Repertory House, 167 Esk Street, Invercargill

29/04/2016 - 29/04/2016

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North Domain, Havelock North

04/10/2015 - 04/10/2015

Q Theatre, The Vault, Auckland

27/04/2013 - 04/05/2013

San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington

13/05/2013 - 18/05/2013

Playhouse Theatre, Dunedin

05/10/2016 - 08/10/2016

Bay of Islands Yacht Club, Waitangi, Bay of Islands

06/04/2017 - 06/04/2017

Nelson Musical Theatre, 95 Atawhai Dr, The Wood, Nelson

23/10/2015 - 23/10/2015

Dunedin Arts Festival 2016

UPSURGE Bay of Islands Festival 2017

Southland Festival of the Arts 2016

Nelson Arts Festival 2015

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


20 years ago Michele had one of those things. You know. A daughter. Last year, Holly moved out of home, got a job and went flatting.  

Since then it has become apparent to Michele that there are some gaps (ok, chasms) in Holly’s general knowledge. A few bits of stuff that she forgot to tell her along the way. All sorts of things really; from how to store ginger, how to thaw bread without electricity to explaining what feminism is. Whoops.

Without the child at home needing clean clothes, hot meals and a taxi service, Michele has had some time to think about these things. The result is this – some lessons for Holly, and Michele’s first solo show in seven years.

Michele A’Court, voted Female Comedian of the Decade 2010 by the NZ Comedy Guild, is a vital part of the New Zealand comedy scene. Her last show, “40 Odd Years”, saw her nominated for the prestigious Fred Award in 2006 but, with all her commitments, it has taken this long to produce the next show.

A regular on Radio New Zealand National’s The Panel and Nine-to-Noon, and TV3’s topical comedy show 7 Days, Michele’s opinions and humour are highly sought after. She also has a number of regular writing commitments including a weekly column in The Christchurch Pressand regular contributions to Next magazine. Michele remains a current and relevant commentator on the way we are and just how funny the whole situation is. 

There is a wide appeal for this show. For people who have had children, those who might have children, and those who have been children, it is a must see show in this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival. Michele is such an endearing performer who draws the audience in and leaves them beaming. 

As part of the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival 


Date: Sat 27, Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May, 8.45 pm
Venue: Vault at Q, 305 Queen St
Bookings: 09 309 9771 www.qtheatre.co.nz 

Date: Mon 13 – Sat 18 May, 7 pm
Venue: San Francisco Bath House, 171 Cuba St
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK www.ticketek.co.nz 

Tickets: $22 – $25 (booking fees may apply)

For the sweetest deals and hottest comedy news throughout the Festival head to www.comedyfestival.co.nz  

Nelson Musical Theatre
Fri 23 Oct, 8pm
60 mins, no interval

The Famous Spiegeltent, Havelock North 
Wed 4 November, 7pm

Repertory House, Invercargill 
29 April 2016
R18 content

Arts Festival Dunedin 2016

“Michele A’Court is inspiring and, most importantly, very funny”Christchurch Press

Playhouse Theatre
Wed 5 – Sat 8 Oct 7pm
Bar 6:30pm – Late  
General Admission
Adult $30 | Student $20 
 Buy Tickets 

Michele A’Court is inspiring and, most importantly, very funny. CHRISTCHURCH PRESS

Hilarious, informative, eye-opening. Everyone leaves the theatre with a smile! SOUTHLAND FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

UPSURGE Bay of Islands Festival 2017

Bay Of Islands Yacht Club, Waitangi
Thursday 6 April 2017, 8.00 pm
EARLY $30 – FULL $34
plus service fee

Theatre , Solo , Comedy ,

1 hr

Self-deprecating, honest, forth-right, confident, grounded and bloody funny

Review by Joanna Page 07th Apr 2017

What is it with yacht clubs? No matter which you walk into you’re guaranteed to find wood panelling, trophy cabinets, marine-inspired wall hangings, seascape oil paintings in heavy, dated frames, and a lovely club member working behind the well-priced bar. Waitangi’s is no different. Last night however it was brighter, livelier and more vibrant than ever thanks to the energy and brilliance of Michele A’Court.

