Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

31/03/2015 - 04/04/2015

Production Details


Straight from the mighty Edinburgh Fringe, with her latest musical comedy work YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A NATURAL WOMAN, Wellington based lady of laughs Hayley Sproull is back in Auckland, returning to The Basement Theatre from 31st March – 4th April.

Sproull, whose performances have been described as ‘side-splitting’, ‘masterful’ and ‘a little too quick’, is following up her smash hits Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues (Best New Comer NZ International Comedy Festival 2012, NZ Fringe People’s Choice 2014), Tighty Whiteys (named funniest show of the NZ Comedy Festival 2014 by The Daily Blog) and Outsiders’ Guide (Best New Comer Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2013) with this new, one woman show about all the things that do and don’t make her feel like a woman.

Bleach burn, pump class, ‘I’m fine’… It’s a show about being a woman, told by a woman who said she would never do a show about being a woman.

You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, which contains Sproull’s signature comedy songs and fast-paced sketches, leaves the audience in the capable, classically trained hands of a woman struggling to understand what being a woman actually looks like beyond unique genitalia and a built in love for excessive cushions, because as much as Sproull wants to be a feminist, she also wants you to pay for dinner.

Exploring these questions through the power of song and the grace of her body, Sproull’s hour long spectacle of discovery will be potentially offensive, probably profound, and definitely unmissable.

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman… One day I might push a baby out of my vagina.  But I still can’t open this f**king jar  .

You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman plays
31st March – 4th April, 8pm
The Basement Theatre
Adult: $20 Concession $15
To book: 

Theatre , Musical ,

Not so much a tour-de-force as a jaunt-de-strongly-suggest

Review by Nik Smythe 01st Apr 2015

Hayley Sproull’s new solo musical comedy exploits a number of clichés and stereotypes, beginning with the post-modern convention of audience contribution by way of a jar of post-its for us to scribble our personal notions of what constitutes a Natural Woman. 

The outcome of this and other such devices is ultimately less predictable than you might imagine, although anyone familiar with Sproull’s hilariously didactic style of humour may well expect to be surprised, in which case said prediction is likely to come true. 

It’s not so much amazing, out-there, blow-your-mind, concept-driven hijinx as a frank personal expose of her experience as a member of the female gender.  Nevertheless, in her monologue following the amusing and edifying introductory song about beginning to “feel like the thing that I actually am,” she talks up the ensuing hour (just on 45 minutes actually) like it’s somehow deeply relevant and ground-breaking. 

It isn’t, of course, and that, of course, is the joke.  Having spent twenty years as a taller-than-average tomboy, Hayley explains how she’s found herself gradually becoming more and more of a ‘natural woman’, meaning in this instance more feminine and organised, yet irrational.  To demonstrate along the way she attempts to undertake such typically matronly tasks as folding her laundry and peroxiding her face. 

A series of anecdotal examples of her increasing womanishness are expressed in story and song, for which Sproull’s vocal skills and accomplished electric piano playing are more than up to the task.  Observing herself becoming increasingly neat and tidy and enamoured of domestic retail bargains (I wonder, is Briscoes a sponsor?), she openly shares past relationships, her biological clock and the fact that she’s becoming her mother. 

For a reason she’s less than clear about, Hayley declares her personal distaste for the hackneyed term ‘tour-de-force’.  As it is, essentially a loosely connected series of gender-thematic one-woman skits and songs, You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman isn’t really at the tour-de-force level; more a jaunt-de-strongly-suggest.  Bloody funny though.


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