By Megan Blackwell
Tessa Waters is a comedian, actor and writer. She has taken her show WOMANz around the world winning multiple awards including Best Comedy Weekly 2015, Adelaide Fringe and Most Outstanding Comedy 2014, Melbourne Fringe. Her incredibly physical comedy style is both unique and hilarious. We were very lucky to have the chance to ask her a few questions.
Is this your first time bringing a show to NZ?
Yeah it my first time performing in NZ I'm really excited to see what your audiences are like. So far I've met only dead-set legends so I have high expectations!
How are you feeling about bring the show this year’s NZ International Comedy festival?
I love this show (WOMANz) so much, I've toured all around the world over the past two years and I'm so excited to be performing for a brand new audience. I'm also excited to see what dance moves I learn.
Can you tell us a bit about the key themes or message of the show?
WOMANz is a feisty physical comedy promoting body positivity and self confidence through clown and dance.
How did the idea of WOMANz come about and what was your process of creating the show?
I created the character in a previous show called 'Sexytime!' Which was a physical comedy exploring the concept of 'what is sexy and how has it changed throughout time'. With this solo show I wanted to create a pumping powerful show that explores all the best things about being a woman and it became this take-no-prisoners celebration of the body (everybody's).
The comedy festival is predominantly shows by stand-up comedians. How would you describe your style to people who have no idea what to expect?
WOMANz is like the manic pixie love child of Cher and Mr Bean, it's a high energy late night party show that will blow your mind and change you feel about all your bits.
What do you want your audience to leave your show feeling and thinking?
My goal is that everyone leaves the room feeling totally pumped, loved up and ready to dance.
You’ve toured your shows to Australia, UK, Berlin and New York 2016. Where has your favourite audience experience been, and what was it?
This is the upcoming tour, next up is UK, Greece then Berlin and the states. My favourite thing is when I win someone over who perhaps at the beginning is a little shocked/reluctant/confused. It's consensual of course but I love seeing a transformation happen, it's like a challenge X one of my favourite moments in WOMANz was in Edinburgh when during the show I asked for suggestions of dance moves and this 80 year old woman jumped up on the stage and taught us how to shake our asses, the crowd went wild and the look of pure joy and confidence on her face was amazing.
Have you noticed any big differences in the way audiences receive the show between the different countries you’ve toured it?
I find audiences are so different not only in every city but every night, my work always starts with the audience and what they bring and I love being surprised in that. Perth is big and boisterous, Adelaide can be a bit more conservative but then surprises you all the time, Melbourne are big thinkers and really like to take it all in, Sydney get really involved and Edinburgh is just Wild who knows what's gonna happen.
Who’s show are you most looking forward to seeing this festival and why?
Alice Fraser is killing it at the moment and her show Savage is one of my favourites! I'm also really excited to see Guy Montgomery and Tim Batt in their new shows, I've only every seen 10mins of their stuff so I'm excited to see the whole show. And Aunty Donna are just comedy megastars you gotta see them.
What’s next for you after this festival?
From here it's onto Brighton Fringe in the UK and then I'm heading to Greece for some shows which is going to be amazing.
Tessa Waters, WOMANz
May 3- 8: Montecristo, Toto 53 Nelson St, CBD, Auckland
Tickets via Eventfinda