Kiwi comedian Penny Ashton hasn't performed on the Opera House stage in more than a decade, but on December 2 she will make her long-awaited return to the boards, with her hit show Promise & Promiscuity.
Ashton, who comes to Hastings hot off the back of a rapturous three-week run at Circa Theatre in Wellington, says local audiences have the "team of 5 million" to thank, especially after her initial shows at Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre were postponed due to Auckland's second lockdown back in August.
"Every time I step on-stage I can't believe I'm actually there. I have so many performing friends, the world over, who are battling uncertain futures and I'm so happy to be back, bringing people laughter, in my happy place!"
Promise & Promiscuity is a "collaboration" with Jane Austen (deceased) and is guaranteed to create plenty of laughs, even if you're not too familiar with Austen's work.
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Ashton plays nine different characters as they navigate their way through literary snobbery, nerves and all the other troubles Austen's characters typically face.
Ashton says she has particularly noticed Kiwi audiences' enthusiasm to support the arts since lockdown.
"My houses have been packed with smiling faces and what's most gratifying and unexpected are the people coming back to see the show for a second and sometimes third time. My wing woman Jane Austen would be rolling in her grave, hopefully with delight."
• Promise & Promiscuity is on at 7pm tonight at Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre. Tickets are $35. For more info see www.toitoivenues.co.nz or go to the Toitoi Box Office on Eastbourne St (10am-4pm) or in Cushing Foyer from 6pm tonight.