Tag Archives: Basement Theatre

interviewed | The fabulous Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky is gracing Auckland again this month for two evenings of karaoke cabaret nonsense, vocal pyrotechnics, and riotous fun. You may remember her from the British musical comedy cabaret double act – Frisky & Mannish – who performed at last year’s Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.

This time, the audience gets to choose the playlist during her performance! The show is all about classic music and why we love it so much. It will allow the audience to offer their random favourite songs, and express why they love certain tracks so much. Miss Frisky admitted: “It’s about getting to use me as a human jukebox and hear your favourites belted live, right in your face.”

When I asked her what she has lined up for the audience, she replied: “Really, it’s about what the audience have lined up for me! I genuinely do not know what I will be singing, it’s in the hands of the audience and I know we’ll all have a brilliant time together.”

After extensive research into interactive technologies, Miss Frisky and her team have decided that the audience will let them know their choice of songs by writing on a post-it note, and sticking it to their heads. Miss Frisky told me how incredibly efficient this method is, “and everyone looks suitably ridiculous, so I enjoy it,” she said. “I’ll then choose whichever songs I feel like singing. Bribes will be accepted.”

Along with the show, she’s super excited to be back in Auckland to visit Ponsonby’s food market, boutiques and brunch spots. She loves Karangahape Road’s vintage shops and the Wharf’s killer oysters and seafood. She also spoke very highly of Waiheke’s vineyards but will be looking for new adventures this year. She said: “All the best days out I’ve had, were suggested by Auckland locals, so write it on a post-it and stick it to your head, please.”

She is one of the biggest voices in cabaret and has performed all over the world, but she still gets nervous. She said: “What’s extra-nerve-racking about the show I’m doing here, is that I am totally in the audience’s hands. We will be making something unique every night, so comfort won’t really be coming into it! But the nerves are the thing that give you superpowers – I cannot wait to see what happens.”

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky performs in Miss Frisky’s Karaoke Experience from Friday the 15th to Saturday the 16th of September at 8pm in Basement Theatre. Buy your tickets here.

After Auckland, Miss Frisky will fly back to London for a short time, before heading to Berlin to host a nightly dinner cabaret show, drink gluhwein and eat currywurst until March 2018.

She said: “I won’t be able to do more karaoke for a little while, so it’s going to be very very special doing these shows.”


NZICF 17 | Guy Williams – Why Am I Like This?

This year at the NZ International Comedy Festival, Guy Williams managed to impress with a lively (albeit slightly shouty) sell-out show at the Basement Theatre with self-deprecating ease.

The Basement provided a comfortable setting for Williams’ featured show, engaging the audience seamlessly, and keeping the atmosphere buoyant with a spirited performance. ‘Why Am I Like This?’ begins confidently, with him keeping his material relevant and current throughout.

Williams’ undeniable talent for political heckling remains, and we are updated in regards to his recent antics on social media – blessed. He communicates raw comical honestly which is refreshing when compared to the rehearsed-mood sometimes encountered in the current comedy scene. Although some of the show feels a little rehearsed with music cues and whatnot, he handles improv with ease (twice his performance was interrupted by late-comers, which is possibly not a great thing to happen to the late-comer, but can really work to a comedians advantage).

I have to recommend Guy Williams’ show – go and see him while you can readily acquire tickets; His reach and audience appeal continue to grow, as does his obvious comfort on a larger visible public platform. Also he treats us to more texts from his Mum. Thumbs up.

4/5 Stars   Get tickets for his show HERE.

GUY WILLIAMS performs at the Basement Theatre; His last show Sun 7 May as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival from 27 April – 21 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!

humans of mac+mae: Lizzie Morris

This is my favourite denim jacket, it fits every occasion and can complete every outfit. It’s an authentic retro jacket and was given to me by my Aunty on my last trip to the UK.  I’m not one to value material possessions and often value an experience over things but this jacket is the exception.

I love clothes (especially secondhand ones) and feel that the way that you present yourself is often an extension of your personality or your artistic self. My wardrobe is filled with items that tell stories, but I’d be most devastated if I lost this one.

