Lucy Fox, Laura Trenerry and Ell Sachs are The Travelling Sisters. 2017 winners of Best Comedy and New Zealand Tour Ready Award at Melbourne Fringe they’re at BATS Theatre to make us snort laugh. (They don’t exactly put it like that but it’s definitely what I heard (and maybe did) at their opening night show.) These women are clowns – physically exaggerated gestures, expressive faces, modulated voices – all to make us laugh. With a suitcase full of wigs and a rack full of costume changes they morph into different characters in front of our eyes. From yoga buddies, to lollipop ladies, to a very naughty boy, they stuff a lot into their 60 min show. There are a few moments when I’m suspicious because we’re laughing at characteristics people have no control over but generally they’re having fun with carefully constructed and expertly delivered sketch comedy.

This show includes singing, dancing, a tiny bit of audience participation. (Also a note that it contains partial nudity.)


Carrying on the absurdity is The Nose by Nikolai Gogol, adapted by Jonny Potts and Michael Trigg and set in Wellington. Wonderfully, ludicrously, specifically set in Wellington (except where it’s potentially expensive to do so). A delirious epic tale follows Alex Grieg as a ‘middle-everything unemployed bureaucrat’ as he tries to recover his Nose which he lost after a night out. We follow him sympathetically, then not so sympathetically, then begin to understand why the Nose may have left of Its own accord. It certainly seems to be more successful without him. The script is chaotic and weird while highlighting some serious topics. (A note from Jonny says “It’s just meant to be silly” while Trigg calls it a “ridiculous story”. It’s both of those things and lands points about culture and society. All of that can be true at the same time.) Mostly though, I just really enjoyed watching Bronwyn Turei, Jerome Chandrahasen, Maria Williams, Jake Brown and Hilary Penwarden on stage together. Glorious Fringe content.

  • The Nose on at BATS Theatre as part of the NZ Fringe Festival to 16 March 2018