Michele A'Court's 40 odd years

BATS Theatre, Wellington

30/05/2006 - 03/06/2006

ODDFELLOWS Comedy Festival

Production Details

Michele A’Court celebrates her midlife crisis on stage this year with her new solo show for the ODDFELLOWS NZ International Comedy Festival.

"40 Odd Years" is an autobiographical retrospective from a NZ woman who has successfully made a career out of stand-up comedy for the past decade – from the end of her career as a children’s TV icon, through parenthood, two marriages, and an equal number of divorces.

Add to that her background as a one-time communist and current political activist, throw in the fact that Michele turns 45 this year (though she prefers to describe herself as "40 plus GST"), and you have a show especially designed for anyone who has lived, loved, laughed, and wanted to punch someone in the head.

"What started out as a look back at a decade of my comedy and 40 odd years of my life has turned into something else," Michele says. "I’ve done some fascinating and entirely unscientific research into my own and other people’s age-related depression, and the stories are strangely uplifting. Instead of getting miserable about it, I think we should celebrate the midlife crisis. This show aims to do that."

Theatre ,


Wicked wit and perception

Review by John Smythe 01st Jun 2006

In the world according to Michele A’Court there was nothing before she was born, in Levin. Then, over the next 40-mumble years, the sounds of nature became obliterated by those of urbanised so-called civilisation. Well, she did move to Auckland.

If you want to know why Auckland will never be an Al Qaeda target, see her show. There’s a lot to learned from a woman who’s lived past two-score years and is still going strong.

She’ll tell you why Pictionary is an effective contraceptive, and why Alan Bollard is wrong to say we shouldn’t go shopping. She’ll deconstruct Disthymia for you and explain her latest theory on Depression: always a good topic for comedy.

"Cancel your comedy expectations," she keeps saying, given her serious purpose and compulsively inquisitive mind. But of course she knows the best comedy grows from true jeopardy, when real things are at stake.

Many comedians during this festival have mentioned the Beaconsfield miners but Michele wins hands down on developing the material into really gutsy commentary. Her revelation of the contents of a letter from one of the wives that was held back by the experts, is classic. As for the picture she paints of the boys’ response to what was sent down that narrow tube … Mate. The mind boggles.

It is simply a pleasure to spend time with Michele because informing her wicked wit and perceptive insights is a fundamental concern for humanity. Personally, I like that in a comedian.


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