Fame or Die

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

19/09/2023 - 23/09/2023

Production Details

Director: Dylan Hutton
Composer: Phoebe Caldeiro
Writers: Megan Connolly, Nina Hogg and Dylan Hutton

Ginge & Minge

Sketch comedy has never looked this hot… or desperate.

Ginge & Minge (Nina Hogg & Megan Connolly) make one last ditch attempt to get famous before the gates of hell open up and swallow them whole.

But what the hell does the devil want? Sketch comedy…obviously.

Fame or Die has wild premises, big characters, musical numbers, gay stuff, and tries to answer the age old question: “do you ever want to take your brain out and drag it through grass?”

If you like Saturday Night Live, I Think You Should Leave, Kate McKinnon, or just funny stuff, you’ll love the hilarious smell of desperation wafting off Ginge & Minge.

Nina Hogg and Megan Connolly are comedians from Pōneke and have been performing together doing Improv and Sketch for three years . This is their debut sketch show as a duo.

They were recently nominated for Best Newcomer – Wellington at New Zealand International Comedy Festival for their improvised show Jez & Jace

Tapere Iti, Te Auaha
19-23 September 2023
$23.68 tickets starting point


Performers: Megan Connolly (Minge) and Nina Hogg (Ginge)
Devil & Jesus: Dylan Hutton

Fight choreographer: Nina Hogg
Dance choreographer: Megan Connolly
Lighting design: Patrick Barnes

Sketch , Theatre ,

1 hour 15mins

A winning charm in the way Ginge and Minge work with and off each other

Review by John Smythe 20th Sep 2023

I suspect Nina Hogg and Megan Connolly, who brand themselves as Ginge & Minge, grew up watching French & Saunders and The Catherine Tate Show. Connolly (Minge) certainly seems to channel Tate in their opening sketch, set at a bus stop.

“Do you ever want to …?” could become a signature starting point in future shows. I’m thinking Peter Cook and Dudley Moore here, with the “Worst job I ever had …” routines in their clandestine Derek & Clive Live iteration – and yes, I’m betraying my age with that. Mind you, Ginge & Minge admit to last century influences by referencing The Blue Man Group.

That said, they are firmly rooted in their own generation, as evidenced by the title of their latest show: Fame or Die. Their pact with the Devil – voiced from above (shouldn’t that be below?) by their director and stage manager Dylan Hutton – drives their increasingly desperate attempts to score the breakthrough, and brings a cohesive purpose to the disparate sketches born of the trio’s wonderfully fertile imaginations.

A couple of after-school child-pickup Mums compensate for the lack of Dads by pumping up their own testosterone. A promotion for ‘Theme Parke Existentialiste’ revels in Francophile tropes. ‘The Best Joke Ever’ treats us to a Chicken who thinks she’s a Pig. What seems to be an attempt to stage a TV trailer promoting something on Amazon Prime needs work.

A massive inflated ‘brick’ cellphone tells us Ginge’s gross Boris, a purveyor (perve vector?) of porn, is also last century (is the Devil into retro?). Boris is trying to understand the desire of Minge’s porn star Brandy to incorporate her true vocation of Magic in “very real closeup”. Her sweetly sung song reveals how she came to have those magic hands.

We – and the Devil – are offered: ‘Actors on Actors’ literally; ‘Two women in their late 60s try to outdo each other in a Johnsonville Mall’; a drumming event that challenges the aforementioned Blue Man Group; ‘Honouring the divine Feminine’ … Yet still the yearned-for fame eludes them.

An especially inspired longer-form sketch finds two women called Jo attempting to demonstrate the toxic behaviour of ‘Getting unwanted attention while sitting at a bus stop’ while being hugely attracted to each other. Also brilliantly bizarre is the interview with a star who has ‘had some work done’, featuring massive eyeballs.

The unexpected death of a mother, Darlene, and the unexpected expenses that follow, force her daughters to seek sponsorship and honour the deal with product placement during the funeral service. This adds to the sketches that “use comedy to shine a light on societal issues” – and does this make them famous?

You’ll have to see Fame or Die yourself to see where they end up, singing ‘You’ll Always be Famous to Me’.

While some parts don’t quite land yet, and it could all do with more polish, there is a winning charm in the way Nina (Ginge) Hogg and Megan (Minge) Connolly work with and off each other.  


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