Deluxe 2017

The Menagerie Deluxe, 2nd September 2017, The Opera House in Wellington

Wellington’s only monthly variety show went big-time! The Menagerie Deluxe on Saturday the 2nd of September featured unique talents that range from opera to contortion. This fast-paced night showcased the best of local and national live performance for one night only at The Opera House.

Come along to witness an evening wilder than the Royal Variety Performance, and sexier than The Muppet Show. The Menagerie is bringing a selection of dynamic variety performers to the splendour of the Opera House stage for a night packed full of unique and unusual talent. Come along to see circus, comedy, dance, music, magic, burlesque and much more. This show brings a dynamic selection of incredible performances that will take you on a provocative and entertaining journey.

Photos from Paradox Photography and Gareth Bradley Photographic





Performers of The Menagerie Deluxe

(in alphabetical order)

Alien Junk Monsters - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Increasing waste accumulation combined with mutagenic toxins and possible extra-terrestrial influences has led to the evolution of a new life-form: ALIEN JUNK MONSTERS.

However the news is not all bad, as these fellas love to BOOGIE.
Created from waste materials sourced from skips, dumps, tips, roadsides and recycling facilities, the ALIEN JUNK MONSTERS are here to entertain with their funky percussive antics, while promoting a message of waste-minimisation, recycling and creative re-use of waste material.

Alien Junk Monsters’ website
Alien Junk Monsters’ Facebook page

Clever and Victor - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Victor Victorious & Clever Hansel have been working together for nearly a decade. They’ve run a gauntlet of bears, mermaids, prisoners, pirates, zombies, high culture, and low brow. They’ve sung, they’ve danced, they’ve stripped,and somehow they still haven’t been run out of town. They’re not sure why not.

Through a strange series of circumstances (and one possible blackmail), they’ve found themselves on the bill for a show in the Opera House, of all places.
Like a dog driving a limousine, they don’t know how they got here, they don’t know what they’re doing, and (despite the risk of fatalities) they’ll probably do something funny. Somehow.

Clever’s Facebook page
Victor’s Facebook page
Clever’s Instagram @cleverhansel
Victor’s Instagram @victortheodd

David Correos - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

David enjoys making people laugh, He studied performing arts at Hagley Theatre Company, and afterwards he went down the road of stand up comedy, performing at local variety nights like Monday Night Magic doing very off beat comedy.

He found influence in the thriving busking and circus scene in Christchurch – watching people swallow swords and walk on broken glass showed him that almost anything can be entertaining. His style of comedy can be described as a big ball of manic energy that even his body can’t keep up with.

David’s Facebook page
David’s Snapchat camerabankpower

Fanciforia Foxglove - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

One part showgirl, two parts clown, a dash of angel and a splash of devil. Fanciforia Foxglove is the ingenue with the screwball style, a waist so small it’s almost not there and lest we forget that award winning derriere.

Fanciforia was lured onto the burlesque stage from the world of theatre. She is now a tour de force in her own right, loved for her quirky characters, comedic flair and hammy facials. She has paid homage to a variety of beloved characters from Marilyn Monroe, the Topp Twins, Lucille Ball and Brian from the Backstreet Boys.

Fanciforia was crowned ‘Supreme Grand Tease NZ’ in 2015 and has has toured the length and breadth of Aotearoa, across the seas to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, over the ditch at the Australian Burlesque Festival through the skies to San Francisco.

Fanciforia also teaches burlesque at Venus Starr’s School of Burlesque and is a vintage hair connoisseur. She also co-produces Lip Sync Battles Wellington.

Other notable skills include the Irish Jig, Highland fling, dressage, knitting with four needles and a perfect impersonation of Janice from Friends.

Fanciforia’s Facebook page
Fanciforia’s Twitter @fanciforia
Fanciforia’s Instagram @fanciforiafoxglove
Fanciforia’s Snapchat fancofiroa

GAG - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Seeing a need for more showcases of Wellington’s emerging drag talent, GAG burst on to the scene mid-2016. A collection of some of Wellington’s most well known, glamorous, gender-bending stars came together to bring a little more fun and excitement to Wellington’s Queer nightlife.

From parties to charity events to straight up showboating and mincing up and down the streets, there’s nothing this fab family aren’t up for. Celebrating creativity and expression, regular GAG shows have helped grow and discover drag talent as well as highlight the amazing diversity within the art form that is drag. Their Menagerie Deluxe perforrmance comes from some of the group’s most notable performers including Anna Diction, Bunny Holiday, Kelly Fornia, Luna, Indy Pendant, Tess Tosterone, Claire Voyant, Harlie Lux, Timothy Taffy and Stephii Onassiss.

