ONEONESIX - 116 Bank Street, Whangarei

14/10/2022 - 15/10/2022

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

15/03/2023 - 25/03/2023

Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton

29/02/2024 - 02/03/2024

Whangārei Fringe 2022

Hamilton Arts Festival Toi Ora ki Kirikiriroa 2024

Production Details

Written and performed by Morgana O'Reilly

Tales of selling my toes in NYC, diary entries from ’98, boobs, birth and trying to like my chins; a new solo work by Morgana O’Reilly.

My body is made of 78 organs, 206 bones and 32 teeth. It’s covered in 8.8kg of skin, and has spawned two whole human bodies.

Let me tell you stories about my body.

Warning: there will be nudity… and you will love it.


The Recent winner of Most Outstanding Show at Whangarei Fringe 2022 and sold-out seasons in Auckland, Taranaki, Waiheke and Melbourne, Stories About My Body is coming to Wellington!

“Hilarity to humanity, and back again”
— Jess Karamjeet, Theatrescenes

“She’s at the top of her game, generous and brave”
— Judges, Whangarei Fringe

15–25 March
Circa Two
Tues 21 Mar 7.30pm, Wed – Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4.30pm
$30 – $40

Suitable for 16+ – Contains graphic natural birth imagery, female nudity and themes of body dysmorphia and eating disorders.

Hamilton Arts Festival 2024

Clarence St Theatre, 69 Clarence Street,
Thursday 29 February 2024 – Saturday 2 March 2024
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Performed by Morgana O'Reilly

Comedy , Solo , Theatre ,

1 hour

A courageous act of generosity and care that makes the human divine

Review by D.A. Taylor 02nd Mar 2024

It’s hard not to love Morgana O’Reilly. From the moment she bursts into the room – unabashedly topless, apologetically “late” for the start of the show to whoops and cheers – to the standing ovation she receives at the end, O’Reilly’s intelligent, charming, self-effacing, rib-burstingly funny one-woman show is an act of love.

A full house at the Hamilton Gardens’ Emporium of Scintillating Wonders stage is always a good sign. Audiences have packed in for Stories About My Body, and the chance to hear O’Reilly talk about her face, brains, body, and toes – “My body has a lot to say,” she explains, both spoken and, for the introduction, signed. But of course, O’Reilly shows us, the body and the brain and the spirit are indistinguishable: it carries memories; it’s a friend. And so, Stories About My Body isn’t just a chance to go through a list of fleshy parts, but a chance to dive deeper into identity.

Towards the start, we’re offered a viewfinder of 90s nostalgia via her diary entries via the sights of gelled hair and Lynx Africa. The pieces shift as young O’Reilly moves through 1998, across periods and emerging breasts and a new perspective on boys. But as the tone of that 13-year-old’s diary entries swing to self-fat-shaming and eating disorders, we see O’Reilly’s storytelling ability in full force, shifting between humour and pathos and the absurd (“I’ve put on so much weight since I was born”) for maximum effect.

As the night continues, we learn about sperm lifespans, physiology, a surreal stint in New York as a foot model, aging, falling in love, childbirth. The more mature audience members are in hysterics, nodding between lurching laughs then on to sobs of understanding at the shared experiences of womanhood. Younger audience members, still on the cusp of many of these experiences, cringed at the images of intimately trapped farts and what else is yet to pass. And so, the audience starts to understand: the body is absurd, and wonderful, and you get what you’re given – so better to love it with the days you’re given.

The staging of Stories About My Body is about as simple as it gets, primed for touring (as it did to Melbourne International Comedy Festival): a comfy chair, coffee table with 90s landline and decorative vase; a projector provides some home video and a bit of colour. It’s enough to give O’Reilly something to bounce off while reminding us that the strength is in her wild, expressive, un-mic’d presence that has no problem maximising the space with the poetry of her performance.

It takes me a moment to clue to the fact that O’Reilly was probably brought up on the standard Millennial TV diet that includes the likes of Blackadder and The Young Ones, which would explain the bigness and absurdity of the larger elements of her performance and the personae she takes on – but which she can also reign in with grace. O’Reilly tunes to the audience like a master, and the audience loves it.

Special mention must be made to the inclusivity of O’Reilly’s script, in addition to the NZSL-supported intro: there’s an attention to addressing that her experience is that of a cis-gendered woman; her children each have a physiological sex, but being young, their identity is still theirs to shape; she uses the language of “people with uteruses” or “with penises” to help explain parts of her narratives.

Between this, the freedom with which she speaks about and with her body, and the intimacy of the final displays of childbirth, Stories About My Body is a courageous act of generosity and care. It’s also a love letter to oneself, and a chance to provide the education and wisdom that we would want our younger selves to know. O’Reilly is a remarkable artist who makes the human divine.


