The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour

Muritai School Hall, Eastbourne, Wellington

27/02/2010 - 27/02/2010

BATS Theatre, Wellington

04/03/2010 - 06/03/2010

Khandallah Town Hall, Wellington

13/02/2010 - 13/02/2010

Breaker Bay Hall, 150 Breaker Bay Road, Seatoun, Wellington

20/02/2010 - 20/02/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

From the people who brought you Snapping Strings in 1997 at Bats, Fiddlers on a Roof Best Musical Show in 1998 and Resonance Best Music in the 2000 Fringe… Strung Out Productions are back with a brand new show featuring experimental cabaret band The Crimson Club.

Hailing from the small but self-important seaside village of Paekakariki, The Crimson Club will be taking their eccentric entertainment around the local halls of Wellington as part of the Fringe 2010. 

The Paekakariki Village Hall has already seen many performances by the red-clad divas, and during the 2010 Fringe, Khandallah, Breaker Bay and Eastbourne will play host to their cabaret-style antics, culminating in performances at BATS theatre.

“This performance aims to spread the small town joy,” says accordion player Melissa Garber. “We are aiming to recreate the atmosphere of our local St Peter’s hall wherever we go.” 

The three performers all sing as well as playing many instruments, including violin, cello, accordion, Theremin, percussion, flute and melodica. They draw on many influences, from Edith Piaf to Laurie Anderson. “We’ll take anything on and turn it into cabaret,” says cellist Janet Holborow. “Our style changes completely from one song to the next. One minute you’re in a bar in Paris and the next you’re listening to rock covers or original experimental songs.”

Lisa Maule is on the lighting board and with some directing advice also. "The Crimson Club are wonderfully theatrical. Talented and energetic women are great to work with and going into community halls always presents a good lighting challenge".

The performance will feature their existing songs and new songs in a new theatrical work. The group is encouraging punters to dress to the nines with spot prizes for best dressed. “We are inspired by the early twentieth century when going out meant live music, laughter and dressing up in fancy frocks and suits,” says violinist and singer Shona Jaunas.

Listen here: 

The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Worldwide Wellington Tour
Khandallah Town Hall, Sat. 13th Feb, 8pm
Breaker Bay Hall, Sat 20th Feb, 8pm
Muritai School Hall, Eastbourne, Sat. 27th Feb, 8pm
BATS Theatre: Thurs 4 and Fri 5 March 6.30pm, Sat. 6 March 9pm

Tickets $16, $13 available at the door
or at BATS Theatre ph 802 4175,

Shona Jaunas          Vocals & Violin
Janet Holborow        Vocals & Cello
Melissa Garber         Vocals, Accordion, Theremin, Ukulele
Lisa Maule                 Director and Lighting Designer
Boggy (?)                    Sound Operator

Doesn’t need so many gimmicks

Review by Hannah Smith 14th Feb 2010

Khandallah Community Hall was abuzz last night as locals turned out in their glad rags to enjoy an eclectic mix of French crooning and Kiwiana comedy – that is, the opening night of The Crimson Club’s Whirlwind Tour of Wellington.

The trio hails from Paekakariki, as indicated by the hand painted banner depicting Kapiti Island strung across the back of the stage. They begin the evening by ‘transporting’ us to the Paekak pub with a series of gags touching on the toilet facilities and community notices. This comedy banter is used to segue from tune to tune and the ladies adopt a series of different characters, accents and hats as the evening rolls along.

Most of the songs are Crimson Club originals, with an occasional cover chucked in for good measure –the Muttonbirds, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin all getting the distinctive Paekak meets Paris treatment.

Although not having the strongest singing voices in the world, The Crimson Club are truly talented musicians who have a distinct style and flavour that is all their own. They play a dizzying array of instruments: from the relatively familiar cello, violin and piano accordion, to the novelty typewriter, theremin and guiro (that’s a percussive frog to you or me).

Their quirky style of croony comedy cabaret is offset by a stage littered with a multitude of musical instruments and lit with an eclectic assortment of standing lamps and fairy lights. The cabaret style seating is extremely comfortable, though somewhat unnecessary, as you cannot purchase food and drinks at the venue. Perhaps take a picnic and a bottle of wine [click title above for venues and dates].

On opening night the balance between the comedy banter and the musical material was odd, and the performers seemed a little uncomfortable with their delivery and timing, though perhaps they will warm into this later in the run. I feel the music and style is strong enough to stand up by itself without needing so many gimmicks or self-deprecating stand up in between the songs.

That said, this is an enjoyable night out, and it is particularly nice to see this kind of an event being taken to the suburbs. The couple beside us (who had been clever enough to bring a pizza) were delighted to get to go to a local live show on a Saturday night, and the audience (apart from some restless children) had a grand old time – even getting up and flaunting their dance moves during the Hannah Montana tribute.

What’s more there is a best-dressed competition judged by the Flouncy Bouncer (Helen Keivam) so if The Crimson Club is coming to a venue near you make sure to go all out and glam up in your fanciest frocks!   
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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