No Hetero

Circus Bar 17b Allen Street, Wellington

16/02/2024 - 17/02/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Writer/performer/producer: Hadley Wilson

Crooked Love

Lesbian Imposter Syndrome Has Never Been Funnier

“No Hetero” by Hadley Wilson is a stand-up comedy and campfire story experience. An autobiographical look at compulsory heterosexuality, growing up evangelical in British Columbia, and two scoops of ADHD.

A talent show of spooky stories, poetry, and second-hand embarrassment will lead you into the backcountry of Canadian summer camp and through a glossary of spicy rainbow terminology. The gayest comedy TED* talk you’ve always wanted.

“The show [No Hetero] is cozy comedy. It’s set at sundown in the mountains, gathered around a campfire after a long day. Bringing only the best parts of the 1990’s Canadian summer camp experience together with a quintessentially 2024 gay agenda,” Hadley says. “For anyone who’s chronically online or painfully woke, this show will hit close to home. For everyone else, it’ll be a non-condescending way to learn some stuff you never knew you always wanted to understand. It’s nerdy but it’s also very goofy. Nostalgic, educational, irreverent. Heteros will enjoy the show even if it’s called No Hetero.”

Known for creating niche comedy, queer cabaret, and storytelling shows including the repeatedly sold-out smash hit cabaret “Taylor Swift Book Club”, Hadley is bringing her own journey to the stage for the first time and admitting to things you can only really tell a stranger.

“I feel like I could write a book about everything I’ve had to un-learn. Growing up in a default straight world and specifically in a conservative religious part of that heteronormative society, I was a teenage overachiever at being a good kid. Good at school, good at church, and good at seeming straight and staying virginal through high school. I have a lot of compassion now for my younger self grappling with the messages we all internalised in the 90’s and early 2000’s. The millennial trauma of growing up as a vulnerable young teen in the ‘heroin-chic’, diet culture fueled Y2K years could be a whole book of its own,” Hadley says, “I don’t know whether it would have been better to be closeted rather than oblivious back then, but this is the journey I’m on so now I’m making up for lost time.”

“It would have saved me a lot of time if someone had explained to me that the way I feel about men isn’t actually attraction and the way I feel about women I have a crush on, that’s what attraction is. I knew I liked the ladies from when I was nineteen in 2006, but didn’t do the math to figure out that meant I was queer. Didn’t work that part out until years later,” Hadley says, “And I still had to tackle the question of whether I actually liked men or whether they just liked me. Understanding compulsory heterosexuality is a game-changer for so many people. Now I’m in such a good place to celebrate queer joy and get into the nuance of identities.”

“No Hetero” is a fun and sassy rebellion against expectations that will inspire anyone who’s ready to go after what they really want in life.
“Hadley is funny and laughing is good for you. Be healthy and go laugh, Pōneke!” – Stella McIntosh

*not an actual TED talk
No Hetero is on:
16th & 17th February at 7:00pm

Preview show 9th Feb at 7.00pm
Circus Bar – Allen Street.

While you’re there, you might as well stay and see the other show that’s on at Circus Bar that night, “Exes & Nos” by Rachel Mercer. That’s right, Rachel and Hadley are two Canadians with two debut solo shows, each with their own tragic love life.
The two shows are similar in regional accent and heart, sometimes in tone, and are also very much their own separate experiences, the unique expressions of the artist.

You can expect to see Circus Bar decked out like you’ve never seen it before and you’ll leave knowing more than you ever wanted to about lesbian imposter syndrome, Hadley’s missionary relatives, OCD, and Rachel’s nipples.

Exes and Nos is on:
16th & 17th February at 8:00pm
Circus Bar – Allen Street.
24th February at 7:00pm (No double feature on this show)
Vogelmorn Bowling Club

Tickets are available now and range from $15-20
(or $30 for the double feature with Exes & Nos using the code CIRCUSDUO)
To book or for more information visit: NZ Fringe Fest Website
For updates follow us on Instagram @crookedlovenz 

Cast: Hadley Wilson
Sets: Hadley Wilson & Rachel Mercer

Help from: Lauren Scrimshaw, Pipi Stonehouse, Scott Wilson, Alexa Patterson, Rose Northey, Simran Rughani, Circus Bar

Comedy , Theatre ,


Beautifully familiar to a queer audience and insightful for a heterosexual audience

Review by Shemaia Dixon 17th Feb 2024

Upon entering Circus Bar to see No Hetro, the audience is invited into a warm, campfire-esque atmosphere. Hadley Wilson emerges and tells us the 60 minutes will follow a North American summer camp vibe akin to her Canadian upbringing. She also promises not to mention Taylor Swift (suddenly the homemade LGBTQ bracelets for sale at the door that remind me of Taylor Swift’s eras tour bracelets make sense). Wilson then begins taking us through the eras of her own life and journey through discovering and accepting her own sexuality, illustrated with PowerPoint images.

The journey is relatable to any queer person – particularly queer women. Though I don’t want to give too much away, Wilson’s journey from Christian child oblivious to her sexuality to adult comfortable in her queer identity is hilariously familiar. She is warm, direct and laugh-until-you-cry funny as she leads the audience through her boy-crazy era to the era of acceptance.

At one point, the audience is shown a variety of Pinterest style engagement announcements and asked to announce which of these Wilson used to announce hers to a man (spoiler-they are no longer together). A particularly relatable highlight is when Wilson explains that all of her male childhood celebrity crushes, look suspiciously similar to famous female celebrities.  The way Wilson is able to poke fun at her past self helps the audience feel comfortable about our own similar experiences. (As it turns out, straight women don’t just date a man because he has a cute dog.)

Accepting and affirming of all sexualities and genders, Wilson’s ability to create a space that feels warm and accepting, and indeed campfire like, is remarkable. The show is beautifully familiar to a queer audience and provides heterosexual audience members with an insight into the queer experience. In modelling the show after a North American summer camp, particularly a church camp, Hadley Wilson has created a show that makes the inner child in a queer heart burst with joy in a way that the heart never could before.  


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