BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

01/10/2019 - 05/10/2019

BATS Pick of the Fringe 2019

Production Details

actor – singer – writer – comedier – poet – drag king – vegan who eats tuna – feminist – irish dancer – cellist – wanker.

“Wit without vulgarity and fun with freshness” – Margaret Austin, Theatreview (reviewing Gap Yearz)

The one human cabaret spectacle that calls itself “The Ned Niamh Show” hereby presents to you “THE NED NIAMH SHOW”. On top of the unexpected, one can expect a 59 minute showcase of musical parodies, first class storytelling and the option to undertake a spiritual journey via the path of laughter yoga.

We’re talking (and singing) feminism, queerism, baptisms, orgasms and enlightenment.

Parental guidance recommended.
Batteries not included.
T&Cs apply

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome*
1 – 5 October
at 8pm
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $15

*Access to The Heyday Dome is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

Light yet enlightening and satirically humane

Review by John Smythe 02nd Oct 2019

In case you are wondering how you missed The Ned Niamh Show in this year’s NZ Fringe, given its return in BATS’ Pick of the Fringe slot, it incorporates material from Gap Yearz, intercut with intrusions from Ned: Niamh O’Keeffe’s drag king persona. Although we never see them on the same stage together, despite their wildly different personalities it turns out they have a grudging fondness for each other.

Pre-show we have the opportunity to muse on the potential of the exotic wall hangings, the impressive silver lamé-adorned ‘altar’ and the odd props dotted about the BATS Dome performing space: back pack, yoga mat, towel & sunglasses, a mini-altar, a book … and is that some kind of sex toy?

The show proper gets off to a cracking start with dynamic Irish tap-dancing by both of them (did I say we never see them on the same stage together; I’m wrong – we do!) which segues into a strip-tease … Much is communicated non-verbally before Niamh – pronounced Neeve (as in the PM’s daughter, not that she says so) – introduces her selves as Irish Australian from Omigahpiah. It takes me a while to get “on my gap year”.

Niamh’s OE quest for adventure and self-improvement – e.g. laughter yoga – is variously enhanced and sabotaged by her bad habits-cum-addictions, about which she sings a song: one of a number of numbers she delivers with her own adroit ukulele accompaniment – or is it Ned who sings that one? It’s definitely Niamh who has a crack at a month long retreat from which escape is near enough.

Ned’s visit to the Vatican is something else again and involves another strip tease. Meanwhile Niamh has become a qualified yoga teacher and done a stint at a child minding centre – beautifully captured – and as a swimming teacher. Now we know what a ‘code 4’ is.

The anecdotes and recollections are liberally infused with woke awareness and commentary, often in the form of wittily crafted songs and poems. Ned has a good one about his work in a Fish & Chip shop although mentions of Flake and Barramundi may bemuse some Kiwi punters.

The character transitions, behind the ‘altar’, are cleverly achieved, abetted by Isadora Lao’s deft operation of Zoe Higgins’ light and Amber Clausner’s sound.

It all builds to a satisfying climax – if you’ve ever wanted to see a sex toy used as a plectrum, this is your chance – and ingeniously both Ned and Niamh manage to take multiple bows to the sustained applause of their enthusiastic audience.  

The Ned Niamh Show is light yet enlightening and satirically humane. Enjoy.


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