Playhouse Theatre, Dunedin

20/03/2014 - 23/03/2014

Dunedin Fringe 2014

Production Details

“Today I had the day off, I had the runs and things like that. Don’t know if I’ll go to school tomorrow. Keep you posted. Love, Cherie.” Reading from her real life childhood diaries, Cherie Jacobson reveals the innermost thoughts of a precocious 12 year old who considered herself the next Katherine Mansfield and whose favourite t-shirt read: “I’m not grumpy, I’m just being myself.” 

Stemming from performances as part of the Best Comedy winning 2013 NZ Fringe show ‘Corner Diary’ at BATS Theatre, ‘Cherie Jacobson: The Diary of a Young Cynic’ offers audiences a chance to laugh at, and perhaps even recognise some of themselves in, a cynical pre-teen whose parents were separating and taking up way too much time on the phone.  

“So, Dad’s leaving. Why the hell? Why us? Why me? I’m so ANGRY! Jane and I got videos and a video player and we’re watching ‘That Thing You Do’. I’ll write soon, I’m now probably a statistic.” – Cherie Jacobson, 29th November 1998 

“Hilariously genuine.” – Theatreview, 23rd February 2013 

March 20, 21, 22, 23 
The Playhouse Theatre (Bar)
31 Albany St, Dunedin 9016  
8:00 pm  45 min 
Online Tickets: $10
Door Sales: $12 
Dash Tickets (0800 327 484) 

World Premier

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Theatre , Solo ,

The right mix of fond nostalgia and self-deprecation

Review by Brenda Harwood 21st Mar 2014

When I was 10 years old, one of the horses in the paddock next to my house stood on my foot and flattened my big toe. 

This painful episode, which stands out as a bad memory in an otherwise idyllic Kiwi childhood, sent me straight to my diary to record the gory details. A girl’s diary was often her best friend and non-judgemental confidant. 

I no longer have a record of my childish scribblings, but Cherie Jacobson does – and she makes good use of them in her show Cherie Jacobson: The Diary of a Young Cynic

Last night’s opening performance in the cosy bar at Dunedin’s Playhouse Theatre has the 20-strong audience chortling with delight, as Jacobson shares the unintentionally hilarious contents of two childhood diaries. 

The first, written when she was just eight years old, reveals secrets as diverse as Jacobson’s obsession with horses to the seminal, life-changing experience of seeing the film Little Women

The second diary, written when Jacobson was between 10 and 12 years old, delves deeper into her youthful psyche, through musings on the Columbine massacre, Anzac Day, Sir Edmund Hilary, and Katherine Mansfield – whom she strove to emulate. 

The appeal of Cherie Jacobson: The Diary of a Young Cynic is in its warm and humorous reflection on the archetypal New Zealand childhood, involving the occasional hiccup but mostly filled with simple pleasures.

In her delivery of the diaries’ contents, Jacobson achieves the right mix of fond nostalgia and self-deprecation, encouraging the audience to laugh along with her and at the childhood traits they recognise in themselves. 

The Playhouse Theatre’s pleasant bar area is the ideal setting for Jacobson’s relaxed and intimate show, despite the occasional burst of sound from another Dunedin Fringe Festival performance (Richard Hanna’s Melody Moore) in the theatre below. It’s nice to see Dunedin’s venues buzzing with artistic energy. 

Cherie Jacobson: The Diary of a Young Cynic continues at the Playhouse Theatre until Saturday, March 23, with each 45-minute performance starting at 8pm. Recommended.


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