In 2018, Melanie Bracewell won the Billy T award, Rose Matafeo took out the top comedy award at Edinburgh Fringe, and the Topp Twins were made Dames. Internationally, women are storming the scene as writers, directors, and performers. The women of comedy are brilliant stars shining across the industry - but their deserved recognition has not always been exactly forthcoming. Who came before? And what happens to the Funny Girls who follow a different path, willingly or not?
Abby Howells is one of those women; hilarious, talented, a woman on her own path, and if we are being honest, pretty damn quirky. And she’s done her homework. In her brand new show HarleQueen Abby will the audience on a journey through the history of female comedians, on at BATS Theatre 1 - 5 March at 9pm. This vaudevillian-style one woman show is part confessional, part edu-tainment, and mostly an excuse to learn to juggle.
“I’m excited to share the stories of some incredible women; trailblazers, really!” says Abby Howells (writer, performer, and one-time Jerry Seinfeld impersonator*). “I’ve fallen in love with all of them, I just think they’re amazing. I’m also excited to come back to comedy, after taking a break and coming back to it in my own way, in my own style.”
Abby Howells is an award-winning comedian and writer. She was a founding member of female comedy collective Discharge and served as their Head Writer. She has written and performed in five shows for the collective, including the musical 28 Days: A Period Piece and Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die. Abby's first one-woman show Glocknid: Dwarf Warrior won her the award for Best Newcomer at the Wellington International Comedy Festival.
Working with Abby as director is the acclaimed Anya Tate-Manning, last seen at Fringe with her own solo show My Best Dead Friend, which won 'Best in Fringe' 2018. Its return season earned her the Michele Amas Accolade for Outstanding Performance at the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards. Anya’s enthusiasm for hilarity is matched only by her confusion at also being a juggling coach. How’s that going, team?
“The juggling practice is going average-to poor. So what I’m saying is, set the bar low in terms of juggling expectations.”
A one-woman celebration of female fools, HarleQueen is a night of theatre, fun and stories about cool ladies. Join the HarleQueen in celebrating the women who blazed the trail for females in comedy!
"...An assured and commanding presence that is reminiscent of Lucille Ball." - Theatreview
* This was very funny to precisely one person.