ZanziBar, 311 George Street, Dunedin

22/03/2019 - 30/03/2019

Dunedin Fringe 2019

Production Details


This quirky black comedy packs a punch as it explores the bonds of friendship and divorce in the stark florescent light of the girls lavvies. Pull up a pint and see where it all ends!

Originally a short play created by Ruth Carraway as part of the 2018 4×4 Studio for Emerging Writers through the Fortune Theatre. After an extremely well received first airing via the medium of a rehearsed reading, an extended version of ‘Lavvies’ just had to be written.

‘Lavvies’ is a light-hearted glimpse into an interaction between intoxicated women in the toilets of a typical nightclub where the emotional trust account of their friendship is tested. The work addresses such topics as infidelity, teen pregnancy, substance use, conflict and sisterhood. The all-female cast represents women at different stages of their lives with a broad range of life histories and experiences. It is hoped that the inclusive and identifiable content of the play encourages a diverse audience who may not usually be attracted to theatre.

‘Lavvies’ has an all female team with a vast wealth of experience within the acting industry.

Sara Georgie, award winning actor for Eloise in the Middle and has extensive professional theatre (Ladies Night, Avis, Eloise in the Middle) and TV (Wanted) experience.
Rosella Hart, with extensive professional theatre, TV, Film, Commercial and Radio experience both here and the UK.
Shannon Colbert has extensive professional theatre experience both here and the USA, and
Tara Leckie with professional acting experience in Dunedin and surrounding areas.

Director – Cindy Diver 
Cindy is a Dunedin based professional actor, director, writer, casting director and the owner-manger of Theatreworks Ltd. Over the past twenty five years she has worked full time in the theatre, television and film industry in a wide variety of roles including; production manager, casting director, playwright, stage manager, producer, actor, director, technician, and events manager.

Writer/Producer – Ruth Carraway 
Ruth is from the UK and has over 30 years experience in the profession, starting out as a child actor in the iconic children’s television series ‘Grange Hill’ as a main character for 4 years with other credits including The Bill, Prime Suspect and Dangerfield. Since coming to New Zealand Ruth has played a small part in the short film ‘Eyrie’ and works with prisoners using Forum Theatre Techniques to explore positive change. This is Ruth’s first play – whoop whoop!

Restrictions or Warnings: Swearing and drug references

ZanziBar, 311 George Street, Dunedin
FRI 22 – SUN 24 March 2019
THU 28 – SAT 30 March 2019
$12.00 – $18.00
*Fees may apply

Theatre ,

1 hr (not Mon-Wed)

Vanity antics fair game for comedy

Review by Barbara Frame 24th Mar 2019

Here’s a neat idea: if you were going to produce a play set in the vanity area outside ladies’ loos, you could do a lot worse than stage it in a small space outside ladies’ loos. This is what director Cindy Diver has done wtih Lavvies, and an area of about four square metres, just outside the real toilets at ZanziBar on George Street, is a great choice. There is just room for a dozen or so chairs, so the whole thing is suitably intimate.

The action takes place in the fictional Dazzlers, obviously a larger and less decorous establishment than ZanziBar. The vanity area is a private place to which the audience has access through a notional mirror in which the characters, in between ducking into the actual toilets, pile on makeup and do brief, desperate impersonations of confident, successful women. [More


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Laugh till you cry

Review by Kimberley Buchan 23rd Mar 2019

In the tiniest corner of the cosy ZanziBar a wee entertainment gem is happening this and next weekend for the Dunedin Fringe Festival. The name of this gem is Lavvies, written by Ruth Carraway courtesy of the 4×4 Studio for Emerging Writers run by the Fortune Theatre.

Director Cindy Diver has made an excellent choice of location for this performance. While I am glad that it is not truly site-based, in a grimy nightclub toilet, setting it in a bar does create the right atmosphere. As you wend your way through to the audience area, patrons are unwinding after a long week, catching up with chance-met friends and generally in the mood to have a great night.

When the cast join us in the bar they unwind a story which, if you haven’t been a participant in yourself, then you have definitely heard played out through the toilet door of the ladies. (And probably extended your stay in the cubicle so you don’t miss the good stuff).  

Sara Georgie and Rosella Hart are first on stage as Rachel and Angela. Angela is the quintessential best friend who gets you through the worst parts of your life. Rachel is suffering the life crisis of being abandoned by her cheating husband. It is her first night out after her life has been thrown into disarray. As is traditional, much alcohol is applied to the wound and in the process the audience are taken on a rollercoaster of drunken emotion. In essentially what is an extended conversation between the two best friends, everything comes out, including all suspicions and salacious details. 

As well as making an excellent choice of location, Cindy Diver has made an excellent choice in her actors. Sara Georgie, Rosella Hart, Shannon Colbert and Tara Leckie (who play the rest of the characters between them) are splendid. They work as a tight unit and the pace in this play never drops. Every single character is instantly recognisable and relatable to anyone who has ever ventured into a nightclub. As an added bonus, every single one of them is completely hilarious as well.

Georgie and Hart create a delicious friendship with surface level bitchiness build on a rock solid foundation of genuine affection. Indeed, all the relationships in this play are positive, even the ones where you would stereotypically not expect it, like in the contemptuous class divide of Tracy and Selina and in the battle between wronged wife and the other woman. Special mention must be made to Tara Leckie for the delightful moment where she is mooing in the face of her rival. That was the moment when the audience officially fell in love with her character after initially siding with Rachel.

There is no set or anything fancy like the usual theatre technologies. There is barely enough room for the four actors. However this is realistic as life changing dramas are regularly played out in the inadequately sized ladies toilets. The only thing that isn’t realistic is that the characters are fighting through a sea of other women for the privilege of using the toilet or the mirror. The lack of all this is barely noticed as the vibrant actors fill your vision and make the need for anything else redundant.

This is not the kind of play that will make your tired Friday night brain do hard things like think and critique society. It is instead perfect for grabbing your best girlfriends, having a drink at ZanziBar, laughing till you cry at Lavvies, texting your other friends afterwards that they have to go and see it and then going out dancing together and having similarly life affirming moments in the bathroom.

If you also happen to be friends with males and any other genders, don’t worry. Every single person in the audience was pissing themselves with laughter at some point.


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