Hot Pink Bits

Harbour Light Theatre, Lyttleton, Christchurch

05/06/2007 - 09/06/2007

The Classic Studio, 321 Queen St, Auckland

14/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

BATS Theatre, Wellington

01/12/2009 - 12/12/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Written & performed by Penny Ashton


Whatever happened to Divine Brown?  Can a phone sex operator get RSI? Do people really have sex through a pizza?  Frustrated you can’t look any of this up on your work computer?  Then Hot Pink Bits is the show for you.

That’s right everyone’s favourite dirty girl Penny Ashton is back, and at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival 2007, she’s naughtier than ever.   For her brand spanking new show Penny has trawled the ins and… outs of the international sex industry and will tell you all about the lives of the she’s, he’s, and she-males that make a living in the world’s oldest profession.

Resplendent in a hot pink corset and strung up in fishnets, Ashton will sing, dance and pontificate on porn, prostitutes and Lockwood Smith in a burlesque-esque romp through the kickers of the global sex trade.  There’ll be a group orgasm, a guest porn-star and a very sexy stripper.  Songs will be reinvented, fetishes will be indulged and Nana will need a lie down.  But of course it will all be done…in the best POSSIBLE taste.

Penny Ashton is New Zealand’s own global comedienne who has been making a splash on the world stage since 2002. She has two Billy T Award nominations, five Best Female Comedienne nominations and one Adelaide Fringe People’s Choice nomination.

One day she hopes to win something.

“…can’t fail on a stage in the English speaking world.” «««« 2004
“…a potty mouthed Pam Ayres.” ««««  Metro Edinburgh 2005
“She was funny, charmingly friendly and warm……Pure class.”  Nelson Mail – September 2006

Ashton has performed all over New Zealand and in Canada, USA, Singapore, London, Australia, Germany and Scotland. In 2006, Penny represented New Zealand in The World Cup of Theatresports in Germany and Australasia in a Performance Poetry Slam Tournament Tour of the UK.  She is a regular on National Radio, Breakfast TV and at the bar.  She drinks sav blanc.

NZ International Comedy Festival

Dates:  Mon 14 – Sat 19 May, 9.45pm
Venue:  The Classic Studio, Level One, 321 Queen St, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $18.50 Conc. $16 Groups 10+ $16
Bookings:  Ticketek on 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

NZ International Comedy Festival

Dates:  Tue 5 – Sat 9 June, 8pm
Venue:  The Harbour Light Theatre, London St, Lyttleton, Christchurch
Tickets:  Adults $18.50 Conc. $16 Groups 10+ $16
Bookings:  The Harbour Light 03 328 8615
Show Duration:  1 hour

NZ International Comedy Festival

Dates:  Tue 1 – Sat 12 December, 9.30pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, Wellington
Tickets:  Adults $20 Conc. $14 Groups 8+ $18
Bookings:  or (04) 802 4175
Show duration:  1 hour

Theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

No place for inhibitions

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 05th Dec 2009

First seen during the Fringe Festival of 2007, Penny Ashton’s one women show Hot Pink Bit’s has since toured the globe to numerous other Festivals. In the process the contents have been fleshed out, up dated and become what seems even more outrageous and extreme. 

A story teller more than a comedienne, Ashton is a consummate performing full of confidence, even more so now in that she continually works and involves the audience, similar in many ways to a game show host with X-rated audience participation. 

The theme of her show is, of course, sex in all its various guises. Ashton makes no apologies for being up front and out there with what she presents, most of it extreme and bizarre. Those intending to see this show should to be prepared to leave their inhibitions at the theatre door. Although all in good fun audience members ideas about numerous sexual habits and mores certainly get challenged.

Her research is extensive and, in a perverse kind of way, interestingly informative – income from the sex industry totals more than NZ’s GDP, for example. Her slick and polished style is totally engaging as every topic imaginable – and some unimaginable – are covered: prostitution, pornography, bondage, discipline, fetishes and a whole host more. 

On a set that looks remarkably like a Victorian brothel and dressed in a skirt and up-lifting corset in keeping with a high class hooker of this period Ashton also belts out – the use of the microphone is probably not needed so strong is her voice – songs between the various sections that have been re-written with lyrics to fit the theme of the show. 

Audience members get to join her on stage in some good natured bawdy numbers, receiving appropriate prizes for their efforts.

