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Aunty
Written and performed by Johanna Cosgrove
Kurow Memorial Hall
Tuesday, October 8
Reviewed by Sally Brooker

This show lives up to its billing as an outrageous, award-winning, one-woman tour de force.

Johanna Cosgrove had the entire audience eating out of her flamboyantly gesturing hand when she took her show on the road to Kurow as part of the Waitaki Arts Festival.

The Hampden performance on Wednesday night is already sold out, which is almost a pity, as I was going to recommend everyone snaffle tickets.

This is a great night out. While some people may have been anxious about its interactiveness, Cosgrove somehow manages to make it a bonding exercise. As she said in an interview last week, there’s nowhere to hide – Aunty will find everyone.

But that’s no bad thing; it’s almost an honour.

Cosgrove works her whole face and body into her character, pulling exaggerated expressions and moves that are as funny as her costume.

Not to mention her banter.

She has packed pretty much the whole Kiwi psyche into her one-hour show, cleverly observing foibles and reflecting them back at their origins.

Even when the subject matter could have become maudlin, we were all laughing at her cheek and guile.

What a treat it was to take an hour out of everyday life to be caught up in this wonderful, ridiculous, feel-good show. I hope we see more of Cosgrove in the very near future.