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Beloved comic brings one-of-a-kind brain tumour show to NZ Fringe

Legendary nineties stand-up Emma Lange returns to the stage in the NZ Fringe season of AN ALMIGHTY YES, her bittersweet new solo comedy about a brain tumour. Tuesday 27 February to Saturday 2 March 2024, The Studio BATS Theatre Wellington, 9pm
This is a show that’s not just about trying to be funny. It’s about saying something to the people in the audience, that you have to be brave.
Dame Jools Topp

When doctors diagnosed pioneering comedian Emma Lange with a malignant, incurable brain tumour, her humour saved her from dark days and tough times. From the depths of that experience comes AN ALMIGHTY YES, a solo show combining absurdist comedy with honest testimony from a performer returning to the bright lights for the first time in years.

Co-produced by Emmy-nominated composer Jason Smith, AN ALMIGHTY YES is a cancer journey like no other. Along with music, audience participation and deeply personal storytelling, the one-hour show features Emma performing a range of outrageous characters including the Deaconess Fanny Bribery, who casts out Beelzebub while wearing comfy brogues. Other highlights are a dancing sausage and hot Donny, Emma’s inflatable boyfriend.

The joyful result is a cloudburst of fresh air and enlightenment – a theatrical uplift for anyone dealing with big life challenges. AN ALMIGHTY YES is an original new work from a re-emerging and much-loved comedian, demonstrating the power of the mind to maintain optimism and positivity in the face of the worst kind of news.

“Illness is everywhere, affecting nearly every household, yet is so often treated like something that should be handled in private. This is bonkers,” says Emma. “My brain tumour has led me to have utterly remarkable experiences. AN ALMIGHTY YES is inclusive and joyous, whilst not shying away from the realities of life and death. It’s a real opportunity to connect around the struggles that life contains, whether it be disease, middle age, separation, grief or Covid.”

Emma Lange is a comedian’s comedian. Her absurdist stand-up routines were an unmissable fixture of the 1990s “Classic” comedy scene amid a talented crop of contemporaries like Rhys Darby, Michèle A’Court and Justine Smith, who says of Emma: “We are all just choo-choo trains on the track she laid down”. She’s written for numerous TV comedies, hosted shows on More FM and Radio Live, and has long been a Topp Twins collaborator. The call of the southern wilderness has often taken her far from urban stages, which makes an hour-long solo Emma Lange show a rare and exciting prospect indeed.

Fresh from a five-night world premiere at Auckland’s Basement Theatre, don’t miss the NZ Fringe Festival season of AN ALMIGHTY YES, comedy with pathos about living with cancer schmancer, by Emma Lange. Tuesday 27 February to Saturday 2 March, 9pm at The Studio BATS Theatre Wellington.

What others are saying about An Almighty Yes:

“No one else is like Emma Lange. She is so original. You’ll never have seen anything like you see when Emma Lange comes out.” — Dame Jools Topp

“Emma Lange is, without exception, the funniest person I have met. She breathes funny. She’s funny just in the way she blinks. We have all been waiting for this show for a long time - just for the sheer joy of spending an hour watching her breathe and blink.” — Michèle A’Court

“It was the best show I’ve seen all year. I can’t recommend it enough. I was feeling like shit when I went in and now I just feel so much better!” — Jodie Rimmer

“Audacious, knowing, and beautifully timed. Emma dodged cancer so she could make top jokes about it. This was a very good deal for all of us.” — David Slack

“I’ve just seen Emma Lange and it was hilarious. I laughed. I felt emotions…I would see it again.” — Donna Brookbanks

About Emma Lange, creator and performer

Emma has written and performed professionally for TV and theatre since the early 1990s and is a regular Topp Twins guest star, touring with them and playing Lynda Topp’s stunt double on screen. An experienced broadcaster, she has hosted breakfast and morning shows on More FM and overnight talkback on Radio LIVE (MediaWorks). Until recently she was managing director of Glenorchy Country 89.2FM and frequently works as an MC. She hails from Southland and divides her time between Queenstown, Leigh, and a hunting hut in Haast. She was diagnosed with grade three astrocytoma in 2016 and underwent a craniotomy.

About Jason Smith, composer and collaborator

Jason Smith is an Emmy-nominated composer, music editor, writer and producer with 25 years’ experience across a diverse range of local and international projects.