The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, 100 Courtenay Place, Wellington

14/03/2018 - 16/03/2018

NZ Fringe Festival 2018 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Sex, Shame & Liberation  

Multi-award winning international cabaret star Amber Topaz takes you on an arousing, amusing, anecdotal romp through life, love and libido. Full of mind blowing, fascinating biological facts. Intertwined with mad musical numbers highlighting the absurdity of human behaviour under the influence of hormones.

An uplifting, thought provoking, journey through conception, chemistry and the quest for human connection. Inducing belly laughs and moist…..tear ducts.

“An explosion of charisma & stage presence unmatched between music & song, comedy & seduction” GQ Magazine. 

The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, 100 Courtney Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 March 2018
Concession $15 | Fringe Addict $13 | Full $18 

Theatre , Solo , Musical , Comedy ,

1 hr


Review by Margaret Austin 15th Mar 2018

“Let’s talk about sex,” is the opener from UK visitor Amber Topaz at the Scruffy Bunny. I groan inwardly. Such a line is bound to lead to crassness, bad jokes and uncalled for personal experiences.  

I’m in for a pleasant surprise. There’s none of the above. It probably helps that Topaz is mature enough to carry off what might be tricky territory for someone younger. 

The show is billed as music, cabaret and comedy. There’s also cleavage, which contrasts nicely with the spectacles Topaz dons to read to us the story of conception, a story that climaxes with giving birth, to the strains of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, aka ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

We’re meant to marvel at various sexual aspects of ourselves, though I prefer the menstrual tale to the erection one.

We’re read something else now: a dirty ditty penned in (gasp!) 1935. “Filth has been around for ever,” observes Topaz. As she requests a mobile phone from a male audience member, remarks that it’s rather large and [spoiler averted], I ask myself: So what’s filthy and what’s not?

It all depends who’s relating it and – as becomes clearer and clearer as the performance goes on – how confident the performer is; how at home with their own sexuality.

How at home are we with ours? Well, all members of her audience accept her invitation to stand and wiggle about in the interests of getting her message. For there is a message. In what amounts to a postscript to her performance, Topaz tells us of a childhood experience that now makes sense of the publicity and programme image of her with the word ‘Fragile’ marked across her abdomen. 

And the purpose of her show? She wants to liberate us as well. Her offer of a hug for each audience member is accepted as a token of that.  


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