It is to Ashton’s credit that from the moment she appears on stage she is able to work her audience into making them relaxed and comfortable about topics normally never talked about beyond the bedroom door making this fun filled hour long show a great piece of entertaining theatre.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Enlightening, enlivening, amusing

Review by John Smythe 03rd Dec 2009

Penny Ashton’s Hot Pink Bits is (are?) titillatingly informative and entertaining. Combining motor mouth delivery and exquisite timing with a surprisingly comfy intimacy she delivers on her promises of info on "the ins and out of the global sex trade" (a plethora of wiki-wacky facts and figures), "x-rated audience participation", "hot tips" and a communal ‘orgasm’.

It’s all very well structured and paced. And even though it’s been in her repertoire for three years or so (it played Bats in Fringe 07), Ashton keeps it up to the minute with topical gags and current stats.

Ashton also sings splendidly (in the obligatory American accent, of course) ‘Dirty Deeds Done Cheap’ (AC/DC), ‘What You Say I’ll Do’ (Violet Town Live), a parody of ‘My Favourite Things’ (sung from a jeans fly by a cock-sock puppet), ‘It’s Raining [on] Men’ (The Weather Girls) and a song that counterpoints the "bang" with a plea to "talk to me".

All but the songs is done without the mic, which is good for Bats, although she does have a habit of whispering the final word in a sentence which can subvert a punchline. Topics like the history and ubiquity of porn, B & D and fetishes, are also counterpointed with recordings of phone sex (Dai Henwood obliges as the panting/pantless client) and a quick-fire quiz with gaily-tossed prophylactic prizes.

Ashton handles the audience participation like a pro, picking guys (both times it’s guys) with unerring accuracy the night I saw it. Yet the prizes are pitched at the ladies – or at making the guy popular with his lady, perhaps – which is a nice touch.

If you don’t get to go down she may come on to you but there’s nothing to fear, and one way or another everyone gets to participate without being embarrassed. We leave enlightened, enlivened and highly amused. Not a dry seat in the house.

Warmly recommended.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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As intriguing as it is funny

Review by Sian Robertson 15th May 2007

Madame Penny welcomes her darling audience into her bawdy, velvety playground to sample delightful vaudevillian songs and fascinating sex facts. It’s a history of the sex industry, embellished with theatrical interludes, obscure facts and figures, and audience participation including a pop quiz and a scripted performance from a well known adult film – but don’t be afraid, Mistress Hot Pink will never put you on the spot (unless you want her to).

Tackling the entire history of the global sex trade – from the occupational hazards of phone sex to famous porn stars through the ages; from the habits of 5th century empresses to a bit of local history – is such a lot to cram into an hour of comedy she sometimes seems a bit rushed. However, her obvious appetite for the subject matter with all it’s thrills and spills, delights and indignities, makes for a sumptuous and carefully selected buffet of juicy material.

This is not just stand-up comedy: Ashton’s show is a finely crafted piece of comedic theatre, visually tasty, as intriguing as it is funny, taking us on a unreserved inspection of the evolution of prostitution, the advent of the adult film, the takeover of video and then the internet, etc. Encased in a fabulous pink corset her remarkable lungs hit us with a raunchy, resonant voice and several naughty versions of a few popular songs, such as ‘A Few of My Favourite Things’… 

It’s just really refreshing to see someone having such a ball broaching every imaginable angle of sex-for-sale without a hint of shyness, or resorting crass gags. Obviously the audience weren’t that squeamish or they wouldn’t have come to an act called Hot Pink Bits, but anyone that was a bit timid at first was put at ease by the end of the show by Ashton’s warm, enveloping, gutsy and fun manner.

Despite touching on some of the political aspects of the sex trade, including pointing out a few absurd laws and the obvious gender issues, it’s never an excuse for a rant. Our mischievous Madame keeps the tone light, celebratory, and witty, delving into the odder side of our preferences and tendencies with a playful and well-researched abandon.

If you’re at all interested in openly and humorously exploring the subject of sex (and let’s face it, who isn’t a little bit curious about other people’s pink bits and what they do with them?) you’ll love this show.

My only complaint: the seats in the Classic Studio are a pain in the buttocks so you might want to take a cushion (unless of course, you like a bit of pain with your pleasure).  I couldn’t help wondering if anyone noticed the Hot Pink Bits audience limping out gingerly, looking like they got a lot more than their money’s worth!? 


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