November 2014 Show
The manic pixie showgirl with a pocket full of glitter and a handful of rope.
Gracie Hart is your dream girl, if the girls in your dreams drink whisky like water and would rather be tied up than ever feel tied down. She’s a stripper, but if you ask her for a lap dance, she’ll crawl into your lap and call you “Daddy”. She bakes the best jelly roll in town, and her rack is big enough to make a baker’s bread rise in the morning. She’s tight-laced, but never tight-lipped, and her siren song has been known to sink ships. With a voice like velvet, and the promise that only strangers sleep in her bed, she’s here to serenade you.
Andre Corey is the current Mr Pole Dance New Zealand who started his pole journey a little over 5 years ago. “Beautiful, graceful movement combined with jaw dropping gravity defying strength this boy sure knows how to pack a punch!”
Look at lovely images of him on Instagram
Charley Davenport is a freelance cellist based in Wellington. He is an eclectic performer who regularly appears with leading bands and ensembles, including The Troubles jazz band, Grayson Gilmour, Nikita the Spooky & a Circus of Men and Sky Village. He has also performed solo in various guises for film, theatre and dance. Charley will perform here solo with his entrancing and experimental sonic layers of looping cello.
The Poetry Your Mother Warned You About.
Ali Jacs is a spoken word artist who melds the musing with the manic, the ironic with the irate, the questioning with the queer. She has been performing the slam poetry circuits for over four years, with feature performances in Canada, USA, Australia and all over New Zealand. In 2012, she won the NZ National Poetry Slam competition.
Stephii emerged from the swamps of Winton, raised to be the son of a preacher man, spending his childhood driving 2 hours to Gore to go ice skating. Stephii Onassiss is a trash diamond. Made of pizza and bodily fluids. She likes every dog and fake food.
A drag queen and wannabe punk and performance artist, preferring to look interesting over beauty, known mostly for her ability to eat, get naked and give zero fucks while on stage.
Mildly hairy and lightly bellied. Irreverent and nonchalant. Here to kiki and kai kai. Have you seen how cute she is though, you should buy her a drink.
This month we decided to also include a photo of our fabulous sound and lighting tech Belle. You won’t see Belle on stage unless a thingi-ma-jiggi needs to be replaced or a whats-a-ma-doodle needs fixing.
Belle is astounding, she does the things that make seeing and hearing the show happen. Without her we would all be sitting in the dark wondering what was doing on. We also give her a million different changes on the night, she magically deals with all sorts of weird requests and she does style.
Nik loves storytelling and the world of ‘what ifs’. Whether it is the real or the imaginary, Nik has the ability to make you laugh as if you were there living the experience with him.
“Frighteningly good!” – Paul Ego (7 Days)
“Fresh and very funny” – Dai Henwood (7 Days)
Check out Nik’s profile on Comedy.co.nz
Miss La Vida
From London to Las Vegas, New York to Sydney, Miss La Vida has entertained, stunned and brought audiences to their feet with her witty and engaging style of burlesque.
In the 6 years since she started performing burlesque, Miss La Vida has made a global impression performing for the likes of: the 2010 New York Burlesque Festival, Headliner for the 2012 Perth International Burlesque Festival, Cirque du Cabaret at The London Wonderground 2013, the Australian Burlesque Festival 2014, as well as performing around New Zealand, including twice for New Zealand Fashion Week.
The highlight of her career so far is competing in the Best Debut category in June 2011 at the most prestigious Burlesque event in the world, the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Miss La Vida has many other talents too including being an avid ukulele tickler, 60s Go-Go fanatic, MC, pin-up poser and comedian.
Comedian Patch Lambert addresses the serious issues in life, and then does nothing about them. Time that could be spent trying to revolutionize modern medicine or solve world hunger is instead spent playing video games, drinking instant coffee and imagining what sharks would look like in jeans.
An effervescent and engaging character on stage, he talks about his experiences as a 22 year old human being on Earth with an honesty and wit that makes people laugh and stuff. He was Nominated for 2013 NZ Comedy Guild Awards ‘Best Newcomer’ and was a 2014 Wellington Raw Quest Finalist.
“Patch Lambert delights… with intelligent material told from a scruffy, bogan exterior. Another great storyteller” – The Ruminator
“A gnarly little grub from the Hutt” – Brendhan Lovegrove
Here are three things you may not know about Victor:
1 – He has never been on a boat.
2 – He met Rachel Rouge in a drunken bar fight. Rachel won.
3 – He is not actually a ventriloquist.
Here are some more things other people have said about Rachel Rouge:
“warm, effusive, bright, compassionate, funny and saucy” Tits and Sass
“average figure and above-average intellect” the Edge New York
“exudes an unexpected level of integrity” Theatreview
“Awesome trader, quick payer, fully recommend” insectwholesale
October 2014 Show
Rachel Renegade – from the Pretty Things Peepshow.
The English dazzling dame of danger is set to tour New Zealand with the Pretty Things Peepshow, we are ecstatic that she will be the hostess of our October show.
