The Apology

Dog with Two Tails, 25 Moray Place, Dunedin

16/03/2023 - 16/03/2023

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

created by Melissa Katherine

Auckland, New Zealand – Get ready to laugh, reflect, and maybe even apologise with comedian Melissa Katherine’s latest show, “The Apology.” Taking the audience back to her life as an Otago undergraduate dork in the early 2000s, Katherine blends humor with thought-provoking insights in a performance that’s equal parts hilarious and insightful.

With her background as a two-time RAW Comedy Semifinalist (2020 & 2022) and an Otago Capping Show alumnus, Katherine has become a familiar face in the Auckland stand-up scene, renowned for her expressive observational style.

In “The Apology,” she draws personal experiences to tackle themes of deep personal shame and the power of words with a story spanning two decades.

“I can’t wait to be back performing in Dunedin’ says Katherine. “I have great memories of being in the Capping Show and popping into Radio One. Quite a bit of the material for The Apology is based in Dunedin, so I think Fringe audiences will appreciate it.”
“Exceptional timing, witty commentary, and ability to turn even the most serious of topics into hilarious moments”- Chat GPT

Two shows on 16 March at 7pm and 8.30pm

Melissa Katherine

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,


Well-crafted for a Dunedin audience

Review by Alison Embleton 17th Mar 2023

First and foremost, Melissa Katherine has fantastic hair. Secondly, it’s very apparent that this woman deserves an opening act. A 6pm slot on the opening night of the Fringe Festival, with no warm-up act, is a tough gig for any comedian. Everyone is fresh from work, and haven’t even finished their first drinks yet. The venue is working against her too – the full daylight streaming in from the floor to ceiling windows isn’t adding anything to the confessional tone of her material. However, Katherine immediately leans into some embrace-the-awkward-style crowd work and, as much as is possible with a timid audience, gets the joke train running. 

Any introverts in the audience tonight? 



 ** introverted giggles of self-realisation** 

The Apology is well-crafted for a Dunedin audience, with Katherine taking us all back in time with her to her days as a student at Otago University. The local highlights land a little better with a Dunedin audience than they might do elsewhere, and an iconic 90s-mid 2000s local celebrity features heavily as a sort of support-animal, if you will. You won’t be missing anything truly crucial without having been a resident of Dunedin, but it sure adds in a little extra sparkle dust if you are/were. Katherine’s description of the aforementioned celebrity are so hilariously and disgustingly precise, you feel like he’s in the room with you. RIP, Eric. 

This show has been derived from anecdotes/observations largely stemming from a moment of dissociative panic in high school, fuelled by the nerdy-hot thrill of matrix leather trench coats, a fresh break up and the digestion of one (1) entire book on feminism. 

It’s evident that this material has been doing the rounds for a while. The stories are punchy, well crafted and each is topped off with the perfect button of a joke. Katherine has a true gift for spinning shame and regret into comedic gold

As individual anecdotes, they’re excellent. Awkward, rude, shocking and very, very relatable. However the threads tying these together aren’t quite hitting the same level – the transitions often feel quite clunky. Perhaps because they’re stacked up against the high polish of the rest of her show, or maybe it’s because this particular audience is a bit lifeless? Regardless, they stick out largely because Katherine is an otherwise consummate performer. 

Throughout her set, Katherine touches on some salient points that highlight how far we’ve come as a society in regard to the treatment of mental health, deftly weaving stories of her own chaotic mental health journey alongside some astute comedic observations: ever had your stalker tattle on you for having a manic episode? 

I would love to see this show fleshed out a little more. There are hints at additional material: a mania-fueled first attempt at the titular apology apparently includes a whole section about intergalactic bus travel, and based on Katherine’s performance skill, I’d pay money to hear that read verbatim.

After many twists and turns, some detours into the realms of mansplainer atheists and the Keanu Reeves Cinematic Universe, The Apology culminates in an oddly satisfying let down, which again, feels very relatable. 


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