The McDougall's Garden, 68 Greig Street, Broad Bay, Dunedin

03/03/2016 - 13/03/2016

Dunedin Fringe 2016

Production Details

Slutty Ladies Garden Party is a new work performed by Elsa May and Sarah McDougall, two seasoned pros. This R16 comedy premier frees the slut in all of us.

Belly laugh and swear, because there’s nothing like the power of a good f**k in the right place. This show, in all it’s chipped-nails and tart shoes squirts out an anti-mediocre unexposed vein of feminism as Slutty Ladies give a who, what, how and why to slutdom and show a liberated path from restricted polite niceness resulting in a repositioning, (if your chairs hard) and a non-sneering view of sluts.

In a reclaim the slut and revel in the non-prudish atmosphere, at Whaka Oho Rahi Broad Bay at the McDougalls’ home in their sculpture garden on the Otago Peninsula, the audience will receive a total sensory experience where class and sexuality get a good going over, with a laugh, a cup of tea and a pack of seeds provided. There will also be an opportunity for a few audience members to get on the spot advice; Slutty Ladies are aunties who’ve had their own agony and will reply with words of slutty wisdom on how to survive life with style in language some find challenging to utter.

Only 25 people can be accommodated per show, and for those lacking funds, ($20 or $10 unwaged), the Wednesday show will be koha, where audience can bring something from their garden, for the Slutty Ladies. If raining, the show will be a couch concert in the McDougall lounge.

We will be running a van for people who need transport to the peninsula. There are limited seats so if you would like a seat PM us on our Facebook page, or give us a call. The van will leave from outside Fringe HQ (26 Princes St) 30 mins before the show.

The McDougall’s Garden, 68 Greig Street, Broad Bay, Dunedin 
Thu 3 Mar & Fri 4 Mar 2016, 6:00pm
Sat 5 Mar & Sun 6 Mar 2016, 3:00pm
Wed 9 Mar – Fri 11 Mar 2016, 6:00pm
Sat 12 Mar & Sun 13 Mar 2016, 3:00pm
R16: Explicit Language, Sexual Content 
$10.00 – $20.00
Get tickets »

Limited Door Sales will also be available from the van on a daily basis – 4pm-5.30pm weekdays and 1pm-2.30pm weekends.
Door Sales are cash only.
Contact phone 027 4644453 (ask for Ewan). 

Theatre , Outdoor , Comedy ,

Visual, comedic, musical, horticultural, hospitable

Review by Jenny Gleeson 05th Mar 2016

The title hooked me – an interesting oxymoron if ever there was one: ‘slutty’ and ‘ladies’ are not words commonly seen together, let alone that sluts would have a garden party. My preconceived idea of the term slut is humorously questioned as two pleasant and witty bohemian styled, middle-aged women claim the term for themselves, and do so quite endearingly.

This is a show staged in someone’s garden at Broad Bay and any concerns about the typically fickle Dunedin weather are dispersed by the fact that it is a cracker of a day to be seated outside, enjoying the open-air theatre on a big stage in someone’s backyard. Don’t worry, there’s a plan B for rain. 

Our hosts, Sarah McDougall and Elsa May, meet us in the car parking area of the house, which doubles as the foyer, and after the grand opening ceremony, lead us up the garden path (double entendres abound) with a charming and bloody funny commentary that ranges from the story behind the building of the wooden path to Sir Edmund Hillary’s daughter, taking in a few bizarre stories behind the art features along the way. 

The show begins well before it starts. The anecdotes are thick and fast, and delivered in a cheery, unthreatening way. For the first time in a while I have tears in my eyes from all the giggles. The blessing, delivered via a root vegetable (yes) is a gorgeous thing and is an image that has installed itself in my brain on a continuous loop. 

By the time we take our seats on the small collection of chairs that may well have been borrowed from the neighbours, the audience is well and truly warmed up, relaxed and at ease with this most successively integrative show.  

Partly actually, and partly ostensibly about sluts – the very definition of which seems inaccurate or obscure, as we learn – this is a showcase of gentle philosophies, yes, peppered with a few swear words but delivered in a sunshiny way and by sunshiny people.

Written by Sarah McDougall, who is the main hostess and who is a devotee of ‘no slut shaming’, she reminds us that the subject of frank sex is not talked about quite as often as it could be. There is much wit, both written and off the cuff, and an all-embracing inclusion of audience involvement that makes it feel as much like an intimate soiree as a performance. Indeed it seems to cross that line often and I felt like I am the friend of some very witty people who have invited me around for a cuppa.

Elsa May (who I suspect, from the alteration on the poster, is a last minute change) is warm and funny, and combines the delivery of her punchy vocabulary with a sweet, naïve style, adding to the piquancy of the contrast.

There is a time during the performance when the order of stories or gags is confused and the pace slows, but this I believe is possibly due to either the late cast substitution or inchoate experience and is forgiven.

The second act relies heavily on off-the-cuff repartee when answering questions from the audience, the pacing of which only needs to be faster by means of getting through the questions more quickly. Also, at the end of the show, Elsa suggests they do a scene but this is blocked and the end of the show was called, so I feel like we have missed out on something that had been previously planned for inclusion.

My final constructive criticism is that because the standard of wit in the first half is so high, it would have been good to finish on a similarly well-thought-out high note of funny gags, which is well within their reach to do.

These small points aside, this is a wonderfully funny show that pulls together visual, comedic, musical, horticultural, hospitable and even some dancing (?) elements as well as written arts (read the present you get – then open it). Though its theme might be ‘the freedom to talk about sex using swear words if required and as frequently as required’, none of it makes me uncomfortable. The anecdotes are more than just a string of gratuitous double entendres, although a good smattering of those always goes down well (!), but are often rounded out with joyful life commentary or opinion.

I like the show a lot. And I do hope that’s not the last time I get to hear the song ‘We’re Slutty Ladies’ (written by Ian Chapman) because this song has all the makings of a modern-day anthem.   

Go to the Slutty Ladies’ Garden Party, you won’t experience anything else quite like it. It is lovely. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council