I grew up with Michele. Well, I did in that she was on What Now when I got up early on Saturday mornings to watch it, and she fronted the much-talked-about-at-lunchtime sex-ed video (yes, video) we were shown at school in the ’90s. These days I read her columns and watch her on 7 Days. Seeing her live makes you realise that the telly isn’t big enough to communicate her humour and style.

For almost two hours A’Court has the full attention of a room of predominantly middle-aged ladies (myself included). There are a few brave blokes who, granted, are used as examples to prove her points, and a fresh-faced 18-year-old woman who is quickly singled out as the person who will most benefit from her sage advice.

That’s what the show is about: using the knowledge that comes with age to teach those without life experience how to cope. They’re important lessons: how to thaw bread without electricity, how to make sure your stockings don’t run, how to store ginger … And, most importantly, the meaning of feminism.

A’Court weaves stories from her own life throughout the show to make her points and get not just giggles, but clutch-your-sides-and-try-not-to-snort guffaws from the audience. She has mastered the art of ‘it’s-funny-because-it’s-true-but-I’ll-exaggerate-slightly-for-effect’ comedy, which in my book is the smartest comedy there is.

And she talks about her passion: feminism. The second half of the show is part lesson, part laughs and part reality check. It resonates with parents, with women and with anyone who knows women (if it doesn’t, there’s something wrong with you). It’s a history lesson with humour, and those who grew up with What Now and that sex-ed video need to be reminded that we shouldn’t take the freedoms we have for granted – nor should we stop asking for more. 

A’Court is self-deprecating, honest, forth-right, confident, grounded and bloody funny. I have the pleasure of sitting next to her Mum (who I’m pretty sure did tell A’Court all those things before she left home). She is so very proud of her daughter. And she should be. 


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Everyone leaves the theatre with a smile

Review by Kimberley Buchan 05th Oct 2016

Michele A’Court went into a bit of a panic when her daughter left home to start her own life on her own terms. All of the things that she meant to tell her daughter but had forgotten to mention in between “eat your broccoli” and “do your homework” went pouring through her head. A’Court has decided to rectify this situation by making sure that she fills in the blanks for her daughter and for the rest of the country as well. The result of this motherly stress out is a two hour comedy show entitled Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter. So I’ve decided to take my mum. 

A’Court gives advice, both practical and philosophical. If you would like to know how to store ginger or stop your tights from snagging, you will leave the theatre satisfied that you have made your life more economically effective. If you would like to consider human equality and how incredibly far we have come in a really short time you will leave the theatre satisfied that you are alive in New Zealand in 2016.

That might sound a bit dry for a comedy show. I assure you it isn’t. True, there are moments where the audience get quiet and thoughtful and there is the elated “oooooooo” when everyone realises how much money they are going to save on tights now, but for the rest of the time they are rollicking with laughter. If you aren’t instantly hooked by the tights angle, then it is worth going to just for the glimpse of an early nineties sex education video.

A’Court knows how to captivate an audience and exactly how to time her anecdotes for maximum hilarity. She makes an instant connection with her audience from the first moment of her show, which is a slideshow of photos of her daughter. Every single person in the audience relates to these iconic Kiwi coming of age moments. She is a warm and inviting storyteller.

My mother says that it felt like we should have been on a couch in her living room sharing stories. It does inspire some deep and interesting conversation between us. Everyone leaves the theatre with a smile. It is the kind of show that afterwards you immediately message your friends saying “you have got to see this!”  


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Hilarious, informative, eye-opening

Review by Sarah McCarthy 30th Apr 2016

A packed house greets Michele A’Court at Invercargill’s Repertory Theatre for Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter. A one-woman stand-up show, it does the seemingly impossible, melding sweet memories, bawdy laughs and basic feminist theory.

A’Court has the audience in the palm of her hand from the get-go, which allows her to weave her way through the nearly jarring tonal shifts throughout her set without once losing traction.

It’s a performance that reminds us of the importance of stage presence and confidence; lessons that can only be learned though years of performance. A’Court’s persona is such that even when a punch line can be sensed miles away, the audience is on the journey with her nonetheless.

The woman is hilarious. It’s such a pleasure to be in an audience where people are actually howling with laughter – and so eager for the second act to begin that they stay, for the most part, in their seats during interval.