Prepare stunts, tricks and shenanigans as this outrageous, talented and fierce team of drag artists light up the stage like thousands of luminous spheres.

Gag’s Facebook page
Gag’s Instagram @gagdragnz

Hadassah Grace - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Hadassah Grace tells millennial fables. Spinning stories of a life lived wild, her anecdotal style combines poetry and stand-up to create something uniquely funny, complex and thought-provoking. Peel back the layers of her revelatory confessions and you’ll find a sensitive exploration of sex, politics, and sexual politics.

“These heartfelt poems reveal more than clothes could ever cover, while making sobering points about the state of the system.” – Thomas Aitken, Theatre Review

“…Hadassah painted a picture with every word…. It’s safe to say that these aren’t the kind of poems you’d yawn at.” – Tali Te Tau, Reviewer

“She’s got thunder and lightening inside her.” – Adam McGrath, The Eastern

Hadassah’s Facebook page
Hadassah’s Twitter @gracehadassah
Hadassah’s Instagram @gracehadassah
Hadassah’s Snapchat @gracehadassah

Hannah Tasker-Poland - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017

Where does The Muse wait?

Hannah Tasker-Poland (Miss Anthropy) offers The Muse, exploring ideas of the archetypal feminine Muse and the abstract concept of inspiration.
An excerpt from an in-development, full-length solo dance theatre work, conceived and choreographed by Hannah, revealed for the first time at The Menagerie Deluxe.

Hannah is a professional dancer/performer with over ten years experience. She has worked with the likes of The New Zealand Dance Company, touring throughout Australasia and Europe, Atamira Dance Company, Footnote New Zealand Dance, World Of Wearable Arts, Borderline Arts Ensemble, Southern Lights Dance Company,The Loons Circus Theatre Company and Auckland Theatre Company.

Film/TV credits include character/stunt performer on feature films Ghost In The Shell and The Hobbit, and feature dancer/stunt performer on TV series Spartacus and Legend of the Seeker.

Hannah is well known in the burlesque/fetish realms as Miss Anthropy, with her unique blend of dark, provocative and fiercely visceral performances. She has headlined The New Zealand Fetish Balls, Capital Fetish Ball, NZ Burlesque Festival, is a regular at The Menagerie, Carousel Cabaret, Electrique Burlesque and Las Vegas Club, has performed solo at the Australian Burlesque Festival and Germany and is a sought-after body-paint & fire performer.

Hannah’s Facebook page

Harlow Lestrange - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Harlow Lestrange is a self-described swamp witch and circle enthusiast. She never feels more at home than when she has a hoop in her hand and brushes the classic hula hoop with her own contemporary movements and unique performance quality.

Harlow has performed for The Menagerie a couple of times, including the first ever show and also produced 5 Menagerie shows in 2016.

“Lestrange commands complete attention from every last member of the audience, and she moves with such fluidity and expertise that jaws drop in awe.” — Corey Spence, Art Murmurs, 27/09/2016. (Link here to hyperlink

Harlow’s Facebook page
Harlow’s Twitter @HarlowLestrange
Harlow’s Instagram @HarlowLestrange

Jacquie Fee - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Jacquie’s influences range from soul, jazz, hip hop and rock n roll. She adores artists like Billie Holiday, Janis Martin, Amy Winehouse, Sarah Vaughn and Aretha Franklin.

She grew up in Palmerston North and moved to Wellington when shw was 19 to study Musical Theatre at Wellington Performing Arts Centre. Since then she has started a burlesque influenced girl group, performed in numerous theatre shows, performed as a solo artist in cabaret shows, as a bio queen/burlesque fringe artist and attended the New Zealand School of Music to learn in jazz vocals. Jacquie also manages a fun shop on Cuba Street where she constantly listens to music that inspires her and is probably way too loud.

Jacquie’s Instagram @jacquie_shabby
Jacquie’s Snapchat kikifeefee

Justine Smith - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Having won the Billy T Award, the NZ Comedy Guild Best Female Comedian (twice) and the NZCG Best MC (also twice), Justine has established herself as one of the key players in new Zealand Comedy. With a flick of the eye and “To be honest…” she will have the audience in stitches.

If you were to try and define Justine as a lover or a fighter, you’d have to say a healthy mix of both. She is capable of tearing strips off people on stage, and then having a drink with them after the show. A leading light of New Zealand Comedy, Justine is just as comfortable in a theatre or a local bar in the country. Simply put, one of our best.