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Offers astonishing revelations into human experiences that are fundamental to our very existence: unique yet universal

Review by John Smythe 16th Mar 2023

Along with plays that make us feel seen, by acknowledging private truths of human existence we may have thought were ours alone, I love a play that shares experiences I’m never going to have. Either way they contribute to the undertsanding and empathy that is essential for the survival of humanity, and invariably – as with Morgana O’Reilly’s Stories About My Body – they are hugely entertaining.

It’s the sudden shock of revelatory insights and the odd surpising non sequitur that produce the biggest laughs. The expectations of a quiet ‘fireside chat’ – set up by a heartwarming slideshow of Morgana at various stages of childhood, projected behind a comfy armchair and sidetable with landline phone and pot plants – is hilariously subvertertd by a sudden change in imagery and Morgana’s entrance to an upbeat sountrack of ‘Good Vibrations’.

Only those who’ve noticed what was draped on the chair may have had an anticipatory inkling. She brings us back to equanimity by greeting us, and introducing herself and her show, in two official NZ languages simultaneously.

The promised Stories About My Body become a vehicle for the life experiences it, well, embodies in Morgana’s 37 years-old form. Her brain – i.e. the stories she has told herself over the years believing them to be the truth – plays a major role. Picking up where the slideshow leaves off, she takes us back to 1998 when she was 12 … then 13 … We can almost see and feel those hormones.

Morgana doesn’t just tell us what happened. As the recollections surface she almost imperceptibly becomes that age again; its a mercurial performance. Happily she now relates to her body as a friend while offering a surprising yet vividly on-point metaphor for her ‘emotional map’. Her interrogation of her innermost being, provoked by a sad emoji, is wondrously real. Then there’s the revelation of the female body’s ‘waiting room’ for sperm and her taking on the role of attentive  hostess …

The major events her body has experienced is bearing two children. The details Morgana shares about the changes that has caused are greeted with hoots of recognition from those who’ve been there and laughs of realisation from those who have not. But before she shares those life-changing moments, Morgana takes us back to her time in NYC and the extraordinary story of how she earned her airfare home by selling her feet and the unrelated but parallel experience of falling in love with the Kiwi guy destined to become her husband and father of their children.

And so to the births in 2015 and 2018, recollected with rivetting generosity and surprises we’ve come to expect (how oxymoronic is that?). Again, no spoilers except to say if you think you’ve seen all the births you need to on Call the Midwife, this will help you distinguish reality from make-believe.

Morgana O’Reilly is an exceptional performer on stage and screen. One of her many skills, in evidence here, is her ability to take us for a lively ride in a swirl of verbal eloquence then settle into near stillness with minimal ripples of physicality and a simple beingness that proves even more eloquent. Stories About My Body offers astonishing revelations into human experiences that are fundamental to our very existence: unique yet universal.


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Review by Matt Keene 15th Oct 2022

As the full house sits waiting for the start of the show, we are shown projections of old home movies and photos from Morgana’s childhood. A bright-eyed innocent girl with a cheeky, inquisitive smile, playing in the family kitchen, tottering by the edge of a pool. It is the first indication that we are going to be invited to see deep into someone’s life.

We hear Morgana before we see her, in a panicked rush to make the curtain. She is in such a rush that she has not had time to dress, and when she bursts on to the stage she is naked from the waist up. It is funny, certainly, but it is also defines a contract between her and us, that we are participants who are being given the privilege of spending an hour with a brave, vulnerable, authentic and emotionally articulate woman who is going to bare everything, literally, to tell us her story.

As much as the title of the piece suggests this is about Morgana’s body, this is equally an exposition and exploration of her interior world. We hear the voice of her 13-year-old self from the diaries she kept in the 90’s. This the rawest, most painful part of the performance, bearing witness to the words of a young woman growing into her sexuality with a voice screaming in her head that she is “fat, fat, fat.” Where does that voice come from, why is it so loud, and so destructive? It is hard to hear and watch but Morgana holds us with perfectly timed moments of humour and then lifts us by sharing how she has learned, and is learning, to shut down the sabotaging voice by accepting and loving every part of herself.

As the performance nears its end, we are shown video of the birth of Morgana’s child while she remembers and recreates the moment for us. Her description of what she felt as she watched her child’s first breath is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It seems so obvious to acknowledge and celebrate the extraordinary things our bodies are and what they do; host the joy and tumult of our inner lives, create and give life, give and receive pleasure.

Yet this essential message is constantly subverted by what we see and hear, and in that process, immense harm can be caused. Stories About My Body is profound and essential theatre performed with grace and great skill. Morgana’s bravery and generosity in sharing her story with such complete honesty is an immensely powerful way of showing us that by accepting and celebrating our bodies and ourselves, we can grow and find peace.


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