Now on the last leg of her Arts on Tour NZ season, there is a beautiful rhythm to her performance that keeps the connection with the audience alive, especially during a tough second act where the laughs aren’t as plentiful. A’Court plunges into the ‘herstory’ of the Feminist movement and manages to throw some serious shade at the patriarchy while remaining amusing. An informative and eye-opening reflection on women’s rights is an unexpected detour, yet one that shores up the way she talks about her daughter and her own experiences in other parts of her performance.

And it’s in that confidence again that her genius lies. She isn’t afraid to slow down her show and tonally change direction, because, as only a seasoned performer knows, her audience is with her all the way.

A genuinely wonderful night out with one of New Zealand’s best. 


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Stuff to tell our sons as well?

Review by Karen Beaumont 05th Nov 2015

Comedian, author and social commentator, Michele A’Court’s solo show, Stuff I forgot to tell my Daughter, is a laugh out loud, wipe away the tears look at mother and daughter relationships, feminism and life.

A’Court manages to balance that fine line between comic and serious, encouraging the men to laugh at themselves and leaving mothers with further explaining to do. The audience is responsive, calling out replies, applauding in agreement; they are comfortable in their vocalness.

The factual recount about the beginning of feminism provides short sharp reminders of what women have had to contend with, and an eye-opening take on the state of some countries in the world today. As a serious break from the comical banter this section has the potential to run dry but A’Court manages to read her audience well; she maintains a fast pace and her barbed stance on current politics and old breaks those tensions with wry charm.

The cyclic use of slides to mark the beginning and end of the show, from daughter to granddaughter, draws a range of comments and neatly takes us back to the start. The audience is left with the thought that it is not only what we tell our daughters but our sons that will make change for the feminists of the future.

As for ‘Molly’, tonight’s younger target, it may have felt a bit hard at times, and there may have been somethings she wasn’t ready to understand yet, but one day, when she has daughters of her own she may remember tonight and how to defrost bread without electricity.  


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Informative, spirited, lots of laughs

Review by Ro Cambridge 24th Oct 2015

Michele A’Court has a talent to amuse. This much is clear from her long career in the media and in comedy.  But who knew she also had a talent to instruct? The Nelson Arts Festival crowd who fill the quaint Nelson Musical Theatre to see her hour-long, one-woman show are happily amused and instructed in equal measure. 

Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter is framed as a light-hearted look at the life-skills you should pass on to your daughter before she leaves home. You learn for example what stops your tights snagging and what not to do if you’ve been chopping chillies.

However, the show actually turns out to be a lecture on feminism sandwiched between two slices of stand-up comedy. This makes the whole thing sound more seriously polemical than hilarious and it’s a risky gambit: feminists have a reputation for humourlessness. However A’Court leavens what could have been a leaden loaf by spicing it with a sharp wit and a shrewd though compassionate eye for human foibles.

A’Court turns the stereotype on its tired head to lead a responsive audience on a merry dance with acerbic asides about the Act Party and Paul Henry, wise cracks, ‘dick jokes’; through the first, second and third waves of feminism; into a spirited attack on the inequalities which women still face.  

Before A’Court appears on stage – glossy-haired in black tights, embroidered cardigan and a sparkly green skirt – we watch a slide-show of her daughter Molly’s life from chubby-faced baby to teenager trying out the props and costumes of womanhood, and the birth of her own daughter. The effect could have been cloying but it isn’t. The images are personal and yet Molly is also EveryDaughter and Michele is EveryMum.

The slide show continues as a prop throughout the show. Wielding the remote control like the entertaining high school teacher you never had, A’Court flicks through slides which highlight her topics – Sex, Body Image, Youth, Drugs and Alcohol – or illustrates her romp through feminism beginning with the bluestockings of the 18th century. 

Along the way we get to watch a film clip of a much younger, bob-haired A’Court in a teen sex education video, rolling a condom onto a very large wooden phallus with nary a flicker of post-modern irony.

A’Court than drags us laughing – via Emily Pankhurst, Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem – into the 21st century by pointing out how even now, women are paid 12% less than men in equivalent work. She’s also got some novel suggestions for righting this wrong very quickly. If you’re a woman and you work a 40 hour week she suggests that all you need to do is … [spoiler averted].

I only wish I’d seen the show before my daughter left home.  Then I would have had a convincing argument for the validity of my maternal advice and admonishment.  A’Court explains it this way: “I have been you, but you haven’t been me. Yet. Therefore, I know things you don’t know. This means you should listen to me.”  