Rachel Renegade is an international touring sideshow performer, Pretty Things Peepshow cast member and model. She’s performed all over the world doing dangerous stunts including bed of nails, bed of swords, ladder of swords, human chopping block, swallowing razorblades and balloons, mousetraps on her tongue, being a human target and conducting electricity through her bare flesh live on stage. She likes to do dangerous things for applause.
Charlie Atlas – from the Pretty Things Peepshow
This modern day adonis got his start as a body builder and has quickly become the highlight of the highlands with his amazing sideshow skills. Adept at whip cracking, knife throwing, human blockhead and being able to roll frying pans and bend nails with his bare hands he is also the other half of the popular double act The Renegade Sideshow with his bride Miss Rachel Renegade.
Gay bear. American expat. Aging slacker. Watch him tackle the irony of homophobia, the humiliation of childhood, and the uncharted territory of man-on-man marriage. His comedy is by turns intellectual, bawdy, angry, and insightful, but most of all funny.
“A bold performer with intelligent material. Constantly amusing and thought-provoking.” -ruminator.co.nz
Neil Thornton is a comedian from New York City currently living in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s a regular in Wellington comedy clubs and performs all over New Zealand, opening for performers such as Urzila Carlson, Mike King, Ewen Gilmour, and Brendhan Lovegrove. In the United States, Neil performed in New York City, Washington D.C., Provincetown, Fire Island, and the Poconos. He was the producer of New York’s first all-bear comedy revue, “Funny. Furry. Fierce.” which sold out three years in a row at NYC’s Urban Bear Weekend, and performed in “MAULED: The Bears of Comedy” at Provincetown Bear Week. He also hosted a popular weekly show, “Stand-Up @ RockBar.”
Edgy, dreamy and a little sassy, Ills Winter AKA Elizabeth de la Rey will be performing her new single Unravel. She is a Wellington based folktronica musician who captivates audiences with her yearning soulful voice and song.
An indie folk singer/songwriter from Sydney on tour in New Zealand. Jack will join us for a few of his orginal songs, and will also be doing a solo show at The Fringe Bar the next day on Sunday the 26th of October.
Website · http://www.jackcarty.com
Facebook · http://www.facebook.com/jackcartymusic
Twitter · http://www.twitter.com/Jack_Carty
iTunes · http://www.itunes.com/jackcarty
Lyrics · http://jackcartylyrics.tumblr.com/
YouTube · http://www.youtube.com/jackcartyandtheparty
T-Shirts · http://labelstate.com/collections/jack-carty
Instagram · http://instagram.com/jackcarty
Introducing Lucas Monge originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lucas specializes in psychological magic as he believes in the power of the mind to transform and to re-create. Utilizing the most rare heirloom knowledge Lucas has perfected the art of persuasion in his impressive performance.
Courtney L’amour is an international burlesque and cabaret performer based in Wellington. She is the producer of such wonderful shows as Cabaret L’amour, The Burlesque Masquerade Ball and Burlesque Baby, and runs the award winning dance troupe Les Folies de L’amour. She also teaches burlesque and cabaret workshops in Wellington.
The Reverend Doctor Vinyl Burns
Vinyl Burns is a semi retired, show business celebrity superstar and showman DJ living on a South Wairarapa horse farm. Vinyl performs a killer live show, jammed full of circus, live music, improvisation, standup comedy and charisma. He produces a weekly radio show & podcast, writes a (mostly) regular blog, has released several albums, often in conjunction with Otaki Airforce, and has a hundred or so music videos, sketches and live shows available online… he used to be in the CIA, but now they only let him do this.
Select Players from the New Zealand Improv Festival
The New Zealand Improv Festival returns to the capital 28 Oct – 1 Nov, and we’ve brought some of our guests to town early for a special Menagerie performance. 10 minutes of improvised comedy – watch some of the our most talented improvisors make something wonderful from your suggestions.
Here are some things other people have said about Rachel Rouge:
“disarmingly funny” Show Business Weekly
“educated, honest and articulate with an extensive vocabulary” Theatreview
“No contain nude :(” Youtube user CorelEuropa
“a natural performer, a sweet-faced, honey-voiced lady with a disarmingly charming style.” Burlesque Beat
“clever and illuminating” Cultural Capitol
September 2014 Show
After a glittering career in menswear, Fraser Hooper gave it all up to follow the red nose. Twenty five years on his unique brand of award-winning comedy has delighted thousands of audiences across the globe. From sell-out showsand appearances at nearly every major Street, Clown and Theatre Festival in Europe, Canada and Australasia, Fraser has established a huge legion of fans. This show takes audience participation to a new level, his routines are hilarious, clowning classics with elements of mime and knockabout comedy that pay homage to the great silent clowns. At present there are no plans to return to menswear.
Debuting a NEW ACT!
Like a freshly picked apples, She’s sweet, juicy and a little bit… tart. MisRed is a national and international acclaimed burlesque performer, the winner of Miss Burlesque NZ 2013, and is the co-producer of the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. Along with being a performer and producer, MisRed started Palmerston Norths only public burlesque academy, Red Delicious Burlesque, and teaches all around the lower North Island in order to spread the passion of her art.
