HELLO DARLINGS! with Pamela Hancock

BATS Theatre, The Random Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

11/05/2021 - 15/05/2021

IVY BAR, 49 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington

03/03/2020 - 06/03/2020

NZ International Comedy Festival 2021

Production Details

Our favourite aunty from Bulls Mrs Pamela Hancock presents her one woman show Hello Darlings! coming to Ivy Bar and Cabaret, a part of the Fringe Festival 2020.

When a cosy night was planned in front of the box and Trevor decides to spend his night at the pub, Pam wonders if she could do better.

Pamela Hancock is a local Wellington drag/cabaret act that has won the hearts of many. In no less than two years, Pamela has won 3 Wellington Alternative Performing Arts Awards, including “Best Performer – Cabaret” and “Best Drag Production – Hello Darlings!”

Pam is coming to the Fringe Festival with a show about a life so ordinary it’s extraordinary. Filled with tears, laughter and brutal honesty that celebrates our mothers, our grandmothers, sisters and aunties.

Hello Darlings! is being performed at
Ivy Bar and Cabaret in Wellington
3, 4 & 6 March 2020
at 9:00pm.
Tickets from $15-$18
Available from fringe.co.nz


“Be sure to catch rural New Zealand’s answer to Dame Edna in Hello Darlings!” Art Murmurs

BATS Random Stage
11 – 15 May 2021 
The Difference $40
Full Price $22
Group 6+ $20
Concession Price $18 

Theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

Infectious enjoyment with a tinge of pathos

Review by John Smythe 11th May 2021

No-one is telling us who the actor is who embodies Pamela Hancock – “without an ‘s’: just the one ‘cock’” – let alone who the busy lighting and sound designer-cum-operator is, but they work together as a well-oiled team to present a judiciously structured and astutely paced show.

The rotary-dial landline telephone and leather-clad “transvestite radio” – Pamela expels in delivering malapropisms – suggests we are back in the 1950s but in fact it’s Bulls. Pamela’s time-warped world has a mostly ABBA soundtrack to which she sings at the drop of many a cue. Princess Di’s wedding, Gloriavale (formed in 1969), The Spy who Loved Me (1977) as her choice of Bond film, The Love Boat (1980s) – all prompting her to sing live to recorded music – and Lotto (established 1987) suggest her life peaked when she married Trevor 40 years ago.

Only TV’s Got Talent franchise (conceived in 2005) and mention of her friend’s “ADHD” television set get her life across the millennial line. As for her baby-blue nylon nightie, quilted housecoat of red-roses on a navy blue background and purple sheep’s wool slippers, they are as timeless as the archetype she manifests with sprinkles of risqué double-entendre to match.  

Her opening screech of “Hello darlings!” sounds like fingernails scraping a blackboard, her Kiwi accent gives Lyn of Tawa a run for her money and she’s stuck at home while Trevor is having his flutter “at the horses”, yet Pamela draws us in with her mostly cheery chatter, and romanticised memories and flights of fancy. 

There could be more point to it all at a social commentary level, more poignant subtext to counterpoint the comedy. Revelations of her long-lost prowess at tennis, before she married, offer a tinge of pathos. But mainly this performer clearly enjoys performing their retro alter-ego and the enjoyment is infectious – not least for a whole generation who may be new to the genre. 


Make a comment

You can’t help but love Pam

Review by Emilie Hope 04th Mar 2020

Your favourite Bulls aunty is back! Pamela Hancock stars in her one woman show Hello Darlings! With Pamela Hancock at Ivy Bar.

A quiet night in front of the telly is planned for Pam, her beloved husband, Trevor, and her guests (the audience) but when Trevor decides to loiter at the pub longer than usual, Pam’s imagination starts to wonder. What would she have done if she wasn’t Trevor’s wife? What would she do if she won Lotto? Go on a cruise? Or what if she had followed the advice of her nun high school teachers and became a nun herself? Or if she had become a famous tennis star?

This one hour show is utterly charming. Pam enters with a joyous “Hello darlings!” as she strides onto the stage and her lounge. There’s a comfy armchair, a lamp, and a coffee table with a rotary phone, a teacup and a copy of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Woman of Substance. Along Ivy’s blue brick wall sits a lovely photo of Pam on her wedding day, the confetti unfortunately obscuring Trevor’s face, a transistor radio, and come rainbow bunting in the corner. Ivy Bar themselves got a bit decked out with heart shaped balloons tied to the lights over the bar and faux roses linking them all.

From her malapropisms (“I’ll have a nice confidential breakfast”) to her really quite spectacular singing voice which never loses her Bulls accent (“I love yew, I dew, I dew, I dew, I dew!”), Pam’s energy is sure to make you smile.

Pam really shines when she interacts with people, which I would love to see more of in her shows. After settling into her seat, she asks us if we found the place all right, in the only cul-de-sac in the district. There is an opportunity here to create more connections with the audience. Later as well, when she thinks she’s hearing music that is out of place, she says to herself “Am I hearing things?” An audience member says “No”, and she doesn’t really acknowledge this. In both of these instances we would have welcomed audience interaction.

And yet, after tossing her losing Lotto tickets in a confetti frenzy, she asks members of the audience to help her pick them up – now there’s an interaction. It’s sweet to see her treating the audience like a relation, a grandchild, a niece or nephew. This moment, however, seems to go against the show as Pam is a perfectly agile sixty-three year old – indeed in one song she runs around the Ivy bar. After asking us, she explains that she still has the jitters from losing Lotto, but it would be better to have this come first.

There is a moment of confusion and another moment that seems to go against the show. Pam requests a song from the radio station because it’s her and Trevor’s 40th wedding anniversary, yet the show was set up to just be another quiet night in. It doesn’t make sense for this to be a plot twist, as Pam’s love for Trevor would have ensured that she had prepared a special evening for him, and if she hasn’t then this should be explained.

The show also uses props – household items like a fly swatter and a seashell – yet when she goes to turn on the television, it is mimed. This takes me out of the world entirely as props are used for Pam to imagine them as something else. I hope these are minor opening night blips, but a little more attention to detail is required for the show to be absolutely seamless.

You can’t help but love Pam. She makes you laugh and warm inside, like the cosy blanket dress she wears. I have high hopes that with continued polishing of craft and audience interaction, Pamela Hancock can become New Zealand’s down-to-earth version of Dame Edna Everage. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council