SHIRLEY GNOME Taking It Up The Notch

BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

11/02/2017 - 16/02/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

“A profound sense of hilarity… a standing ovation was just not enough.” ✮✮✮✮✮ – Onstage Ottawa 

“Gnome delivers shameless truths about love and sex with the voice of a Goddess” ✮✮✮✮✮ – Three Weeks, Edinburgh

How can a woman with such a beautiful, pure voice have such a dirty, dirty mind? The answer remains a mystery, but the combination is side-splittingly hilarious and a late-night slice of fun … – ✮✮✮✮½ – The Advertiser, Adelaide

Following the success of her 2016 Australian debut, Shirley Gnome makes her first appearance in New Zealand with an all new show – Taking It Up The Notch.

Hailing from Canada, the multi award winning, cabaret comedian has been wowing critics and audiences alike across North America, United Kingdom and Australia with her cult musical comedy shows.  Recently signed to Canada’s largest independent record label, 604 Records, Gnome’s fourth album is slated for release in 2017.

Armed with her guitar and sharp wit, internationally acclaimed Gnome will sing you shameless, obscenely honest songs about sex and human nature that will have you in stitches. Provocative truths go down smooth with her incredible voice and gorgeous guitar stylings.  

Taking It Up The Notch is a unique mix of all original music, standup comedy, wickedly inventive lyrics, and biting social commentary. Taboo tribulations and sexual liberation are wrapped up in silly debauchery and soaked in enough wine to kill a horse. Fans of Garfunkel and Oats, Flight of the Conchords and Tenacious D, get ready to be taken to the next level.

Award-winning, taboo, sexually empowering comedy that is NOT for the faint of heart!

WINNER – Funniest Show, London Fringe Festival 2016; Patrons’ Pick, Orlando Fringe Festival 2016 (Sell Out Show); Funniest Show and Frigid New York Theatre Festival 2015.
NOMINEE – Canadian Comedy Award – Best Variety Act 2014-15
2X Nominee Best Comedy 2016 – Fringe World Festival (Perth, Australia)

Shirley Gnome: Taking It Up The Notch
BATS Theatre – The Propeller Stage
11 – 16 March @ 8:30pm
TICKETS:  $23-$17.50

Theatre , Musical , Comedy ,

1 hr

Gutsy, sexy, confident, self-aware

Review by Zoe Joblin 12th Feb 2017

When I googled Shirley Gnome to find out who she really was I found, instead, information about a Canadian TV character called Shirley Holmes from the 1990s – as well as several sites about Gnomes. So I think I may have at least discovered the namesake for (also Canadian) Shirley Gnome who has made her debut trip to Wellington this week for the Fringe Festival.

Her Cabaret-style show Shirley Gnome: Taking it up the notch is described as “shameless and witty”, combining her talents of singing, playing guitar and telling jokes. She appears in the black box of the BATS Propeller Stage dressed very much like Dolly Parton, surrounded by only a microphone stand, a tall black stool and, on a stand in the corner, her sparkly silver guitar. I feel immediately that show is meant to be performed in a Cabaret bar rather than a theatre, to allow the audience a bit more freedom to come and go from the show or increase their alcohol supply.

This is mainly because after Gnome’s first song about putting strange objects up one’s vagina she gives us the opportunity to leave if we feel uncomfortable because in her words “it will only get worse”. Despite Gnome’s warning, the audience stay resolutely in their seats (it would be awkward to leave) and everyone begins to thaw out as Gnome’s charm draws us in to the naughty, silly sweetness of her songs. She sings in a smooth pop-country style that entertains even those who might struggle with the content. Her down-to-earth humour and honesty mingle with her messages of body and sex-positivity making them all the more palatable for what she tells us isn’t always such a polite crowd.

Shirley is a regular at Fringe festivals and explains how she has dreamed of coming to New Zealand. She continues to thank us for showing up and is genuinely humbled by the positive response she has received so far. This is not surprising, as her Canadian sensibility translates well to a Kiwi audience. The show is a people-pleaser in the best sense, without compromising on Gnome’s gutsy messages; it is sexy, confident, self-aware and a great taste of what’s to come in the rest of the Festival.

Shirley Gnome is on at BATS Theatre, every night until Thursday 16th at 8:30pm. See Fringe Website for bookings.


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