Exes and Nos

Circus Bar 17b Allen Street, Wellington

16/02/2024 - 17/02/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

All work by Rachel Mercer

Get ready for a hilarious and heartwarming hour of autobiographical comedy, storytelling, and original ukulele melodies in “Exes and Nos.” Rachel takes you on a candid ride through 14 years of tumultuous romances, cringe-worthy encounters, personal anxieties, and that engagement she broke off. Unapologetically real, this performance is a genuine confession that delves into the vast spectrum of emotions tied to love, loss, and loneliness.

Rachel’s endearing vulnerability and good-natured humour invite you to join her on a journey as old as time, accompanied by her captivating vocals and sharp wit. Sharing the stage with her is an unengaged manikin (strictly platonic, of course), who undergoes transformative moments to bring to life the various characters that that inspired Rachel’s musical journey.

Each song in the show was born in a single inspired sitting, resulting in powerful and catchy tunes that vividly capture the essence of every sentiment explored. Unfazed and unfiltered, Rachel lays bare her insecurities and some skin during a brief side-story about her passion for feminism that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

Don’t miss “Exes and Nos” as Rachel wears her heart on her sleeve and makes you laugh, think, and maybe even shed a tear, all while sharing the story of love, life, and learning to laugh at it all.

FRIDAY 16 FEBRUARY 8:00 PM – Circus Bar
SATURDAY 17 FEBRUARY 8:00 PM – Circus Bar
SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 7:00 PM – Vogelmorn Bowling Club

General Admission $20.00
Concession $15.00
Fringe Addict 2024 $16.00
Ticket + 5 $25.00
Ticket + 10 $30.00

Book your tickets: https://www.fringe.co.nz/show/exes-and-nos

Rachel Mercer

Theatre , Comedy , Solo ,

1 hr

Warm, inviting and entertaining with an abundance of potential

Review by Shemaia Dixon 17th Feb 2024

As the audience enters Circus Bar to see Exes and Nos, we can see what is clearly a mannequin covered by a sheet. Canadian born Rachel Mercer removes the sheet and explains that the its name is Laurie, and he will represent each of the exes that she talks about throughout the show. Each Ex is represented by a new wig on Laurie as Mercer takes the audience through the story of their relationship before singing a self-composed ukulele song about it. These stories are intertwined with other stories from Mercer’s life.

Though the relationship stories are interesting, they all seem to follow a similar script and be relatively short. It might be beneficial to cut down the number of stories in order to provide the audience with more back story and enable them to become properly invested in each one.

Mercer can definitely sing beautifully; the songs are entertaining and provide a good divider between each story. However, she seems to struggle at times and I worry about her ability to maintain the vocal quality necessary for the songs throughout the show’s season.  

The highlight of the show is a story about Mercer getting into trouble with a police officer for advocating for the ‘free the nipple’ movement – which believes that woman’s nipples should not be treated sexually but receive the same treatment as men’s nipples. This story is both hilarious and empowering and brings a lively energy to the space. The accompanying song is extremely engaging.

The concept of Exes and Nos is brilliant and Rachel Mercer is a warm, inviting and entertaining presence. The addition of Laurie as a representative figure is hilarious and used beautifully. The show has an abundance of potential and there is no doubt that Rachel Mercer is a talented entertainer.


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