Review by Chelsea Pickens
The first thing I noticed about Kura’s show was that it was completely full, obviously a popular pick among comedy lovers. The second thing I noticed was a scrawled-on mock beauty image of her blown up at the front of the room – a nice touch as we sat waiting for the woman herself, and a wee taste of the humour we might expect, both self-deprecating and self-loving.
Kura came out on stage, illuminating the crowd with her lovely wide grin, instantly creating a warm and comfortable environment. The perfect setting to tell a room of strangers all the intimate details of her life. We journeyed Kura’s life not just by her narration, but through the voices of characters she took up, and through images that signposted through each chapter. The use of audio and visual together to set the scene was seamless and made for an interesting and engaging set.
I found the content of her show really interesting, based mostly around family members and events in her life that connected them all together. Her discussion around race relations was well-done, as she made soft jabs at the effects of colonialism and the division between Māori and Pākehā, without seemingly alienating any sections of the roaring audience who were certainly along for the ride. Some depictions, however, may have been a little ‘bang on the nose’, such as the enacting of her mum’s obliviously racist/classist Pākehā friend ‘Rosalind’, at which time the audience laughter died down a tad – oops, are we are little like Rosalind ourselves? But that is the beauty of raising such issues in such a safe public arena, it does lead listeners to really question and reflect on their own potential contributions to problematic social issues. So not a bad job after all.
The show ended on a clear high, a crescendo of a proud sexual escapade and messages of self-worth, making all us thirty-somethings who also don’t have their shit together feel like maybe we’re all doing alright after all. Thanks Kura!
What: Kura Shoulda Woulda
When: 21-25 May
Where: Basement Theatre