Little Bastet, is a new performer on the Wellington scene. This latino lady from New Caledonia has many influences in her dancing, from African to Oriental and tribal fusion, her style has also incorporated academic genres like jazz or contemporary. She will be presenting a piece that entices your senses and reveal the felinity that sleeps within.
Spawned in the darkest reaches of the Northern Waikato, this endearingly awkward human will you take on a hilarious ride through the his unique worldview of our great nation.
After 2 electric shows in the 2014 Comedy and Fringe Festivals, witness the perfect mix of utter vanity and gross self loathing, with Sam Foster as he continues his journey into The Menagerie this September.
Rosetta Stoned, Fanciforia Foxglove & Victor Victorious
Literary Misadventurists. These three dangerous and unpredictable experts in winging it are coming together for one night only. Anything could happen! They’re like Charlie’s Angels, without the kung fu. Unless there’s kung fu!? Maybe they have to fight ninjas! That would be awesome.
Two established Wellington burlesque performers will dramatically enact unrehearsed readings read by another established Wellington burlesque performer.
Flix Rose is New Zealand’s original alternative indie folk artist.
Since arriving from Whangarei, Flix has beguiled Wellingtonians with her angelic voice and quirky lyrics, backed with ukulele and guitar. Whether singing about those awkward social media moments or a growing obsession with facial hair, the delightful Flix Rose will tug on your heart strings and tickle your funnybone.
Described by NZ Herald as “Sharp, witty and charasmatic…”
Jim Stanton is back to host The Menagerie for her second time, so is relieved to hear she didn’t ruin the show last time! Returning with her is her comedy partner and constant companion, her 6 month old baby bump, who has actually contributed very little apart from literally increasing her profile.”
Ana Chaya Scotney
Ana Chaya Scotney is a Maori-Jewish-Buddhist kid with qualms.
She writes things in the persona of different characters. Usually, they are a Joan of Arc loving Hooker with a Heart of Gold, a powerful sorceress called Karaba, and a slightly over-zealous 19 and a half year old Maori-Jewish-Buddhist kid with qualms. They all want to tell people off. None of them ever quite succeed at this.
She’ll share with you are some poemy-song type things that she (and some guys) have made about New Zealand, death and their hopes for the future. She is in her first year of acting training at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School.
Bumming for Fags
Wellington’s premiere subsistence-level street entertainment duo is taking guitar and accordion where they’ve never been before.
Available for kids parties!*
Book them now!!** “
*restraining orders permitting
**that’s not an injunction to the police
Rachel Rouge is the curator, producer and keeper at The Menagerie.. she likes to think it’s her personal collection of entertainers. But really each group of unique performers brought together on this one night is their own incredible creation.
Rachel is part mermaid… the top part.
Rachel was in Derren Brown’s show Trick of the Mind. She held a phone, it was her Nokia 3210. If you have a proxy server extension you can watch the episode on UK Channel 4 on Demand.
August 2014 Show
International woman of mystery. Adopted by a wolf pack basking on the shores of the Elegant Isles, in a manner emphatic and free. Siren and Girl Friday to passing pirates. 25% Sugar, 25% spice, 49.95% All Things Nice and 0.05 % trace metabolites.
Responsible for the gag reflex.
Human rights activist.
Daniel John Smith
Daniel loves words. He loves words so much that if he had to choose between you and words he’d choose both, because that seems like the kind of theoretical choice he’d never actually have to make.
He’s making new life-rules for himself because he realized life really only has guidelines. About this, he’s confident that he’s right and that you can probably be convinced.
“His storytelling is cohesive, competent and incredibly funny” – The Ruminator
Go on and show some love to his Facebook page.
Uther Dean is a professional story-teller, writer, director, poet, and designer. He is one of the co-founders and co-creative directors of critically-acclaimed, audience favourite theatre company My Accomplice, who recently received Bats‘ Stab commission for this year.
He is currently writing a Young and Hungry play for their 2015 festival of new work, series of love stories for the 2015 Fringe and a monologue for the 2015 comedy festival. He writes regularly for the Pantograph Punch, FishHead Magazine and The Wireless.
He tweets as @utherlives and thinks you look lovely today.
Ailsa Krefft and Fritz Wollner. Jazz, Blues and Soul Duo.
This songstress and music-box playing man have been serenading the multitudes since Ailsa was a student at secondary school, and Fritz was the master of melodies and moppet masses.
Sit tight and stay tuned for this star soloist’s skillful song. Her sovereign score swells, sweetens and soars supreme. Matching her might, our minstrel’s magic mitts make magnificent measures, which mellifluously murmur and mewl miles into the morning.
Keep your sense about you and mark these two, or these swindling moonlighters, the Stolen Moments, will spirit your substance, memories and marvel away.
