Amanda Palmer has a simple warning for those coming to see her perform at the Auckland Arts Festival next week.
"It's not a show for lightweights," she cautions when asked about her new show, There Will Be No Intermission.
"It works on an assumption that you come in ready to have feelings. It's a really emotional show. It's the darkest show I've ever done but it's also the funniest and the lightest. It's a weird combination of things."
The show is a mixture of monologues and songs from her solo career and a couple of numbers from her former band, the beloved punk-cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls.
Performing these monologues is something new for Palmer. She credits going to one of Nick Cave's Q&A shows and seeing Hannah Gadsby's Nanette at a small club in Soho as her creative inspiration to start talking.
"That show kicked my ass," she says of Nanette.
Palmer has never been one to shy away from artistic confrontation. It hasn't always won her favour but it has won her a legion of hardcore fans around the world, which she affectionately refers to as her "community". Without them, she says, there would not be There Will Be No Intermission.
"This has been a two-way street for many years. I have a really tight, hardcore community and I don't think I would have been able to write and present a show like this if I didn't have an audience that I knew would be so game to receive it. My community is so warm and so supportive and I even push them to their limits of what's emotionally possible. But everyone's on my side out there. So even though I'm talking about stuff that's incredibly personal and uncomfortable I know that I'm fundamentally in a really good, safe space."
Throughout the three-and-a-half-hour show - "It started out over five hours long but I've pared it down to its essences," she says - Palmer tackles such weighty topics as life and death, abortion and miscarriage and love and loss. As mentioned, it's not a show for lightweights.
"It is also really funny," she reassures quickly. "There's no way I could do a show like this and talk about these topics without also being really ridiculous at the same time."
This is perhaps demonstrated by the show's winking title.
"I have a lot to say but it includes an intermission."
Even with the LOLs, it's heavy going and Palmer says that performing the show night after night does take an emotional toll.
"This show is really, really exhausting. Emotionally and physically. There's been days on this tour where it has snuck up on me. I'd think everything was going totally fine and then all of a sudden I'd find myself lying on the floor of a dressing room going, 'Oh my God, I'm not sure I can get up.' I've been doing this job for 20 years so I'm better at listening to exhaustion and better at knowing that for everything there's a season and if you feel like lying down on the floor of a dressing room, then you should just probably do that, and if you need to drink a bottle of wine, go ahead. You'll probably be hungover in the morning but if that's what you need to do, go for it."
It's not always comfortable, for performer or audience, but Palmer says she enjoys that aspect of the show.
"I enjoy challenging myself in the emotional departments, I enjoy not feeling comfortable on stage. I think it's important not to feel too comfortable," she says. "If you're not a little bit frightened when you're making certain pieces of art then you're probably in the realms of complacency and that's a different kind of dangerous."
Who: Amanda Palmer
What: Performing new show There Will Be No Intermission at the Arts Fest.
When: Next Thursday and Friday nights at The Hollywood Avondale.