Review by Ross MacLeod 30th Jun 2017

So many elements of this show strike a Fringe chord with me: inventive use of space, skilled performance that is both focussed and casual, eclectic material and a fun atmosphere.  

A Smidge of Pidge works best when it’s revolving around its core theme: pigeons, prejudice against them and linking the city birds to various human behaviours. This is done in a variety of disconnected scenes. a style which has both strengths and weakness. 

Sherilee Kahui has a wonderful physicality, especially when embodying her pigeon personas, and has a clown-like knack with expressions and timing that allow her to hold the audience for long periods with little to no dialogue. She claims the awkwardness of things as her own and uses it to great effect, whether in moments of silent self-contemplation or in dance routines that are more charismatic and fun than they are precise. 

Some of the weakness’s arise in how the show gels together as a whole. There’s a scene about selling five-year-plans as a way to get people off your back, and a lovely scene with LED fairy lights with a twist. Both these scenes are fine on their own but don’t feel like they link into the rest of the material quite as well. Early on there are a few character scenes that I feel are going to be fleshed out but are never returned to, which I feel might have been more cohesive.

Some of these scenes also might be hit and miss depending on your sense of humour. I find a deconstruction of a stand-up comedy routine to be very clever but my fiancée isn’t as keen on it.

If you’re a fan of fringe festival theatre this is a fun way to spend an hour. Kahui is a sharp, energetic performer with fun physicality and expression. Not everything works together as well as it might but the individual pieces are quirky and entertaining. 

And there are some fun facts about pigeons too.


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