Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin

08/03/2018 - 11/03/2018

Dunedin Fringe 2018

Production Details

HELLO EVERYONE ITS YOUR AUNTY HERE FAMILY BBQ WILL BE AT MINE THIS YEAR. BYO BOOZE AND DURRIES NO SCABS THIS YEAR THANK YOU. Johanna Cosgrove brings her award-winning and sell-out show to Dunedin for the family reunion you never knew you wanted or needed.

Dates/times Thurs 8 March, 8pm; Fri 9 March, 6.30pm; Sat 10 March, 6.30pm; Sun 11 March, 6.30pm.

Ticket price range Koha

Booking details

Theatre , Comedy ,

1 hour

Fantastic performer’s creation delights

Review by Alex Wilson 09th Mar 2018

Johanna Cosgrove plays AUNTY, all of our aunties, well specifically an “homage to the Aunties we love, and love to hate.” Aunty has invited us to her place for a family reunion, she’s made a pavlova and built a stage that contravenes numerous building regulations.

Despite the grand festivities Aunty never changes out of her dressing gown, but she keeps the party rocking by entertaining her whanau with story after story, only ever breaking for a wine or a durry. 

Cosgrove’s AUNTY is a beautiful character. She is a loving portrayal of a certain kind of New Zealand family member we all have, who despite their rough exterior, truly loves their family and would do anything to protect them. Cosgrove’s mannerisms and expressions are eerily perfect.

The house lights are up the entire time and Aunty expects us to help out with the party (usually refilling her glass with more cask wine) and the audience are happy to engage with her shenanigans. Aunty’s stories are compelling and hilarious whether they are about her attraction to a notable ex-member of parliament or the latest condition affecting her unseen husband Derek.

The show, however, does suffer from lacking a clear narrative. While the absence of Aunty’s daughter Shannon from the party hangs in the air, nothing really drives the story forward. The show seems to be always on the verge of a reveal or a change, however nothing really comes of it and so the show never becomes greater than the sum of its considerable parts.

The most considerable of those parts is Cosgrove. She is a fantastic performer and her creation a delight. Her stories have the audience in raptures. While the work may be classed as family satire of sorts, it has been constructed with nothing but love and that feeling underpins the whole show with infectious glee. The show boasts sell out seasons and won Best Comedy in the Auckland Fringe for a reason, so do make sure this Dunedin Fringe season you say hello to your Aunty.  

See previous seasons info and links to earlier reviews.


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