WASTE NOT WANT NOT Bethany's Guide to the Thrift Life

digitalvision.live, Nelson

21/08/2020 - 25/08/2020

The Scruffy Bunny at Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington

17/03/2019 - 19/03/2019

The Scruffy Bunny at Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington

04/03/2019 - 05/03/2019

Dee's Cafe & Bar, 403 Princes Street, Dunedin

27/03/2019 - 28/03/2019

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

08/10/2020 - 08/10/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Dunedin Fringe 2019

NZ Improv Festival 2020: Close To Home

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

Nelson Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details

Toi Ngākau Productions

Bethany is the queen of resourcefulness. In her quirky storytelling solo show, Bethany finally opens up about her tips, tricks and the frightful lengths she’s gone to to save money, food… well anything and everything really. It’s a hot handy hack guide for all, a celebration of weird uniqueness, and a microscope into hoarding.

Bethany is excited to bring this first Development Season to the stage!

Bethany is an emerging performer and theatre practitioner in Wellington, and a member of the Scruffy Bunny Theatre house team Dubious Virtue. She works as an actor, improviser, producer, deviser, singer and music director in a range of projects. Achievements include leading the CNZ and WCC funded audio-immersive satirical show 100% Pure Tour (2018) for her MFA (Creative Practice) with Distinction, a nomination for most promising emerging talent in Nelson Fringe 2017, and winning an Antoinette for “Best Female Actor in a Lead Role”. She is also a huge supporter of Wellington theatre and a certified delight!

About Toi Ngākau Productions
This show is put on by Toi Ngākau Productions. Toi Ngākau Productions has newly emerged after a lifetime friendship between theatre practitioners Courtney Rose Brown and Bethany Grace Miller. With a Masters degree each, and multiple projects under their belts, they’re excited to bring Running Late to the stage, The Girls to the screen, and Waste not Want not to the Fringe.

The Scruffy Bunny at Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington
Mon 4 & Tue 5 March 2019, 6.30pm
Sun 17 March, 3pm
Tue 19 March, 8pm

Dunedin Fringe 2019 

Dee’s Cafe & Bar, 403 Princes Street, Dunedin
WED 27 – THU 28 March 2019 [CANCELLED]
$3.00 – Secured Entry Advance Ticket (SEAT): $3.00
SEAT gives an audience member the security of having a reserved seat for $3 and they can then make their koha or donation at the venue before or after the show.
*Fees may apply

Nelson Fringe 2020
Adopted by Bay Landscapes & Garden

Available online from the 21st to the 25th of August

“More than enjoyable, and well worth a watch” – Art Murmurs
“Easily one of the best Fringe shows this year” – Audience Feedback (NZ Fringe 2019)
“Such a wholesome and infectiously good time” – Audience Feedback
“Her singing enlivens the narrative” – Theatreview

After an award-nominated debut at NZ Fringe, followed by Dunedin Fringe and Christchurch’s Little Andromeda, we are so excited to bring Thrift Life to the Bay Landscapes Nelson Fringe Virtual Festival 2020!

Note: This show has been filmed and will be presented online.
Go to link  https://digitalvision.live/fringedfestival2020/
(Please use a modern browser such as Chrome or Firefox and the festival is best experienced on a Desktop or Laptop computer.)

Get a Virtual Fringe Pass

NZ Improv Fest 2020: Close to Home

BATS Theatre, The Random Stage
8 October 2020
Full Price $20
Group 6+ $18
Concession Price $15

The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Join us in Wellington, or connect with us online, in a celebration of world class, local talent!

NZ Improv Fest: Close To Home takes place at BATS Theatre
Performance programme 6-10 October 2020
Workshops 3, 4, 10 October 2020
Learn more at www.improvfest.nz and don’t miss a moment!

With Bethany Grace Miller

Theatre , Solo , Improv ,

50 mins

Reuser, raconteur, reformer and singer

Review by Margaret Austin 09th Oct 2020

I’m often in op shops. So when I observe, at BATS Random, what looks like a gigantic version of such a place, with colourful clothing and drapes filling the stage, I am intrigued and at home.  

Clearly our presenter, Bethany, feels the same. Frontwoman for the cause of reusing and recycling, Bethany is probably an extreme example. Her thriftiness is inexhaustible – sometimes even questionable. How many of us made our own bread during lockdown? she wants to know. Or cut our own hair? Used coffee grounds as compost? These are but mild examples in the life of Bethany.

