Tessa Waters brings her alter ego to the NZ International Comedy Festival this year, with an hilarious cabaret show that has seen reviewers drawing comparisons with our own Trygve Wakenshaw and the incredible Dr Brown. Here’s the lowdown from the womanz herself.
Tell us about WOMANz.
WOMANz is a disco goddess sent from the stars to party with the sexy babeez of New Zealand! She’s like the cosmic love-child of Cher and Mr Bean, a sexually liberated disco pixie here to celebrate the body, the booty and love. The show which I’ve been touring around the world for nearly two years has won a bunch of awards and is a crazy fun show that makes the audience go off into the night dancing.
How would you describe your (comedy) style?
Feisty physical comedy, combining clown, sequins and dance. WOMANz holds nothing back and takes the audience on a ride.
Rumour has it that Kiwi audiences are tricky, how do you prepare for a tricky audience?
My work starts with the audience and bounces off whatever they bring so I look forward to seeing where they’ll take me. Let’s see if you guys can top my all time favourite/insane audiences; the drunk off their faces 20 year old Hens night, who kept putting up their hands (like in school) to heckle or just commentate their experience. Or the old man in the front row in Perth who had something very difficult in his pocket that he just didn’t seem to be able to get a hold of and made him very flustered. I love a wild and vocal crowd, let’s dance Kiwis!!
What else are you looking forward to seeing at the NZICF?
Alice Fraser is absolutely kicking it out of the park at the moment, Savage is an incredible show not to be missed. Aunty Donna are sketch rock stars who are set to take over the world, I’m a mega fan.
What are the three most influential comedy performances you’ve seen?
I admire good writing and genuine joy and connection to the work and the audience. The performers that have really blown me away in this way are; Nina Conti, Luisa Omielan, Justin Hamilton and most recently Rose Matafeo at Melbourne Comedy Festival.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
‘Vagina’ by Noami Wolf which blew my mind and should be on the reading list for all kids in schools! Did you know that the nerve endings in and around the female pelvis are as dense and as complicated as a constellation of stars and as individual as a finger print? That’s why we all orgasm in our own unique way, wow right!!??! And I finally got around to reading ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith while I was on tour in Edinburgh last year which really moved me.
What’s your favourite tune of the moment?
Right now my go to tracks for getting pumped pre-show is ‘Love on Top’ by Beyonce, ‘Hideaway’ by Kiesza and ‘Something got me Started’ by Simply Red. I know SUPER cheesy but the best dance tracks are the ones that make you laugh while shaking it.
Tessa Waters’ show WOMANz is playing at Montecristo from May 3-7. GET TICKETS >>