Jussi’s Website
Jussi’s Twitter @JussiSmith
Jussi’s Instagram @JussiSmith

Kade and Jeremy - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Kade and Jeremy are an award winning comedy and magic duo based in Wellington. They met while they were studying acting together and thought they would start doing magic and telling jokes on stage to try and raise some money to help with the crippling debt. They have been performing together for 5 years and between them have won a few awards here and there, New Zealand Parlour Magic Champion being one of them! That one was kinda rigged though cause they got trained by Gandalf through Peter Jackson, so it was always a sure thing. They have performed in numerous New Zealand International Comedy Festivals as well as local festivals all over the country.

In their spare time Kade’s a marriage celebrant and a fire fighter, and Jeremy has often skipped the country helping to build all sorts in the Islands. Together the boys own a bird and a chinchilla, so they always have their hands full. Come along and get on the crazy train along side them.

Laura Loach - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Laura grew up in the South Island, and was immersed in music and theatre from a young age. After high school Laura moved to Wellington and studied Classical Performance Voice at Te Koki New Zealand School of Music, where she gained both her BMus and PGDip Mus under the tutelage of Flora Edwards, who she continues to study with. She also has her ATCL (Distinction) in Performance Speech and Drama and her Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary).

Laura has worked in Musical Theatre, Opera and Theatre. Over the years and some of her roles have included; Grace in Annie, Mrs Ducat in Polly (John Gay), Juno in Semele (Handel), Gianetta in The Gondoliers (Gilbert and Sullivan) and Claire in Ordinary Days (Adam Gwon), Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Queen and Belaria in Cymbeline (Shakespeare), Laura also works in the NZOpera Freemasons Chorus. Laura has been a finalist in the IFAC Napier Aria competition, Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria finalist, and was awarded Judges Choice in the finals of the Dunedin Aria Finals. She is a passionate teacher, having worked both as secondary teacher of Drama and Music and as a private vocal tutor.

Laura’s Website
Laura’s Facebook page
Laura’s Twitter @LauraLoach
Laura’s Instagram @laura_loach_soprano

Ngāi Tauira - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017

Ngāi Tauira, the Māori Students’ Association at Victoria University’s core business is to represent and advocate for the wellbeing of tauira Māori during their time at Victoria University.

Ngāi Tauira supports two Māori students’ associations on campus; Ngā Rangahautira – Māori Law Students’ Association, Ngā Taura Umanga – Māori Commerce Students’ Association.

Ngāi Tauira is also a member of Te Mana Akonga; the National Māori Tertiary Students’ Association where Māori student concerns are campaigned and lobbied at a National level, to improve and promote positive educational outcomes for tauira Māori.

Ngāi Tauira’s Facebook page
Ngāi Tauira’s Snapchat ngai_tauira
Ngāi Tauira’s Instagram @ngaitauira_vuw

Nick Tasman Davies - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017

Nichollas Tasman (aka Taz) is a local performer and circus facilitator. He brings a background of touring with Circus Aotearoa and teaching locally in Wellington Circus Trust, Kapiti Circus and Slipstream Circus in Tasmania. He has a movement background rooted in dance and outdoor adventure which is woven into his Aerials. He may also be found throwing people and juggling hats.

Nichollas’ Website

Skye Broberg - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Skye Broberg is a graduate of CPIT’s Circo-Arts program and has worked as a core member of the Hagley Dance Company and The Loons Circus Theatre Company. Skye has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and most recently in Jamaica as well as appearing on Guinness World Record shows in four countries.

Skye’s Website

Venus Starr - The Menagerie Deluxe 2017, Wellington Opera House, 2nd September

Internationally acclaimed, published tattoo model and cover girl.
Powerhouse burlesque and circus showgirl, event host and producer.
Entertainer extraordinaire, the ultimate speciality act.

Head mistress of Venus Starr’s School of Burlesque, Venus is notoriously known as New Zealand’s powerhouse burlesque & circus showgirl. Venus has headlined & appeared at multiple events and festivals around the globe. A starlet in the entertainment industry for over 10 years with a diploma in Circus Arts.

Venus’ Website
Venus’ Facebook page
Venus’ Instagram @venus_starr

This unique show is grateful to kind and generous support of Wellington City Council‘s Venues Subsidy. We support the Wellington City Council’s vision for Wellington to be a smart city – an inclusive place where ‘people choose to live’. In particular community outcome of Wellington being a “Dynamic Central City […] A place of creativity, exploration and innovation”. Thanks WCC, you are ace.

Wellington City Council supports The Menagerie Deluxe