Maeve Higgins: Kitten Brides

BATS Theatre, Wellington

05/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

12/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Maeve Higgins is delighted to be a professional stand up comedian. This is her first trip to New Zealand so she has thought carefully about her show.  In the end, just the funnies stayed.  She will miss her pets and her friends in Dublin.  That ‘s a fair price to pay though because she loves traveling and performing at festivals.

"Charming and iconoclastic Irish stand-up" – The Age, Melbourne 2008

In keeping with her low key style, ‘Kitten Brides’ sees Maeve talking about a range of subjects in a non show-offy way.  The sort of things likely to come up include the feelings you get being on your own in new places, the sound of forced rhubarb, and taxidermy in Victorian times.

"Clever and humane comedy" – The Event Guide, Dublin

Through informal research, she has figured out who will get maximum enjoyment from her show.  If you enjoy cycling, confectionary and chat parties, you are one of those people.  Phew!

"Maeve Higgins is here to demonstrate how to do irish charm.  She’s not daft, she doesn’t lay it on with a trowel, dimpling and twinkling away, hers is probably the most natural and uncontrived performance you could wish for". – Chortle, 2007

Dates:  Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th May, 6.30pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington
Tickets:  Adults $18, Concessions $13, Groups of 6+ $15
Bookings:  BATS: 04 802 4175 /  

Dates:  Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th May, 8.30pm
Venue:  The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, City
Tickets:  Adults $22, Concessions $18, Groups of 10+ $18
Bookings:  TICKETEK: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 8425385)

Awkward moment when you’ve been truly outfoxed

Review by Joanna Hunkin 15th May 2009

If you were to choose just two words to describe Irish comedienne Maeve Higgins, you could find none better than these: deliciously awkward.

They’re not my words (my friend Dave deserves the credit for that) but they perfectly encapsulate the feeling, style and humour of Higgins. [More]
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Insidiously acerbic behind ‘bashful innocence’

Review by Nik Smythe 13th May 2009

There’s a rudimentary set on stage, not all that common for standup: small rug, table, model house, porcelain pussycat and a vase of flowers.  Enter the star …

Higgins has really put some effort into her solo comedy hour.  Her use of ingenious props and visual aids are not merely a crutch to compensate for any lack of material; rather it augments her insatiably mercurial wit just nicely.

Beginning by explaining what a punchline is for the uninitiated, Higgins has more than a few insidiously acerbic slights up her sleeve.  Yet her demeanour is by and large friendly, gentle and unassuming, and she’s brought pictures of her pussycat to show us. 

Girlish charm lends a deceptive sense of bashful innocence to Maeve’s character, when in reality she’s got us right where she wants throughout her delightful expositions on working in a hidden camera show, celebrity obsession (to the point of knowing Britney Spears better than she knows herself) and dubious dietary strategies.

Due to my maternal lineage, I’m personally chuffed when Maeve has a throwaway dig at Swiss people – the first I’ve ever heard, having long felt left out of being exploited in racial stereotype humour.  She cracks on a number of obligatory victims, but is hardest on herself, albeit indirectly much of the time.

The sweltering sauna that is a full Basement Theatre was slightly distracting, especially after Higgins points it out herself.  Her eyes – she apologises for their lack of symmetry (I found it hard to tell myself) – are forever rolling sideways, possibly distracted by her ‘inner critic’ which she claims berates and terrorises her in a voice like Shirley Valentine’s grumpy husband.

The fairly elaborate finale, relaying her favourite fantasies about what would happen if she unexpectedly met her ex-lover, runs welcomely overtime.
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Humour from the heart; funny to the bone

Review by Maryanne Cathro 05th May 2009

As we enter Bats, I’m struck by the wide age range of the audience and the number of Irish accents. The otherwise empty stage contains a table sporting a dolls’ house, a vase of silk flowers (with water in it) and a china Bambi figurine; a bentwood chair and a suitcase. Intriguing.

When Maeve Higgins appears, it takes me a minute to understand more than the odd word, but once I tune into her accent, I started laughing and don’t stop until the end. She looks lovely and takes great pains to describe her preparations with us, from the lipgloss (joke flavoured) to following her Gran’s advice to always wear a glittery brooch so that if the audience got bored they had something nice to look at.

So much information in a one hour show – and some very sound advice, such as the importance of only having good photos, just in case you get kidnapped and they put your photo on the news. The modern day equivalent of wearing clean underwear, perhaps? 

I always thought this kind of humour was more a female thing but the loudest laughing in the audience is definitely male. We all of us can relate to having a mum who brags about things that are not really that flash, the inscrutability of cats and the ridiculousness of taxidermy in natural museums.

There is so much I want to share but I don’t want to spoil it for you. This woman is funny to the bone – that famous Irish sense of the ridiculous comes through in the words, the intonation, the gestures and the timing. Her humour is from the heart and the whole audience leaves the show smiling and laughing and feeling that the world was a nice place after all.

Oh yes, and all the props turn out to have a purpose, except for Bambi.
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