Fifty shades of humour

02:06, May 14 2014
Grumpy Old Women
WATCH OUT: Lynda Milligan, left, Jude Gibson and Geraldine Brophy are the Grumpy Old Women in the stage show 50 Shades of Beige, at the Floor Pride Civic Theatre in Blenheim on Sunday, June 1.

Body parts become more useful as you get older, Geraldine Brophy says.

For example, there is a fine art to plucking a hair from your chin using just your thumb and forefinger.

"It eradicates the need for tweezers, so if you happen to be stopped at a traffic light you can take care of a small beauty problem immediately."

The New Zealand stage stalwart along with Lynda Milligan and Jude Gibson are taking the new show Grumpy Old Women: Fifty Shades of Beige on tour around Australia and New Zealand. They are in Blenheim on June 1, the Sunday of Queen's Birthday Weekend.

Brophy, 52, is starring in and directing the run.

The whisker-plucking gag is part of the show's education on "Grumpy Grooming". This, Brophy says, is a series of techniques that are far more inclined towards preserving your natural assets than rearranging or attempting to cover them up. You can just imagine which assets she's talking about.


When a group of women spend an evening together in a theatre, she says, there is no rock concert in the world that can match it for fun and hilarity. Even the Rolling Stones wouldn't compare.

"Those old men that go around the world have got nothing on us grumpy old women."

Fifty Shades of Beige is a follow-up to the 2010 New Zealand season of Grumpy Old Women, which starred Brophy, Pinky Agnew and Lyndee-Jane Rutherford.

The "menopausal hen party" toured much of the country and left audiences bubbling with mirth, according to reviewers. This latest show is so new it is still running in the UK.

Its themes are universal, Brophy says, and transfer easily between countries. Prepare to find out how to manage your mate to keep tensions low, with techniques also appropriate for the corporate boardroom.

"Apart from the fact that it's hilariously funny, as they always are, it has a wonderful underlying sensible message for women," she says. "Our lives are often full of pain just trying to get it right, and grumpy old women, of course, advocate revelling in getting it wrong."

Young women as well?

"Well, that's the thing about grumpy old women. I find they're getting younger and younger."

In her mid-30s, she says, she worried a lot, thinking "Perhaps I'll just be quiet about this because somebody might not give me the job or might not like me".

"Once you get into your 50s and 60s you think ‘Well, bugger that, actually. I am who I am'. There's a terrific freedom and pleasure in revelling in your own eccentricities, in saying what you like as long as you don't hurt people's feelings.

"Sometimes you say something out loud and it just makes you feel better because you've vomited it out," Brophy added. Fairfax NZ

The Marlborough Express