Chronic sleep deprivation, getting back into the workforce and rekindling your love life are all things new parents can relate to – so a local actor has decided to create a “cathartic” play about those experiences.
Directed by Nelson-bred Fingal Pollock, ‘Femme Natale’ is an entertaining take on parenting, performed by four actors.
“It’s a very relatable show. It’s dealing with the preschool years but in very different ways. There’s a lot of real raw emotion but it’s all done with a funny twist.”
Think two giant breasts talking to each other and a giant grumpy sanitary pad who is always in a foul mood.
Now living in Wellington, Fingal was in the throes of new parenthood when she wrote the show, with a four-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter.
After being part of the women’s comedy company ‘Hens’ Teeth’, she got a group of parents together to write and perform a skit each.
“I thought, ‘if we’re going to get mothers with little children on the stage, this is how we do it’ – because writing a whole show is impossible.
“We only had two rehearsals because no one had any time, but it was great. It brought us back into the sphere of theatre and professional performance after having a few years off. It’s a really hard industry to be in when you’ve got little kids.”
The following year she did a sequel and then took the best from both and created a twoact show.
Other cast members include multi-award-winning playwright, filmmaker and actress of TV’s McPhail and Gadsby fame, April Phillips, actor/author Tracey Savage and stay-at-home-dad, Jeremy Nelson. Fingal says she is “excited but nervous” to bring it to her hometown.
“A lot of the audience will be people who knew me as a little girl … and the show can get a little risqué.”
And it’s not just for mums. “A lot of men came and enjoyed it, even men in their 40s with no children liked the show. I was pleasantly surprised,” she says.
“It’s definitely about children, not for them. In ten years, I’ll do the teenager sequel – so stay posted.”
‘Femme Natale’ is on 28 and 29 February, 7:30pm at The Suter Gallery Theatre. Tickets are available from www.ticketrocket.co.nz