Theatre Royal, 78 Rutherford Street, Nelson

21/10/2023 - 21/10/2023

Nelson Arts Festival

Production Details

Writer/Creator/Performer - Hayley Sproull

Host of ZM Breakfast, The Great Kiwi Bake Off and Have You Been Paying Attention?, this award-winning comedian’s hour of music and comedy sold out at the 2023 NZ Comedy Festival – so be quick!

A dead kidney, a weak bladder, a full beard and a uterus shaped like the bunny from Donnie Darko – Hayley Sproull’s body is so contradictory it can handle cheap sav blanc but not a cube of pumpkin.

Well known to Kiwis for her unfiltered and unphased approach to comedy, she’s a rash over our screens and airwaves, and now she’s spreading to the stage with a fresh hour of musings and music! Award winning slasher (comedian/host/radio DJ/actress/musician/marching girl) Hayley Sproull dives into the wild world of her own body, exposing her most annoying but predominantly minor ailments.K

Date Sat 21 Oct | 8pm |
Pay What You Can (PWYC)
Buy Tickets
Content Warnings: Sexual references, Mental Health reference

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

60 minutes

Unfiltered and unphased: a brave performer and musician with a big voice and great comic timing

Review by Tami Mansfield 22nd Oct 2023

Ailments, performed last night, in the Nelson Arts Festival, is a comedy show by Hayley Sproull (Host of ZM Breakfast, The Great Kiwi Bake Off and Have You Been Paying Attention). Sproull plays for one hour to a sold-out crowd at the Theatre Royal with restrictions: Age 16+; Strong language; References to nudity; Haze.

The set is simple: a keyboard stands alone on stage as does a small bench (to hold all the medicine the Kiwi comedian will take in front of our eyes). Her original song, ‘Ailments’, begins the night. Hayley accompanies herself on keys and sings lyrics such as “gut health is a mess…” and “slightly long labia…” She thanks us for “coming to see a beautiful flawed body”, invites us to sing along if we know the lyrics … and acknowledges why that would be weird.

The 34 year old comedian jokes about all of her health problems including cysts on her ovaries (that there is no cure for) and having a uterus shaped like the bunny from a specific science fiction psychological thriller film. She also says she likely has ADHD and plays the harmonica and keys as she sings about It. Her ‘Anxiety’ song includes lyrics like “they don’t like you – they don’t value what you do…”

Hayley gets big laughs from the crowd on the topic of IBS and constipation involving a trip from Turkey to Tokyo where a hotel toilet experience leads to her never wanting to have kids.

Another highlight of the evening is that the performance is interpreted by Kelly and Paul from New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). The two signers are as hilarious in their body language and facial expressions as the comedian herself. Hayley works well with them, engaging them in the performance as a whole.

Hayley Sproull is a brave performer and musician with a big voice and great comic timing. Her somewhat unfiltered and unphased approach feels refreshing. It is lovely to hear her final song, in which apologises to her own body for how she treats it in the morning.


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