Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

19/02/2015 - 21/02/2015

Auckland Fringe 2015

Production Details

Rota fortunae as told by a cat. The 2002 and 2014 General Elections and an overall examination of the comfort found in circles.

The Basement
Thu 19 – Sat 21 February 2015
Tickets from: http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2015/feb/i-am-a-cat 

And additional information at www.josephharper.co.nz   

Theatre ,

Smart, vulnerable and satisfying

Review by Dione Joseph 20th Feb 2015

It’s late in the evening. To be exact ten past ten at night and after a long day sometimes it seems that what you want is a theatrical nightcap to stimulate a few laughs and soothe the days’ worries away with a rather comforting impersonation of a cat.

Joseph Harper is that cat. His rambling introduction about the theory of wheels and how we are all placed on one is fascinating. I unfortunately don’t catch the original philosopher’s name (and later, plugging in 200 B.C with ‘theory of wheels’ doesn’t quite seem to match up with what Harper was discussing) – but it’s a great start to the show and worth going just for that.

Plus his anecdotes about pimples on his bum are so painfully blunt that it’s hard not to empathise while laughing. But all this is just Harper getting warmed up (as are his attempts to draw a circle on an OHP, at which he fails dismally) but the show really starts when the lights dim and his white cat ears pop up. 

Without giving away the gist of the show (which may well be all mews depending on Harper’s mood) it is short, delightfully funny and makes more than a few political comments to intersperse with the tale of woe of this poor pussycat. 

Harper is unabashedly the most delightful nonchalant ‘stray’ to stride between the homes of David Cunliffe and Bill English – and he’s heavily pregnant. Well, Harper is a he but his feline alter ego is a she: a spayed she who nevertheless gives birth on stage (a great contraceptive for anyone thinking about having a child – or a cat for that matter). 

It’s not quite an hour but Harper keeps the energy going with his whimsical humour and his show is smart, vulnerable yet quite deeply satisfying. The ending does need a little work but it’s more to do with timing than content because if you didn’t have enough reasons already, Harper’s singing is definitely worth stepping out into the night for, to watch his late night show.


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