Miss Anthropy aka Hannah Tasker-Poland is a well-established performer, having toured throughout New Zealand and overseas. Professional dancer, actor and stunt performer, she has also been making a name for herself in the burlesque world over the years with her unique brand of dark, seductive, primal and physically brilliant burlesque, fetish and cabaret shows.
Always striving to push the envelope and create striking, innovative acts, whether its covering herself in meat and ripping her tits off, shooting fireballs across the stage while enveloped in flames, exquisitely body painted and invoking ritualistic creatures or surprising the audience with unexpected *ahem* anatomical features, you can count on always being slightly disturbed and ferociously entertained.
Do give her performer page a like, you won’t be disappointed.
Alexander Sparrow’s de Sade
The Marquis de Sade is back from the dead! The pornographer, philosopher, pervert, and genius who gave his name to sadism wants to make sure you know how to give and take a rip roaring time under the sheets.
Questions will be collected as you enter, and at random, they will be answered. Who knows what you’ll hear – but it’s sure to put chills up your spine and shivers in your unmentionables.
De Sade is touring the South Island in August for more information keep an eye on Alexander Sparrow’s Facebook Page
The Sisters Sweet
The Sisters Sweet, aka Sisi & Little Boo Sweet.
Genuinely sweet and genuinely sisters.
In fact these two delightful singing and ukelele playing lasses come from the same genetic pot of gold at their older sister Miss Anthropy, Hannah Tasker-Poland.
They all were blessed with good looks and incredible talent. It seems that older sister Hannah got all the primal darkness and wickedness leaving these two only sweetness and sunshine.
Check out their dress designer mum’s Facebook page and you’ll see why they are all also so well dressed: www.facebook.com/Yolande.Kjestrup
James Malcolm knew he was turning out a little bit different, when his friends stopped wanting to film his fantastic lip-dubs to Hannah Montana. James has kindly stepped in to replace Gerard Paapu who is sadly unable to make it due to being on a different island.
Now, just one year out of high school, he’s become the winner of the 2014 Raw Comedy Quest, the biggest stand-up comedy competition in New Zealand – proving that being a toddler trapped inside a teenager’s body, sometimes has its advantages.
Feel free to make his terrible life choices seem valid, by following him on Twitter @JimboMalcolm.
Originally hailing from Canada. Pete has traveled around the world with his constantly evolving one man show. He has been busy lately building some custom instruments including his Spinning Wheel of Musical Awesomeness! Come check it out.
Also check out his Tumblr
Mistress, director and stage manager for the August show, Rachel Rouge is the lady behind the Menagerie spectacle.
Rachel started her burlesque career in 2002, she was working as a body painter in a fetish club in Edinburgh. A Burlesque troupe performed one night, Rachel (a ghost tour guide at the time) connected with the delightful troupe leader (who was studying parapsychology), and by the end of the night Rachel had booked her first gig.
Also, Rachel once spent a night sleeping at the top of the War Memorial Tower in Whanganui. this is not relevant information, but it is a fact.
July 2014 Show
Emma Wollum and Cordelia Black
Emma and Cordelia met on the set of runaway smash hit musical The Seductobot. She was a waitress, zie was a lobster, could it get any more obvious?
Since then Cordy and Emma can be regularly sighted in the wilds of Wellington, making merry with voices and obsolete instruments..
Just over six months ago Alice Brine performed her first ever stand up comedy set. Since then she has been making waves on the Wellington comedy scene.
Born and raised in Lower Hutt, Alice quickly outgrew her small, bogan, hometown and headed for the big smoke (Mount Vic).Listening to early Seinfeld cassette tapes in the back of her mum’s Ford Fairmont, Alice knew she wanted to make people laugh from a young age. However, it wasn’t until she saw an illegally bootlegged Amy Schumer performance that she was inspired to give stand up comedy a crack.
With her effortless confidence and inability to think inside the box, Alice’s comedy style is unlike many others. She’s hilarious and absolutley a ‘must see’ for the Wellington comedy scene.
Jacquie is a talented singer/actress and lover of all things glittery, gay and gawjus. She performs regularly in the Wellington theatre and Cabaret circuit and and stars even more frequently as Patti Page, Carmen Miranda and Eartha Kitt in her mirror.
Jacquie is excited to perform at The Menagerie so she can bring her imaginary characters to life and justify standing for hours alone in front of the mirror wearing fur stoles and feather headpieces.
Fanciforia burst onto the burlesque stage in 2011 and is now a tour-de-force in her own right loved for her comic characters, hammy facials, incy wincy wasp waist and excessive use of alliteration.
This fancy fox, ingenue, pinup model and actress has a theatre degree and over 10 years acting experience. They call her the ‘comedic girl next door’ or ‘the mini with mags’ – But don’t be fooled, this itsy-bitsy blonde may have the face of an angel but her curves are carved by the devil.
Visit her Facebook Page and give it a like.
Also check her out on Instagram
The Magenta Diamond
The Magenta Diamond is accomplished performer Tanya Drewery who has been stealing the spotlight on stage since the age of 5.
