NZ Comedy Festival: Penny Ashton

Penny Ashton as one of the nine characters in her show Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical.
Penny Ashton as one of the nine characters in her show Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical.

Where have we seen you before?

I was a gynaecologist on Shortland St, a street comedienne in Power Rangers and a gossip on Good Morning. Or I could have married you, not as a Mormon but as a celebrant.

My comedy festival show is called:

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton.

Due to it mainly being about:

Promiscuous promises of Jane Austen-inspired shenanigans. There is cross stitching, a meddlesome mother, a dashing heroine who is actually quite bright - you know, for a girl - and loads of others, all played by me. I also made my own bonnet with a hot glue gun.

The idea behind it having been inspired by:

Jane Austen. There are 33 direct quotes from Austen's work dotted throughout the show, but a lot more ball jokes.

Compared with how I am in everyday life the person you will see on stage is:

Actually nine people. Elspeth is the closest to me - headstrong, obstinate and promiscuous - whereas Lady Drusilla Wrexham is the least, a stuck-up, lemon-lipped Regency bitch.

The one thing I worry about the most performing this show is:

That people will think it is only for Jane Austen fans. Though it is true that the Jane-ites will delight in recognising moments, there are still enough balls jokes for everyone. Dudes too!

But I think the show is just as funny as:

Bridget Jones' Diary.

It may not be for you if you're offended by:

A world of balls jokes, gratuitous use of innuendo, home-made bonnets and kick-ass ladies.

But do head along if your idea of great live comedy involves: Theatre, witty double entendres, wordplay, musicals and kick-ass ladies. Or if you are fans of - Jane Austen ... surprise!

Though if you sit down the front, be warned:

You might end up marrying Cordelia, and as I'm a celebrant it'll be legal.

For me, this is NZ Comedy Festival number:

Eleven (good lord).

Which makes me:

A strumpet of the stage.


Herald Theatre, tomorrow to Saturday, 7pm.

- NZ Herald

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