Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

13/09/2016 - 17/09/2016

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

13/12/2016 - 17/12/2016

Production Details


TYLA & DENI$ are back for some sweet #reDempShun in THE BETTER BEST POSSIBLE ALBUM PARTY THAT ANYBODY HAS EVER BEEN TWO at Basement Theatre this September 

Winners of the 2015 Auckland Theatre Award for Best Entrance, Kate McGilland Frith Horan are back with the followup to last year’s Best Possible Album Party, supported by a dance posse of Auckland’s freshest hip hop talent from local Auckland High Schools. 

The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Twois an entertaining, tongue and cheek look at a highly contested pop music industry. 

With its bodacious incorporation of original songs, audience interaction and dubious life lessons, Album Party is the concert experience led by two dedicated but unlikely popstars, who sing hip-hop, pop and rap songs about everything from Being True To Who You Are to putting the Gas-in-my-Ass-o-Line

It is the reckoning. We reckon. Welcome to the party to end all other album parties. Long forgotten NZ pop sensations TYLA & Deni$ are back for their ReDempShun tour, reawakening senses and forgetting the past.

The audience will be up on its feet, singing along to the music, cringing at the desperation and leave wanting more.

You’ll leave believing that you can be a popstar too, and shine bright like diamond you are.

ALBUM PARTY is directed by Holly Chappell and Tom Eason; musical direction by Adrian Hooke with additional music by Oswell Didsbury.

Kate & Frith met at Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School. It was there they formed a desire to make entertaining, engaging work with a strong purpose. In ALBUM PARTY, we wanted to engage youths in the theatre, we wanted to give them something that reflected a bit of themselves and gave them something to ponder – Kate McGill & Frith Horan. 

The show features 5 performers from Epsom Girls Grammar, who serve as a support and an antithesis to the larger than life TYLA & Deni$

Being the 5 backup dancers for Kate and Frith helped open our eyes to the endless possibility of independent theatre. It was a great experience to be a part of, as we gained knowledge of the different ways to express, discuss and interpret issues that occur everyday all around the world – Vanessa, Gabbi, Michelle, Savannah and Alex – Students reflecting on season 1 of Album Party

ALBUM PARTY is a concert, a comedy and a play on how we view success and the highs and the lows of attempting world pop music domination; ALBUM PARTY is current, a thrill and a ride.

Basement Theatre, Auckland
September 13-17 2016
at 8pm.
Tickets are on sale through iTicket and The Basement  

BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage
13 – 17 December 2016
at 8:30pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14
Book tickets  

Season Pass
Want a Season Pass to see both our Christmas Divas shows? For $30 you can enjoy both These Are A Few of My Favourite Sings and The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two on Thursday 15 December only!

Theatre , Musical ,

Frivolous content grounded in truth makes sophisticated, engaging, beautiful satire

Review by Moana Ete 14th Dec 2016

Recently I watched a video online of Madonna delivering her Woman of the Year acceptance speech at the Billboard Music 2016 Awards. “There are no rules – if you’re a boy. There are rules if you’re a girl.” Madonna, majestic and rehearsed, reflects on her career:
“You’re allowed to be pretty and cute and sexy. But don’t act too smart.”
“Be what men want you to be, but more importantly, be what women feel comfortable with you being around other men.”
“Do not age. Because to age is a sin.”

The anecdotes that rise to the surface in Madonna’s finest hour are not ones anyone was expecting. The mistreatment of women in the music industry, even to Madonna, an icon of strength and unapologetic womanhood, are equal parts horrifying and infuriating. It leaves me feeling ick. However optimistic I may be, I accept that this feeling of ick is typical of 2016.

The Better Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two is the production to lay all of the years icks to rest. Auckland-based Frith Horan and Kate McGill thrilled audiences at the Basement Theatre and now present this exciting show in Wellington as a part of a BATS and Basement Theatre’s Besties exchange programme. 

It’s in the foyer of BATS Theatre that we meet divas Deni$ (Horan) and TYLA (McGill) as they submerse us into their world of glamour, excess and celebrity. The premise is not a farfetched one. Stories of little ol’ Kiwis who make it big on the international music scene are stories that we see regularly enough in real life. In this instance I’m reminded of the story of O.M.C with his breakthrough hit single ‘I Love L.A’ that took the world by storm in the 2000s almost out of nowhere.

Only, Deni$ and TYLA’s albums are perhaps 10x the success of that single. Or every NZ music success story put together. The genre is satirical comedy. Indeed, as the show title and on-the-money poster design (William Duignan) suggest, the satire is aimed at the music industry and the idea of celebrity itself. Wellington shows up and shows love tonight. The vibe is positively ‘feirce’.

The costumes are an Absolutely Fabulous/Kath and Kim hybrid. TYLA gives us plenty of warning of Deni$’s many outfit changes, each as beautifully tacky as the last. TYLA prefers to keep it real in Missy Elliot-esque clothing (Elliot, after all, being the original Queen of Blingin’ Active Wear).

Through costuming and character choices and dialogue it’s hard to gauge how old these characters are. The rural ‘Noo Zullund’ accents (so thick in the air you can cut them with a knife) almost suggest that they’re in their 60s but with the embedded contemporary references I have to let go of any chronological order and accept that they are roughly around Horan and McGills actual ages – mid to late 20s. They are architypes that represent all of NZ Popular Culture throughout all of its history.

The original music created for this show deserves much praise and congratulations. I am simply delighted to hear how well rounded and fully realised every song is. This is what sets a show like The Better Best Album Party… apart from the tongue-in-cheek pantomimes and end-of-year hoorah shows usually programmed at this time of the year. This is straight-up well produced music.

And perhaps this is my favourite element of the satire: the underlying commentary on the formulaic, electronic, humanless thumping that we accept as the music of our generation. As an electronic musician myself I do not fear this, in fact I am decidedly empowered by it. It’s a sound that forces itself into your system and flows through you whether you like it or not. Artists Adrian Hooke, Oswell Didsbury, Rutene Spooner and Tom Eason collaborate with Horan and McGill to bring together a wonderful Soundtrack that positively lifts this production. 

And what is any international superstar duo without their entourage? Spice Rack are the accompanying crew of young dancers whom TYLA affectionately refers to as her ‘kids’. Which is what they appear to be. Children. This brings me to think of the flagrant sexualisation of young people in mainstream Pop. Confronting? Yes. Endearing and cute? Also yes. Watching them twist and flip, I imagine this is what my Primary School teachers felt like, watching me and my friends doing cartwheels in platform shoes and short shorts to The Spice Girls in school assembly.

All in all, the ability to take rather frivolous content and ground it in truth to create a sophisticated, engaging, beautiful piece of theatre is a hallmark of Directors Holly Chappell and Tom Eason (Two Productions).

Deni$ and TYLA’s break every rule outlined by Madonna in her Billboard Acceptance speech. This show is a middle finger to every notion that women who put themselves in the limelight are commodities belonging in tidy boxes. What seems like a frivolous show with no real purpose other than to entertain is actually far more than that if we dare to look deeper.

I highly recommend this show to everyone, everywhere. Shake off the years icks with Deni$ and TYLA this Christmas.


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