Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette is New Zealand comedian Louise Beuvink’s show offering a satirical look at how the modern woman should behave in today’s society. With some handy hints to getting through situations such as dinner parties and attending the cricket, Ladylike provides a timely guide laced with humour to anyone struggling to meet the demands of being a woman in the modern world.
Held in a small theatre space at Masonic Lodge, the staging and costuming are a throwback to a stereotypical 1950’s kitchen, which adds to the satirical edge of the show. From here the audience is given a guide as to how a modern woman should behave, covering the most important aspects, such as appearance of course, as well as hearing some personal stories from Beuvink that tie into the theme of the show. The show presents a lot of old societal expectations in new and hilarious ways, with the use of kitchen and make-up props used cleverly to make some pertinent points about how ridiculous some of these conventions are.
Ladylike perhaps started a bit slowly while Beuvink took excursions to discuss her teenage emo fashion faux pas, however, the pacing did not suffer from this and I, as well as everyone in the room, laughed from beginning to end. Particular highlights included the Ladylike guide to cricket and holding dinner parties, where we learned that Sodastream machines are far more versatile than advertised. Also, the part where male behaviour towards females was subverted could have easily fallen apart, but Beuvink skilfully drew the humour from the situation, making it a great finish to a hilarious show. Satire can sometimes fall flat if not done right, but Beuvink had obviously planned the structure and points she wanted to make meticulously, with every joke and story benefitting from Beuvink’s sharp-edged wit.
Ladylike: A Guide to Modern Etiquette is hilarious from the start, and the laughs only get more frequent as you get deeper into the show. Louise Beuvink is a fantastic guide to the world of modern femininity, and her show is timely in an era where traditional gender roles are being examined and thrown by the wayside. I found myself laughing right from the beginning, perhaps as I found a lot of the content relatable as a modern woman, perhaps because Beuvink is just downright clever and funny. This is definitely a show to check out this Fringe, and I can also say I will never look at chicken liver paté the same again.
Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette runs until Sunday 3rd of March. Buy tickets HERE.
By Tania Nicholas