Try this reasoning on your wilfully deaf teenage daughter. If it doesn’t work, take her along to Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter instead. Michele A’Court will convince her, and give you both a lot of laughs on the way.


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Hitting all the flavour notes from bright tangs to rich depths

Review by Maryanne Cathro 17th May 2013

Apparently it’s been seven years since Michele A’Court’s last solo show. Lucky for us, she is a regular on radio and TV, and I am always pleased to hear her on Jim Mora’s Afternoons or to see her break up the wall-to-wall boyfest of Seven Days.

The last time I saw her live was at the 2009 Comedy Christmas Gala, where she described the Opera House as like being inside a giant uterus. To this day I cannot go in there without laughing about it – it is so true! I know I am not alone in welcoming her back to the stage for a solo show in this year’s Festival. 

This is a great show and the high stage of the San Fransisco Bathhouse is a great venue for a diminutive performer with an AV accompaniment too. Acknowledging New Zealand Sign Language Week, sign interpreters are translating for a group from the deaf community, and there is fun interplay involved in some of the more interesting words and phrases involved in signing an R18 show.

I love how Michele’s comedy comes from both the head and the heart (after tonight I feel we can be on first name terms). As she takes us through the years of motherhood, and even further back, with some great stories of growing up, and some hilarious footage of a young Michele with bad hair, we get to laugh, and think, and laugh some more.

The audience obviously appreciates their humour served well-seasoned with intelligence, and this is truly in good taste. And with absolutely no aftertaste of earnestness either. We could lick the bowl afterwards and asked for seconds. 

If I were to describe Michele A’Court herself in terms of food, I would say she is like a freshly roasted and ground fair trade coffee, hitting all the flavour notes from bright tangs to rich depths; traced back to source and exactly what it says on the packet: a product you can trust and enjoy.


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An absolute classic from the ultimate theatrical trickster

Review by Lexie Matheson ONZM 29th Apr 2013

Last year, Michele’s daughter Holly got a job and went flatting for the first time. She was almost 20.

With no kid in the house for the first time since 1993, and with a bit of time on her hands, A’Court began reflecting on those things that she forgot to tell her daughter as she was growing up. The result is her first solo show in seven years – and we get to hear it first.

Michele A’Court is a household name in New Zealand and has been for well over the twenty years of Holly’s young life. Young adults will remember her as the brilliant young host who fronted What Now in the earlyish days sharing the limelight with those other stars of the small screen – and almost every other medium you can think of – Frank Flash (Alisdair Kincaid) and JS Danny Watson. Her solo career saw her named Female Comedian of the Decade by the New Zealand Comedy Guild and she’s been in our faces in one way or another for quite a bit longer than that.

This was my first show in the Q Theatre Vault, a rather outstanding, downstairs venue reminiscent of small, basement performance spaces the world over. The walls are covered with posters that give the place a lived in feeling – until you realise that they’re posters for Ben Hurley and Steve Wrigley, Steve Hughes, Dai Henwood, Urzila Carlson, Stand Up for Kids and The Boy With Tape On His Face and all are from this year’s festival. It doesn’t matter because, by the time we get to the five minute call and the venue is full, the heat in the place has become so oppressive that I feel we’re in for bikram comedy. Please don’t be daunted by this as there are great fans – on the walls as well as in the audience – and eventually they kick in and the show isn’t especially affected.

A’Court is hot, but I can assure you the heat of which I speak is not her fault.

I should, at this point, own up to the fact that I worked intermittently with Michele during the What Now days providing occasional sketches and songs for the show. I was a fan then, have remained so ever since and nothing in Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter gave me cause to change this stance because this show is simply fabulous.

Being talented is one thing but it’s not much use unless there’s craft, experience and intelligence to back it up. Add supreme performer integrity and you have, well, you have Michele A’Court.

The show begins with a beautifully judged slide show – where would we be without Powerpoint – of Holly from day one to year twenty. It could be kitsch but it’s not. It’s tasteful, proud and work-a-day, like holiday snaps shown in anyone’s lounge and the whole thing is backed by the sounds of the late Mahinārangi Tocker singing ‘When I Grow Up’.

