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Harlequeen: Pick of the Fringe

“Our indisputable Queen of Fools” returns to BATS Theatre

After two award winning seasons in Wellington and Dunedin, and before her international solo debut (Adelaide 2020), HarleQueen is back, baby! Joining Slow Antiheroes and The Ned Niamh Show in BATS Theatre’s Pick of the Fringe season, Abby Howells returns to the stage with her hilarious, confessional, story-telling bonanza, directed by the acclaimed Anya Tate-Manning.

A celebration of the trailblazers of women’s comedy told through the lens of Abby’s personal comedy journey, HarleQueen resonated with creatives and comedians who empathised with the ups and downs of Abby’s experiences. HarleQueen has been strengthened and redeveloped in advance both of this season and of our upcoming tour to Adelaide Fringe Festival, a tour made possible thanks to NZ Fringe Festival’s Tour Ready award.

“Wellington is where we debuted the show, so it’s great to bring the new version here first,” says Abby Howells, writer, performer and puppeteer. “The response has been so humbling - I’m just a weirdo doing weird and funny jokes, and people like it! They feel it. And they appreciate it. I’ve had so much heartening feedback from people who felt really seen and heard by my stories.”

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!



"Every moment of this journey has been a delight, as our indisputable Queen of Fools comes to the realisation that indeed she can make comedy “on my own, on my own terms”. ... And the rapturous audience is with her – oh boy, are we with her!!" - Terry MacTavish for Theatreview

"It’s not often that you see a standup show that is just as delightful as it is funny. It’s the breath of fresh air that we didn’t even know we needed." - Kate Norquay for Art Murmurs

"...there is always an ongoing social and political discussion that underlies the joy and despair we are taken through." - Jorge Morales for Theatreview

WINNER: Best Comedy, Dunedin Fringe Festival 2019
WINNER: Adelaide Tour Ready Award, New Zealand Fringe Festival 2019
COMMENDED: 2019 Green Light List, New Zealand Fringe Festival


About the creative team:

Abby Howells (Writer/Performer) is an award winning comedian and writer, and a founding member of female comedy collective Discharge. Past productions include 28 Days: A Period Piece, Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die, and Glocknid: Dwarf Warrior, which won her the award for Best Newcomer at the Wellington International Comedy Festival.

Anya Tate-Manning (Director) was last seen at the Fringe with her own solo show My Best Dead Friend, for which she won the 2018 award for 'Best in Fringe'. Its return season earned her the Michele Amas Accolade for Outstanding Performance at the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards.


Dates: 6pm, 1-5 October 2019, 60 minutes
Venue: The Heyday Dome at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace
Find out more:


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