Her background is in Maori cultural performance, Circus, Physical Theatre, Dance and Modeling. She has graduated with a Bpa in Circus Arts & Physical Theatre which she obtained at CPIT in Christchurch NZ. Her desire to perfect the art of performance has taken her as far as San Francisco and Montreal to train with acclaimed Cirque du soleil performers.
She has performed in the areas of traditional & contemporary Circus, Cabaret, Side Show, Fetish, Burlesque, Corporate and Street Theatre, which have seen her at such festivals and venues as, Mambo Latino Osaka Japan, Toronto International Burlesque festival Canada, Club Equipage & Insomnia Berlin Germany, the New Zealand World Buskers festival, Woodford Folk festival-Australia, The Great Siberian Circus-Qld Australia, Mayacama private golf club California USA, Café Campus Montreal Canada, NZ Fringe festivals, NZ Comedy festivals, SkyCity-Auckland and World of Wearable Arts.
Her work titles have included Performer, Creative Director, Director, Producer, Choreographer, Teacher and Costume Designer. She’s amazing and we are over the moon to have this creature of the carnival as our MC in July.
Red of hair, and silver of tongue, Victor is a quick wit with skilled diction. Watch him match his oral acrobatics against his greatest challenge yet. It’ll take every ounce of assonance, sibilance, and alliteration in Victor’s vernacular to talk his way out of this month’s sticky situation.
Ben Stokes, new to the poetry scene this year, has been enjoying himself waxing lyrical about the state of things. Since beginning his part-poetry, part-slam, part-rap performances while overseas, Stokes has been productive and returned to Wellington with a sell-out, solo Fringe show.
-Nominated for Best Solo Show, Wellington Fringe 2014
-Winner of the Te Papa Matariki Poetry Slam 2014
-Winner of Regional Wellington Raw Slam 2014
-“Invokes a young Jim Morrison with buds of Kerouac and Kurt Cobain”. – TheaterView,
-“Stokes crafts emotions into poems so chock full of references and stories, we share his blistering sense of freedom”. – PANKmagazine,
Andre Corey is the current Mr Pole Dance New Zealand who started his pole journey a little under 4 years ago. Andre is a regular performer in shows in and around Wellington. He trains and teaches at Poleclass on Dixon street. With more training under his belt Andre has his eyes firmly set on International competitions and taking over the pole world.
Rachel Rouge is the producer and a burlesque performer in this show, she’s obsessed with Victorian era sideshows and carnivals. If she was given a time machine she would go into the future because her curiosity trumps her nostalgia… also she really likes being able to vote.
Rachel once snuck into a zoo in Switzerland at night, she walked around in the dark listening to the animals noises. It was exhilarating.
Rachel writes about herself in the third person and is easily distracted.
June 2014 Show
Jo Paku produced New Zealand’s very first Matariki celebration event about 15 years ago. She has a passion for sharing te Reo and waiata. Through her years of event management and media she has created many opportunities for Māori talent to be enjoyed by all.
Jo is a vivacious kaituitui (bringer together of people) who thrives in bringing incredible and diverse Māori performances to the world. The Menagerie is delighted to be working with Jo for this very special Matariki show.
No Ngati Porou ia. Ko Te Aitanga a Mate, Te Whanau a Tuwhakairiora nga hapu.
Kathryn Akuhata Brown is a filmmaker and award winning writer of drama, sitcom, soap, satire, documentary and poetry. Her work spans across cinema, television, radio, print, theatre, web and occasionally as a political submission. Kathryn is a graduate of the Binger Film Lab (Amsterdam) she mentors and has been mentored by internationally acclaimed screenwriters and recently worked as Development Executive for the NZ Film Commission. Throughout her career Kathryn has been actively involved in many industry related groups such as Script to Screen, as an industry advisor to the board of the University of Auckland, Nga Aho Whakaari and Te Paepae Ataata in her commitment and passion for indigenous stories being told and heard both here and abroad. “Kathryn has an astonishing ability to bestow unorthodox beauty to the most ugly and mundane” one producer says “her work often conveys a poignant message that whilst resonating does not assault.”
This is what muzic.net.nz has to say about the sublime Lisa:
“Lisa Tomlins has worked with Rhombus, Shaken Not Stirred, Hollie Smith, Deva Mahal,Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy’s Drop, TrinityRoots, Little Bushman, Eru Dangerspiel, Recloose,Twinset, The Vipers, Wai 100%, Jerusalem, Ebb, The Saturday Night Live Band, Opensouls, The Eggs, Solaa, The Five Pleasures, The Skins and many more!”
“One of New Zealand’s most versatile performers, Lisa has been the veritable ‘gun-for-hire’ for many local bands, cementing her place as a much sought after vocalist.”
It’s all true. We won’t ever get into a name dropping competition with her.
Kapi (Ngati Kahungunu) is a sensational dancer from Nuhaka. Her passion for pole came from climbing trees. Some would say this wee bundle of flexible talent is obsessed with pole, she trains in Kaos studio, at home, on tables, on doors, and at on the jungle gym at the local park.