When she travels, she stays at Youth Hostels. Fair enough. The reuser’s bonus is the fridge leftovers from previous stayers – mayo, aioli and especially sour dough. “You can make a sandwich out of anything,” she assures us and does so. The front row recipient politely hands it back.

Bethany’s reusing way of life naturally includes clothing. A trip to Germany with a mini backpack provides a special challenge. Best moment? Gifting a pair of already second-hand socks to a fellow traveller.

Our reuser is also a reformer and this becomes clear toward the end when a sermonising note enters and overlays what is otherwise a lighthearted look at something we should admittedly all be doing. And it’s de rigueur to mention Marie Kondo.

Bethany’s strong point is her singing voice, and we are treated to several reworded musical numbers. What’s more, she accompanies herself on a belt made out of a xylophone.

Now, I bet she didn’t get that from an op shop.


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A transformative journey

Review by Nikkie Karki 24th Aug 2020

With headphones on so I am not disturbed, I settle down for a lesson on thriftiness.  Waste Not Want Not: Bethany’s Guide to a Thrift Life is a solo show about Bethany’s journey as an expert thrifter, recycler, op shopper, inventor of upcycling and ultimate hoarder. 

Bethany is surrounded by what appears to be second hand clothes and scarves, and a table full of recycled goods. She is wearing dungarees with a xylophone at the waist, which she plays to add atmosphere to her storytelling, she has pegs in her hair and reusable items spill out of her pockets. New lyrics to a familiar tune embellish her story further.  

And so to her advice on reusing and upcycling. Whenever she has a particularly important piece of thrift advice she stands straight, arm up with lighting change for effect and says, “Hot tip”.  There seems to be a structure of song, narrative, and hot tip in her show.  She sings with large musical-style gestures and animated facial expressions.

The filming is well done in most parts as the camera operator zooms in on Bethany, so I can see her facial expressions.  I imagine how elated a live audience would be as she is endearing, engaging and draws me in with her high energy.

My favourite parts of the whole show are the stories she tells through her songs. They are clearly personal and transformative through self-realisation. Her journey starts with getting things for free such as food, in surprising ways involving hostels and restaurants. After sharing hot tips on how to reuse and recycle, she faces the hard truth that she is also a terrible hoarder. 

Having set out to live by father’s saying, “Waste not want not,” Bethany arrives at a mantra of her own: “Sharing is better than taking free stuff.”


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Light and fun

Review by Hannah Molloy 28th Mar 2019

Downstairs at Dee’s Café and Venue is a long narrow room with an unusual seating set up, pews and booths all facing a tiny stage festooned with scarves and op shop paraphernalia. We’re greeted as we come down the stairs by a very perky Bethany who is about to give us some insights into her resourcefulness. Her show is called Waste Not Want Not: Bethany Guide to the Thrift Life and she is full of beans.

She has pegs in her hair and on her dungarees, and uses a plastic fork to bewitchingly comb her hair as she sings an adapted version of Ariel’s ‘Part of Your World’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her lyrics are funny and her voice is lovely – she launches into quite a mix of musical styles throughout the show and unashamedly acknowledges that she likes to sing high.

The content of the show is light and fun, and Bethany skips around her university, OE and coming back home experiences in the context of finding stuff for free and going on adventures with very little in the way of preparation or gear. Her crew – Chris on guitar and Malcolm on lights and general stage managing – look on devotedly and seem to be as delighted with the increasingly chaotic show as the audience is. 


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Resourceful re-using v decluttering

Review by Jorge Morales 05th Mar 2019

In a 45 minute performance, Bethany explains resourcefulness as a way of life. She takes us to the origins of this lifestyle as a toddler and points out that her outlook on life is more of a built-in a trait than a choice, but one she nurtures every step of the way. She looks back to the moment she became self-aware of this condition, and considers its negatives and positives.

There is an ongoing interaction with the Scruff Bunny’s crew and the audience has a moderate role throughout. A lucky few end up breaking bread (mayo included) with the resourcefulness queen herself, who mixes the narrative of her experiences with tips and tricks for how we too can become resourceful.

Although it’s about taking advantage of everyday stuff that otherwise seems disposable, there is not much clutter around the stage. But Bethany, most of the time, wears everything and anything, because you never know when it might come handy.

Her singing enlivens the narrative and adds another layer of aesthetic appeal.

Iny the end Bethany tries to give a shot at decluttering and letting go. She flirts with the seemingly blasphemous idea of minimalism. To know how she comes to terms with this, do check the play for yourself. And remember, don’t throw away the tickets, they might come in handy at some point … Bethany can be very convincing.  


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