The Kransky Sisters

Comedy Chamber, Town Hall, Auckland Live, Auckland

02/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

Glenroy Auditorium, The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin

08/10/2010 - 10/10/2010

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Otago Festival of the Arts 2010

Production Details

Three Bags Full 

Recently returned from the wilds of Europe, oddball trio, the award- winning Kransky Sisters, are driving their packed up morris with a new simmering mix of music, song and off-beat stories of pot-holed travels.

These three curious and dysfunctional siblings, with their naïve take on the world, will share their experiences of recent travels in Europe, where shoes are made of wood and cars drive on the wrong side of the road.

Equipped with their trusty tambourines, tuba, musical-saw, kitchen pot, toilet brush and old reed keyboard, Mourne, Eve and Dawn will share their own peculiar renditions of songs from The Bee Gees and Devo to AC/DC. Sit back and enjoy the company of these weird sisters as they boil up their own special pot of porridge that is sure to have you glued to your seat!

Winners of the 2008 Sydney Theatre Awards and the Bank Of Scotland Herald Angel Award 2006, an Australian Live Entertainment Mo Award 2005 for Best Comedy Group, an Australian Green Room Award for Best Cabaret Ensemble 2004, and The Melbourne Age Critics’ Award and Best Newcomer MICF 2004, these talented women have combined their eclectic comedic talents and musical expertise to create a disturbing believable trio.

"A comic invention that sits somewhere between the maudlin madness of the Addams Family and the spooky unpredictability of Twin Peaks, this musical travelogue skids the highways and byways of sibling rivalry and the sisters’ endless supply of skeletons in the closet." Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2008 – L.Nunn 

"three seriously funny, seriously talented ladies… Watching the Kransky Sisters is akin to watching a Charles Addams cartoon come to life… I was laughing as much as I was squirming… The tuba has never sounded so good". Remote goat London 2008 

Dates:  Saturday 2 and Tuesday 5 -Saturday 9 May, 7pm 
Venue:  Crunchie Comedy Chamber Auckland Town Hall,
Tickets:  $34.90 adult, $31.90 concession, Groups 10+
Bookings:  0800 BUYTICKETS (289 842) or  

Otago Festival of the Arts 
Glenroy Auditorium
8 – 10 Oct 2010
1hr 30m

Annie Lee
Eve: Christine Johnstone
Dawn Kransky: Carolyn Johns

1 hr 5 min, no interval

Brilliant comediennes also excellent musicians

Review by Clare Thomson 09th Oct 2010

Like a lot of the best comedy, to fully appreciate the Kransky Sisters you really had to be there. Try to imagine if you will a medley of Thriller, Beat It, and Billy Jean, sung by your old speech teacher in two-part harmony accompanied by tuba, saw, and tambourine, and you might catch a glimpse of the virtuosity of the Sisters. Though woefully overused, the word epic comes to mind.

The show’s brilliance lies in the commitment of each sister to her odd-ball and slightly macabre character, each beautifully executed and sustained right through to the sisters signing promotional wares in the foyer afterwards.

Some of the highlights of the show were watching them deal with the unexpected, ringing cellphones and their recruit from the audience, with perfect ease in their well-mannered rambling old biddy-ness. Sometimes the dialogue did feel a little too rehearsed, but on the whole the dynamics between the three were perfectly pitched.

Mourne, the sisters’ spokesperson, was by turns sweet as a pink iced bun and scary as a spitting cobra, Eve was perfectly happy to smile and nod and repeat everything her elder sister said half a sentence behind, and then come out with a devastatingly innocent remark that cut Mourne off at the knees, and Dawn, like a rabbit-faced Harpo, played the audience and her sisters as well as she did the tuba (and trust me you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard the guitar solo in Highway to Hell played on the tuba).

What I really enjoyed was that not only are the sisters brilliant comediennes, they are excellent musicians with a wonderfully rich sound. Their covers of songs they had ‘heard on the wireless’ are hysterical and a pleasure to listen to, particularly when they break out into beautifully blended a cappella three-part harmony.

Their eclectic choice of instruments too, including ingenious use of pasta ladle and toilet brush, suited perfectly their personas and their style of music. The Michael Jackson medley was one of the best covers I’ve ever heard and I didn’t hesitate to buy the sisters’ CD after the show just for that song, though the tea towels were very tempting. 


Make a comment

Creepy trio

Review by Sian Robertson 03rd May 2009

The musical Kransky Sisters aren’t your usual recipe for a knee-slapping comedy show. The attraction is in their understated, unsettling performances and the sense created by a flawless adherence to their oddly naïve characters that perhaps these women aren’t acting at all.

A projected slide sequence shows them undertaking some remarkably unremarkable pastimes in their hometown of Esk (which "has a street with shops on both sides") in Queensland, before they come on stage and embark on a rambling tale of reminiscences, about their often macabre childhood, their journey in the hold of a ship to England to claim their inheritance, and strange adventures in London involving taxidermy, an accidental trip to France, an accidental overnight stay in a brothel… bringing us totally reworked versions of popular songs (learnt from the "wireless") to express their various mishaps and mis-interpretations of encounters along the way.

These rather insular, small-town spinsters take a bit of time to get to know. At first I was non-plussed, but the creepy trio grew on me, with their taut sisterly relationships, bizarre nostalgic recollections, sex-starved curiosity and unsettling silences. They seem to be stuck in the 1950s and are made up to look like a cloning experiment by the Addams Family.

Mourne (Annie Lee) is the maudlin yet stoic eldest sister and the main spokesperson, Eve (Christine Johnston) finishes Mourne’s sentences and has an eerie habit of echoing her sister. But she does chime in every so often with her own recollections, occasionally contradicting Mourne’s version of events, at which point there is usually an uncomfortably long silence before Mourne changes the subject.

Their half sister Dawn (Carolyn Johns) doesn’t speak and is blamed for everything by Mourne, who, though embittered by her loneliness, doggedly tries to look on the bright side ("after all, what doesn’t kill you just makes you very sick"). Mourne and Eve sometimes slip into muttering fussily to each other, appearing to forget they have an audience, while Dawn sits unmoving with her Basset Hound stare.

Mourne leads the songs on guitar. The mute, long-faced Dawn plays the tuba and does in fact have a voice, a rather exquisite one. We get to hear it in the wonderful, plaintive harmonies, wolf howls and breathy a cappella, in which she is joined by Eve, who has brought with her an array of instruments, including a saw which she plays with, alternately, a violin bow and a pasta scoop; an old reed organ; and toilet brush percussion.

The songs are clever translations of an eclectic bunch of well-chosen popular tunes, from Grace Jones to the Bee Gees to ACDC, as well as some familiar one hit wonders. Some of their versions are better than the originals.

I also give them bonus points for singing in three languages, and for getting an unsuspecting bloke up on stage and into a dress and a wig!
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. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council