We are delighted to welcome Kapi back, here is a video from her last performance at The Menagerie.
Elena is one of New Zealand’s most talented and innovative violinists. Her ability to breathe new life into classical compositions by drawing on the musical and cultural traditions of New Zealand Maori, defines both her work and her reputation. Elena is a truly unique entertainer, who’s signature performances are known for their passion and personality.
Have a look at her beautiful website: http://elena.co.nz
Toni Huata (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata) is an accomplished singer-songwriter, actress, dancer and voice expert. Nationally, Toni has performed in arts festivals, fashion events, award shows, education forums and women’s prisons while on the world stage, she has toured Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Musically, she has continued to collaborate with producer Paddy Free of Pitch Black fame whose organic blend of dance rhythms with electronic and dub elements embraces her diverse bilingual sound.
With loves as diverse as cake, going to the gym and huggable sci-fi characters who wouldn’t want to listen to Dan ramble. His style is low key yet physical, wrong yet so right, sweet yet sour, or is that sweet and sour who knows. At any rate he is ready to rumble after a successful 2014 Comedy Festival cracking people up at Late Laughs, Next Big Things, and at his Comedy Fest show – In Stereo. So please join the mercurial Dan Shenton for a laugh induced hiccup or two.
“Wonderful physicality” – The Ruminator.
“He’s got a great eye for a setup … we actually coo with delight at the possibilities” – Theatreview.
Hemi Paraone aka Brannigan Kaa
Wellington’s soul man Brannigan Kaa presents James Brown as Hemi Paraone no Ngati Porou.
Amanduh la Whore
Amanduh is that dark chocolate taste, that lingers in the mind, and resonates within the soul. Nationally & Internationally acclaimed Amanduh’s noted for her simplistic elegance & her willingness for social change to our Human Condition. A corner stone of the Wellington G.L.B.T.I community, she is a flavour that is often seen & always remembered.
She’s the mistress of mystery, she’s the dame you’d like to tame, the duchess of debauchery – it’s Lady Cashmere! This burlesque beauty is the current title holder of Miss BurleyQ New Zealand, her grace, elegance and etherealness permeate her every move. She is as devious as a seductress, curious as a fantail and glittering as a star. On this special Matariki event Lady Cashmere will embody the sprit of new beginnings.
Georgina Beyer is a New Zealand icon of strength, diversity, human rights and grace. She’s the world’s first openly transgender mayor and MP and a role model. Once convicted of frequenting with felonious intent and deemed a rogue and a vagabond, she’s an approachable inspiration to those who believe in equality and that a person should be judged only by their words and actions. She has overcome massive social barriers and in the face of discrimination, she has always been open about who she is and what she is about. Ms Beyer’s life is an incredible journey in the public eye. She is the star of the documentary Georgie Girl. Recently Ms Beyer has been fighting kidney disease, she has end-stage chronic renal failure. This is a fight that can’t be won with her usual diplomacy, charisma, wit, empathy and charm, yet she still rises to the challenge of fighting this new battle. She can sing, she can debate, she can dance, she can judge sheep riding competitions, she can talk, and she can act. We are giving her 10 minutes to do what she does best: be unashamedly and exquisitely Georgina Beyer.
Rachel Rouge is co-producer for the special June Matariki Menagerie, she has released her usual obsessively tight grip of the reigns and worked closely with Jo Paku to put together this fun and special evening. Rachel spent three years taking groups of tourists into Edinburgh’s most haunted places and telling them ghost stories. And she once climbed a Sudanese pyramid at night and sung Bohemian Rhapsody very badly from the top.
May 2014 Show
Gracie Hart is your dream girl, if the girls in your dreams drink whisky like water and would rather be tied up than ever feel tied down. She’s a stripper, but if you ask her for a lap dance, she’ll crawl into your lap and call you “Daddy”. She bakes the best jelly roll in town, and her rack is big enough to make a baker’s bread rise in the morning. She’s tight-laced, but never tight-lipped, and her siren song has been known to sink ships. With a voice like velvet, and the promise that only strangers sleep in her bed, she’s here to seduce you.
Joel Hansby is an aspiring comedian, writer and awkward human being. Joel uses a mixture of one liners, short “to the point” stories and themes so he doesn’t get distracted. Recently making it to the Raw Comedy Quest regional Finals, not really knowing how, and having a show in the comedy festival, things probably aren’t going to get better anytime soon, so catch him while he’s on top.
The Victory Rollers
Seductive, sassy and sweet, these singing sisters can offer you every kind of treat! With voices like melted sugar (and spice), these girls are the naughtiest of the naughty, and nicest of the nice! Let them seduce you through song; trust us, something so good? It just can’t be wrong! They can sing you to sleep, or keep you up all night. You’ll be dreaming about them till morning light. Tonight the Victory Rollers are sweet insomniacs, watch them creep downstairs for some midnight snacks!
