Destiny's Cousin: The Reunion Spectacular

Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

07/05/2024 - 09/05/2024

NZ International Comedy Festival 2024

Production Details

Created by Cassandra Tse, Renée Iosefa, Catherine Gavigan-Binnie and Ellie Stewart
Directed by Karen Anslow

Destiny's Cousin

Beloved a cappella supergroup Destiny’s Cousin haven’t performed since a shock split in 2009. Now Catriona, Estella, Cassidy and Renata are putting the band back together.

The girls have been busy pursuing independent projects: Renata with her solo party hits (and party lifestyle); Catriona with her reality TV show and ill-fated attempt at a Hollywood career; Estella with her lavish life as the trophy wife of the UK’s third richest man; and Cassidy as the She-EO of femme-trepreneurial lifestyle brand Soop.

But the gals have fallen on hard times, and they’ve decided to reunite back where it all began: Wellington, New Zealand.

Destiny’s Cousin: The Reunion Spectacular is a one-act concert event devised and performed by Cassandra Tse, Ellie Stewart, Renée Iosefa and Catherine Gavigan-Binnie. Pushing both comedy and musicianship to the forefront of the experience, you’ll get to know the beloved personalities of New Zealand’s most successful a cappella pop group as they perform the 80s, 90s and 00s hits you may have first heard from the likes of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, the Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child – all of the hits, none of the instruments.

“The script is both cynical and hilarious, and the singers are stunningly talented – they hit such high notes!” – The Post

“… a fun and raucous night… The show works through its heartfelt homage and thorough parody of the stereotypical girl group – the wonderful musical performances are the cherry on top.” – Art Murmurs

Venue: Te Auaha – Tapere Nui
Dates: 7 – 9 May
Times: 8.15PM
Prices: $24 – $30
Booking link:

Cassandra Tse, Renée Iosefa, Catherine Gavigan-Binnie and Ellie Stewart

Director: Karen Anslow
Lighting and sound design: Michael Trigg
Photography and poster design: Aimée Sullivan

Comedy , Theatre , Musical ,

60 minutes

Something for everyone who’s ever sung along to bubblegum pop in their bedroom

Review by Emma Maguire 08th May 2024

Superstars Destiny’s Cousin are back for their Reunion Spectacular! After a dramatic breakup in 2009, the world’s best acapella group – and definitely the creators of some of the world’s most well-known pop songs – are back for a three night only run at Te Auaha this May.

Wait. To give you some context. It’s the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and Destiny’s Cousin is the brainchild of four fabulous Wellington Footlights performers: Catherine Gavigan-Binnie (playing Catriona Batronia), Cassandra Tse (playing Cassidy Soo), Ellie Stewart (playing Estella, Lady Barkham) and Renée Iosefa (playing Renata Richie) – who have about 100 years worth of incredible performing between them.

Playing on celebrity scandals, multi-level marketing schemes, housewives, sponsorships and girl group breakups, all through the lens of an acapella group, Destiny’s Cousin is a deeply funny and also very clever satirical show, perfectly punctuated by a series of stellar acapella numbers.

The Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ (arr. by Stewart) opens the show, with wanderings through Lady Gaga, TLC, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears and other artists across the show. A video about Catriona’s fall from grace as an actor is punctuated by a gorgeous rendition of Seal’s ‘Kiss from a Rose’ (arr. by Stefan Wyatt), Renata showcases her talents in Pussycat Dolls’ ‘Don’t Cha’ (arr. by Tse), a feisty chairlesque number, and all four performers come together to reconcile their differences in my favourite song of the show, a beautiful version of Billie Eilish’s ‘When the Party’s Over’ (arr. by Ed Blunden).

I’d like to especially note the choreography of this show (Mel Heaphy, adapted by director Karen Anslow for this season), which is fluid and very smart, especially since the team had to adapt a lot of the show for crutches after one of the cast suffered a knee break two weeks ago. I’ve never seen so many canons, but hey, it works, and it’s often hilarious along the way.

Outside of the wonderful performances by these musical talents, one thing that really impressed me was the worldbuilding. I love a bit of mixed media and this show combines video (by James Cain), photoshopped articles, photoshoots, a wide and interesting social media presence and a full MLM website (created by Tse’s character, Cassidy Soo), which adds to the overall real-life celebrity vibe of the show.

Destiny’s Cousin has something for everyone who’s ever sung along to bubblegum pop in their bedroom, and they’ve only got two nights left this NZICF. You should be there.


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