Tiny Theatre at lesbian hub Garnet Station licensed café comes up trumps again with some of the most outstanding performance poetry our reviewer Sandi Hall has seen in more than twenty years.

Imagine going for a country walk on a sunny day and coming across a house with wide open windows and doors allowing you to see four utterly different and engaging women in conversation with each other – and that conversation was rather fine, thoughtful poetry.

Four poets had transformed Tiny Theatre into that country house. A full audience saw candle-lit bedroom, flower-strewn kitchen, and a lounge hung with scarlet, black and white flags. These colours were repeated in the poets’ costumes.


Michelle Durey, costumed as a Ringmistress in scarlet frock coat, black and red ribboned bustier, with black top hat, kicked off the performance, talking with long-gowned Romy Hooper, a classic existentialist, words seemingly touched by the sparkles at her neck.

Half-reclining in a doorway behind her, bed visible, Genevieve McClean joined the conversation, evoking the beautiful intellectuals of Europe, thick tawny hair flowing over cream silk above daring scarlet and black shorts.

Then, peeping around the doorway open to a light-strewn garden came Olivia Rowens, bright not-sleepy-child persona in a knee-length flannel nightie, white patterned with blue flowers.

Their poetry covered many estates in Womanland, some of which were: worry about the world and one’s place in it, the mystery of identity, the blaze of attraction, the killing damage of incest, and Nature’s lessons.

To see and hear such accomplished work from four young women bodes well for the future of Aotearoa New Zealand poetry. Remember their names!

A final accolade: the vivacious Verity now mixes truly superb cocktails. Try her lavender and tequila version of a margarita. Yes, lavender. Twas an exceedingly friendly drink!

Article | Sandi Hall.