Femme Natale - The Queen Years

BATS Theatre, The Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

28/05/2024 - 01/06/2024

Production Details

Writers: Fingal Pollock, April Phillips, Jeremy Nelson and Tracey Savage
Director: Fingal Pollock

Femme Natale Theatre

‘The Queen Years’ is a brand-new Femme Natale show with brand new sketches. This time, it’s about those extraordinary years in a parent’s life when we must re-emerge from the baby hole and find ourselves again as individuals.

The oxytocin is gone and yet we have changed… there are a million balls to keep in the air and none of them are for us. Despite the famous final line of every single fairy tale… what does happen after, ‘Happily Ever After’?

Now, fresh from 5-star rave reviews at the Edinburgh festival, Femme Natale has re-grouped to bring these brand-new sketches to life. Sketches that cover everything from sex drives, to Karens, to internet dating to lice and everything in between… all the while making it cathartically funny to watch!

BATS (The Stage)
28th May – 1st June 2024
$20 – $30
Book at bats.co.nz https://bats.co.nz/whats-on/femme-natale/  

Cast: Fingal Pollock, April Phillips, Tracey Savage, Jeremy Nelson, Piers Gilbertson, Megan Connolly

Sound Design: Piers Gilbertson

Sketch , Theatre , Comedy ,

60 minutes

Fun and refreshing, lightly enticing us to think while letting us relax and enjoy

Review by Gin Mabey 29th May 2024

A funny thing happens to me. Whenever I have a breakup, I happen to have to go to the theatre that night. The first time, I had to go on stage and perform a tragic Welsh play about perished children. This time, I am going to a comedy sketch show. Mascara tears and wobbly lip, I set forth! And I’m grateful. Sitting in a theatre surrounded by laughter and watching women having fun exploring the reality of being us, is healing.

We walk into Bats theatre to be greeted by a giant and grumpy sanitary pad begrudgingly welcoming us in with sarcastic, pissed-off smiles (I feel ya). I like this touch, it’s interactive but not anxiety-inducing.

The oversized costumes are a running theme in the show, including a vagina (labia?) and a giant vibrator. I liked this the first time, but I think the repetition of it takes away from the possibility of more poignant sketches. In saying that, April Phillips plays the giddy genitalia perfectly. I also love April’s song about the perils of Tinder swiping. Instead of more vibrator play, perhaps the hilarious and terrifying soccer moms from the start could have come back? I would have loved to see them again as I love the one-upping and jibing at each other via their kids.

The promotional materials describe this show as, “This time, it’s about those extraordinary years in a parent’s life when we must re-emerge from the baby hole and find ourselves again as individuals,” I feel as though the sketches touch on this theme, but I’d have loved them to delve deeper. However, I know that this is a sketch comedy show and not a drama, so I must adjust my expectations. I also acknowledge that my particular state might be influencing me to search for more meaning than is necessary in such as show.

However, when the show does touch on the nerve of these themes, it really draws me in and I want to get closer to the truth of this, and the truth is often hilarious. For example, the sketch with the flight attendant (played beautifully by Tracey Savage) expressing (in rhyme) the pressures she feels as a Mum, wife, friend, employee, etc. I’d have loved to see more of this, it is really moving without losing any comedy.

One of my favourite sketches is the grandma with a coat full of banned treats she uses to entice her grandchildren against their parent’s wishes. I like how this gently pokes fun at the sometimes over-the-top parenting we see these days (i.e. the often sanctimonious demonizing of sugar).

Overall, I think this is a fun and refreshing sketch comedy show that lightly entices us to think while letting us relax and enjoy.


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