Miss La Belle
Miss Busty La Belle, is a Burlequologist* from Miss La Belles House of Burlesque in Wellington. Creating Boobquakes since 2009, Miss La Belle enjoys the freedom of expression that burlesque gives women, and says its great way to celebrate life. She’s the cornerstone of Wellington Burlesque, formerly shy about her body Miss La Belle never would have believed she would be getting nude in public, ever. Now, the brazen lass wears tassels on her nipples for kicks and quotes it as being ‘the most fun thing you can do with your boobs by yourself’. With her ability to be funny AND beautiful, she’s sure to charm her way into your heart and ours when she performs at The Menagerie. *burlesque dancer, producer, teacher, historian, costumier, glitter dealer, tassel twirler & enjoyer of the fine art of stripping. Check out her website: www.misslabelle.com or Facebook page.
Michelle combines her love of story-telling and humour, and delivers some quirky rhymes that are sure to delight and entertain. Often drawing inspiration from personal experiences, she’s not afraid to bare her (somewhat scarred) soul on stage, despite the occasional humiliation. New to the scene, Michelle appeared in the finals at the 2014 Fringe Festival poetry slam. She has also slammed her way to the regional poetry slam final later this year.
Mike Kmiec is a performing artist whose media include subterfuge, swindling, sharp objects and mind reading. Theatreview called him ‘A man in a suit’, which is true. They also said ‘At one point he actually causes an audience volunteer to slap their own face in shock.’ Imagine the slapping that will happen at The Menagerie.
The Polly Johnson Set
The Polly Johnson Set are a musically diverse, endearingly dysfunctional and endlessly entertaining five-piece collection of Wellingtonian songwriters and performers. Formed during a particularly chilly Lyall Bay winter as a way to keep warm – and as an excuse to drink whisky – the band soon realised that their favourite songs were their own. They resolved to hone and polish those tunes until they were dazzling nuggets of musical gold, awesome enough to unleash on a public eager for tunes of murder, love and farming equipment. Incorporating just about every instrument imaginable, The Polly Johnson Set present a live show that is energetic, irreverent, and just about as unforgettable as their only-a-mother-could-love faces. The Polly Johnson Set features Polly, Ty, G!, Marty and Scoob.
Jim Stanton, while considering herself semi-retired from the stage, knows full well you can never fully give it up. She performs solo standup from the perspective of a short, rounded redhead with a penchant for sarcasm and a deep love of melted cheese.
Suspended inTension is a Wellington based body suspension crew with a passion for all things shiny and sharp. Since being founded in 2011, Jason and Roxy have been working with the rest of the Suspended inTension crew to provide safe, beautiful and emotional suspension experiences to the masses. Body suspension is captivating and confronting, while simultaneously being an eerily peaceful artform – come and watch the Suspended inTension crew do what they love most and be part of the experience! www.suspendedintension.co.nz
Ellie Kat has been performing for over a decade. She has performed all over the country, winning hearts and gaining many admirers. Ms Kat is certainly one of the most beautiful drag queens this country has to offer and one of the most talented queens in Wellington. This kitty is always on the prowl and always gets the cream.
Our producer, gofer, performer wrangler and curator. Rachel Rouge once slept on top of a volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she also once fed wild hyenas from her mouth, and there’s a photo of her in The Lourve Paris. All of those things are true. Saturday May the 24th is her birthday, and there is nothing she would love more than for you to come along and enjoy her show.
March 2014 Show
Another big name on the New Zealand comedy circuit joins the March show! Jarred Fell combines comedy with sideshow styled magic. His performances, they are fun, creepy, intriguing and absolutely hilarious. Jarred deservedly won the 2013 Top Comedy Award from the Variety Artists Club of NZ, he has recently returned from touring Asia, and he is currently filming is hit new TV series Magician Objectionable. Have a perv at his Facebook Page, his impressive stats on the Classic Comedy website and buy a ticket to his Comedy Festival show.
Victor & Viola
While she may be short on stature, this deadly belladonna is big on sass. Viola Nightshade, swings between singing, stripping, and stunning the crowd. Will she sing you a song, or flash you her rack? You can only find out at the Menagerie. Don’t miss your chance to catch the performer that John Smythe claims “may or may not be a titular harlot”! Victor Victorious will also be joining Viola onstage, however, could not be reached for comment.