It’s a delightful pastiche of emerging maturity and introduces those of us who don’t know Holly to the subject matter of this hour long show, the silent voice, and it’s pretty obvious early on that she’s there, in the house. I wonder, momentarily, what that must be like for her – and for her mother – decide it must be really special, then forget about it.

This, I decide, is another show with life as its theme. A’Court begins by reminding us that parents need to know everything or they lose their authority. She’s already exerted hers and we listen obediently as she gives birth to the show reminding us that the creative process is like having a baby, both give you a sore vagina.

There are great gags, some intuitive, some spontaneous, most carefully contrived – and scripted – and everything is delivered as though this supreme artist has been making it all up. It’s hard to tell which is which, such is her craft, and I feel, in retrospect, that I’ve been having an intimate personal chat over a nice green tea.

She talks about marriage equality and being a lesbian and I feel on safe ground with this. Then it’s how to defrost bread without electricity and I’m all at sea again – hysterical with laughter but at sea none the less as I don’t cook and both bread and electricity are profound mysteries to me, clandestine information that I know I will never understand.

A’Court is a genius at creating the seesaw that bounces us from laugh to laugh and is so in tune with her audience that it’s as though she knows each of us personally and is reaching out to touch us.

Then it’s on to ginger, a personalized response to middle age and a poignant moment around her Gran’s compact – I become increasingly aware that the audience is largely women and that the show isn’t all laughs – but then it’s on to body image and what all boys do with their penises and all without any semblance of a pause. The house erupts with eloquent laughter. I do too, but from a slightly different perspective. 

Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore visit, then it’s on to the audio visuals – a video about sexual safety and contraception fronted by a younger but no less beautiful A’Court and made in 1990. Unlike Holly who apparently hated it, I love her hair.

Then it’s feminism. Now, I’ve been invited by Auckland Council to be on a panel discussing what feminism means to me and to share this occasion with some amazing women including the brilliant Marama Davidson whom I adore, so I am pretty keen to hear A’Court’s take on this critical topic both historically and from a contemporary perspective. So I should be, as it is incredible and deeply personal.

Cleverly placed to give our ribs a rest, the feminism set is a beautiful balance of laughter and information. I learn heaps, laugh a bunch and, somewhat surprised, shed a tear or two. 

Just when it seems time to wrap it all up we are treated to Lauren Porteous, singing live, Guy Clark’s ‘The Cape’ and suddenly we’re back, deep in the dream that this show truly is.

She’s the ultimate theatrical trickster, is A’Court, and she has an armoury of comedic tools at her disposal that is second to none. She uses them all and seemingly at will, and they transport her messages – and her experiences – deep into our collective psyche and I get that there is no single notion of womanhood, a third wave fact for which I will be eternally grateful.

There’s more – quite a bit – but I won’t spoil any of the wee treasures that populate the last few minutes of this theatrical gem by listing them here. Suffice to say, you should experience Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter for yourself and if you don’t make the effort you’re quite simply daft.

There are, happily, a couple of classic ‘What Now’ shots of Frank, Michele and JS Danny in the final sequence that are like misoyaki sauce to the memory and I’m really spiced up by the whole experience. If Michele A’Court told me to eat my broccoli I’d probably comply which would be no mean feat as it’s not my favourite veg. Confused? Don’t be. See the show and you’ll catch my drift.

She’s a very wise woman is Michele A’Court, and well worth listening to. She nails the laughs at an incredible rate but Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter is about much more than the laughs, it’s about life and living and in particular living as a woman in the 21st century. It’s an absolute classic and I feel privileged to have been present at its birth. You should attend as well. As often as you can because its damn good medicine – and we can never get enough of that.

– – – – –
Note: Early in the review I refer to JS Danny Watson. The JS is an abbreviation for Jun Shihan, a black belt rank in traditional karate. JS Danny holds a 6th dan, black belt rank in Seido Karate, a style I also train in but at a much more junior level. It’s protocol to refer to black belts by rank regardless of where and when they are referred to. I am simply complying with this tradition.


Tommy Kapai Wilson April 29th, 2013

Kia ora

I too have a few stories that my daughter Holly needs to hear, not that I have forgotten them but moreso I dont feel it appropriate to share them with the rest of Aotearoa. But then again the audience has always come first with Michele.

Pai marire


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