Canadian cabaret comedy singer Shirley Gnome in Wellington for NZ Fringe Festival

Canadian Cabaret comedy singer Shirley Gnome will perform in New Zealand for the first time at the New Zealand Fringe.
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Canadian Cabaret comedy singer Shirley Gnome will perform in New Zealand for the first time at the New Zealand Fringe.

Canadian cabaret comedy singer Shirley Gnome will perform in New Zealand for the first time at the New Zealand Fringe.

Armed only with her sparkling guitar and sharp wit, Gnomes sings shameless, obscenely honest songs about sex and human nature. Provocative truths go down smooth with her incredible musicianship.

What are you passionate about?

Music, laughter, friendship, and whiskey. Those are my passions, and I like to think my life is a combination of them. Music pleases my brain. Laughter releases all the emotions that need to go, and makes you feel so high. Friendship is my muse.

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You are known for broaching taboo topics on stage. What do you think people are most afraid of talking about, and why?

That's a big question. I think shame makes people afraid to talk. People think they are so alone, so isolated, in their shame. That something is wrong with them - that they're inherently bad. They don't want to be the first person to say they feel a certain way, because they are afraid of that shame.

What was the last book you read?

Let's Talk About Love - A Journey To The End of Taste. It's a book about Celine Dion, and why cheesy "bad" music is so reviled and celebrated at the same time.

What are you listening to?

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Parrots yelling at each other outside.

What does a perfect day look like?

A sleep in, with hot nice dude in my bed. Strong coffee (with just a hint of whiskey). Check my Facebook and find out that world peace exists and no one is hungry anymore. Get out of bed, eat mangoes, watch stupid videos on the internet. Do yoga while making fun of yoga. Write songs.

What are you looking forward to about coming to NZ and performing here for the first time?

I have heard Canadians and Kiwis have a special rapport and I am excited for that cultural exchange. I am a huge Flight of the Conchords fan, so I want to see where they came from. I want to see the natural beauty, and try not to accidentally speak in a Kiwi accent. I can't wait for the Wellington breeze to turn me into a flasher.

What is something people don't know about where you grew up?

I grew up in a city called Surrey, 45 minutes from Vancouver, Canada. It's a big place with a lot of contradictions. From the south you could smell the salty sea air. From the north you could hear gunshots and sirens.

* Shirley Gnome: Taking It Up The Notch, BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, February 11 until 16, 8:30pm, $23-$17.50, Tickets from Fringe website.

* The NZ Fringe Festival will be held in Wellington from February 10 until March 4 featuring performers, comedians and artists from around the world.

 - The Wellingtonian

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