Furry-faced fop and spoken word poet Michael Gray has been performing regularly in Wellington for the last two years. Michael was featured on TV3’s Nightline for winning the 2013 Limerick Death Match and recently came 3rd at the 2013 NZ Poetry Slam final. Check out more spoken word happenings in Wellington on the Poetry in Motion Facebook page
Kapi has only been doing pole for three years, but looks like she was born on a pole. She trains regularly at Kaos pole studio, her pole obsession came from climbing trees and doing ballet as a child, as she got older pole seemed like the perfect replacement. Kapi often uploads videos of her training sessions, check out her YouTube channel
Paul Bates has enjoyed performing as a full time entertainer for the last 17 years. At the 30th New Zealand International Magicians Convention in 2010 his Alta ego “Zappo The Magician” was awarded “Best Children’s Entertainer”. In 2012 he won Best Stage act at the 31st International Magicians convention. Paul’s shows take you on a journey into a world of magical make believe and mystery with a little bit of something for everyone. www.zappoland.co.nz
The Dark Knight of Kiwi Stand-up will be the MC for The Menagerie’s March show. His standup combines kiwi staunchness with fun and mischief to deliver slick one liners and intelligent observations that explore everything from religion and race through to conflict and sexuality. Not afraid of the hard subjects, Crellin is known for his superb writing and his ability to find hilarious angles in areas where many other comics fear to tread. Benjamin has recently returned from 5 years on the UK pro comedy circuit. He’s appeared on 7 episodes of the standup show Pulp Comedy, four Billy T Award showcase performances and five spots at The International Comedy Festival Gala. He’s also been on T.V series Xena and Young Hercules. He’s pretty darn awesome. Check out his website http://www.bencrellin.com/
A dancer with some new style. Relatively fresh, introducing a mix of innocence, power and story-telling. Experimenting between the balance of love and lust, interpretive movement inspired by hip hop and raw emotion. Here to make you think, remember and re-think what was.”
Emmy Walker and Danae Gardner
The flirty and fun gals Emmy Walker and Danae Gardner ( previously known from the comedy cabaret group The One Night Stands) are back, ready to wet their whistles, put on their dancing shoes and perhaps even their bunny suits!
The producer, curator, and gofer of The Menagerie, Ms Rachel Rouge will be debuting a new burlesque act where she’ll attempt to remove 9 layers of decadent bejeweled clothes stylishly in just over 5 minutes of upbeat music. There is a lot of room for wardrobe malfunctions. Come along to see if this works.
January 2014 Show
Tess Munro Pedreros
Dancer, aerialist and creature of the circus, Tess Munro Pedreros is an innovative storyteller. She takes a traditional circus apparatus and her own body then combines them in new ways to create something that has never been seen before. Tess’ Fringe show Between The Lines is going to be mind blowing. Have you ever seen circus stunts performed expertly on a washing line before?
Venus Starr is not only an internationally published tattoo model and cover girl, not only is she an astounding trapeze artist, aerialist and hula hooping legend, not only is she one of New Zealand’s top burlesque performers, not only is she the creative director and producer of Carousel Cabaret shows, not only is she a striking blond bombshell… but she’s also a freaking cool chick. We are delighted to have her in our January line up. Check out her Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr. She posts beautiful images.
Sarah Harpur is an Award Winning Comedian and raiser of one human and a teenage cat. She has a lot of ideas. Some of them are good, most of them bizarre. Go see her Fringe Show and check out her website.
Samuel S. Snake-Eyes
Samuel S. Snake-Eyes met Rachel Rouge in a seedy bar two years ago. Several hands of poker and two bottles of whiskey later, she’d taken him for every last dime and two of his dancing girls. Miss Rouge let him keep his girls in exchange for a favor down the track. This January, she’s calling in the favor. Samuel S. Snake-eyes was born to the Industural Burlesque Collective Photo courtesy of Jasmyne Chung
Watch closely, as he promises to deceive. Magician, Nopera Whitley will lie, cheat and misdirect, so don’t be fooled by his easy charm – he’s a sly devil, make no mistake.Nopera is the current President of Wellington Magic Club and in 2012 was awarded the NZ Champion of Close Up and Card Magic by the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Check out Nopera’s Fringe show on the Fringe Website and on Facebook and discover more magic at magicandmore.co.nz
NZ’s Loudest Mime MR FUNGUS is outside of the box… “Thrillingly Stupid…”, “Hilarious…” An international comic mime Mr Fungus has been guest juggler with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and appeared in several television commercials. Mr Fungus has performed as MC, main-bill theatre show, mobile act or street entertainer for many major festivals and events of all kinds around New Zealand and in over a dozen countries worldwide. We welcome him to our January line-up. Check out more at: www.mrfungus.co.nz and meet the man behind the mime on Fergus Aitken’s Facebook Page
Duncan Hope is a slam poet whose work has been described as ‘a series of controlled explosions’ by a Wellington reviewer and ‘killer’ by 2011 Australian National Slam Champion, Luka Lesson. Duncan has been performing for two and a half years and was recently ranked within the top 6 of New Zealand’s slam poets at the national final.
We are thrilled to have Anna Miranda, a delightful Wellington based singer. She flits between genres as men wish she flitted through them. Come watch this enchanting chanteuse sing for her supper and sell her soul for dessert. Also check out her blog: www.annamirandavintage.blogspot.co.nz
A one-man band never sounded so good! Aussie multi-instrumentalist Adam Page makes spontaneous symphonies on stage, feeding all his instruments and vocals through loop pedals to build lush, layered soundscapes.A hit at many international festivals, Adam incorporates everything from jazz to Punjabi and tango to afrobeat in his wacky, improvised performance. He’s freakin awesome!
Our fearless leader, the producer, artistic director, curator and keeper of The Menagerie will be stage managing the January 2014 show. But just because she’ll be working behind the scenes doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to have her picture on the website again. She’s vain like that.