I was given this jacket by my aunty when I visited the UK for my Grandfathers funeral, it was only about the fourth time I’d ever met her but she managed to give me a jacket that suited my style perfectly.  It used to be hers in the 80’s and as soon as I saw it I fell in love.

This jacket is just like me. It’s quirky, a bit tough, and scruffy in an endearing way. This is also how you could describe the theatre that I make and the projects that I commit myself to – Messy and charming.

Lizzie Morris created and performs in Lucinda and the Cactus Girl in Auckland Tuesday 18 – Friday 22 October.  Buy your tickets here.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Lisa Brickell

This is a photo of my grandmother, Melba Mitchell.

It is special to me because I never met her. She died when my mother was pregnant with me. She had always said she wanted a red-headed grand daughter, but my parents and grandparents all had dark skin and hair. So it was sad she took her own life before I was born -her red-headed grand daughter.

I wish I had met her. I have written a play about her and my other female ancestors. It’s called Mockingbird and is a Black Comedy about Mental Health.

Lisa Brickell is an internationally trained performer with a speciality in Clowning and Mask Work. She also has an MA in Drama from The University of Auckland.  She’s taught at some of New Zealand’s top tertiary institutions and also works aas a trainer of presentation and leadership skills. Lisa has performed extensively in New Zealand, Italy, Japan, France, Brazil and England.

Lisa Brickell performs Mockingbird at the Basement Theatre 4-8 October and Te Pou Theatre 12 October.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Bruce Brown

This is one of my most treasured possessions. My boyfriend discovered this collection of lyrics and hid it away from me until my birthday one year. If I hadn’t discovered the music of Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke, I can say for certain that I wouldn’t have started writing. It was the poetry of his lyrics and passion behind them that inspired me.

He’s always been fearless as a songwriter, sharing the experiences that shaped his unique viewpoint, whether that’s songs about the regret of heartbreak, the loneliness of big cities or the longing for someone you can never have. It was his music that I listened to non-stop when I wrote my first play and it’s his music I go back to whenever I’m feeling stuck or lost when writing.

Bruce Brown’s latest production, a sexy, slightly dirty play, HOOK-UP BOYS runs at Basement Theatre Tues 20 September – Sat 24 September.  

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

humans of mac+mae: Egle Simkeviciute Kulvelis

This picture was taken during the dress rehearsals of “Close City”.  It’s special to me because the dress rehearsal is when all parts of the show come together – after 3 months of work, you see your “baby” for the first time.

Close City directions are intuitive and playful.  I wanted to intensify and engage the viewer’s imagination so they build a story based on what they see.  If the audience wants to go further and think about the show, it’s their own decision.  I believe that every performance lives its second life after a show – in the audience’s thoughts, conversations & dreams.  If it stays with them after the show, my goal is achieved and I know that this show was worth creating.

Critically acclaimed director Egle Simkeviciute Kulvelis brings her production, Close City to Auckland for the first time.  Close City is about life and its tremendous capacity for growth and destruction and plays at Basement Theatre until Saturday 17 September.  Buy tickets here and read our review here.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

been | Close City

The Passion, excitement and unspoken nervous tension of an opening night are heightened in the small crammed studio host to ‘Close City’ – a play produced by Amber Rose Henshall and directed by Egle Simkeviciute Kulvelis.

Written by Marius Ivaskevicius, Close City paints a colourful and provocative tale of marriage most mundane, dominance and submission, all with a decidedly Scandinavian quintessence.

Sheena Irving and Jeff Szusterman play the fragile centrepieces of this play with superb support from Lucy Suttor as the fantastical mermaid, Thomas Sainsbury provides comedy with his character’s quirky swedish anecdotes and bizarre reflective musings, Daniel Watterson plays the dashingly deviant Lars, along with Emma Newborn as the morally corrupt Birgit.

With clever metaphors between glass and the innate fractures of close relationships, parallels pertaining to the distance of cities, (Malmo & Copenhagen) and the journey of discovering another part of oneself previously repressed, albeit far from home, Close City is a story that alongside superb acting, clever and detailed artistic direction that leaves one feeling not quite the same as when they entered.

Thought-provoking and engaging, this is one show of the Basement Theatre’s Spring Season that is a must-see!


Close City is showing at Basement Theatre 6th-17th September