Homecoming of sorts for members of comedy collective

Comedy collective members (from left) Rosie Howells (Peachy Keen), Sour Grapes (Alayne Dick) and...
Comedy collective members (from left) Rosie Howells (Peachy Keen), Sour Grapes (Alayne Dick) and Lemon Lime Bitters (Harriet Hughes) star in a show about friendship and the trials and tribulations of punk band The Rotten Cores. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
Taking to the stage as punk rockers is still a relatively new experience for Discharge - but the all-female comedy collective say returning to Dunedin to perform is like a homecoming.

University of Otago graduates Harriet Hughes, lead writer Rosie Howells and Alayne Dick are performing their latest show Discharge Is Rotten To The Core at the New Athenaeum Theatre in the Octagon.

The show, which has already proved a hit with audiences in Wellington at the Wellington Fringe Festival and at BATS Theatre last year, opened in Dunedin last night, and is also showing today and tomorrow.

It was nominated for best composition at the Wellington Theatre Awards last year, and won most promising newcomer.

Speaking to the Otago Daily Times before yesterday's performance, Ms Hughes said Discharge is Rotten to the Core was "really about friendship'' and followed the trials and tribulations of a punk rock band.

Her character, Lemon Lime Bitters, was an "uptight'' classically-trained jazz musician, while Ms Dick played Sour Grapes, a mysterious drummer the group had found on Trade Me, and Ms Howells played rocker Peachy Keen.

Ms Howells and Ms Hughes had both played musical instruments at school. Ms Howells said she had ``dropped everything when I started comedy'' and had to relearn a lot when it came to musicianship.

However, Ms Dick had picked up the drums specifically for the production, and was ironically now performing in her own band.

"We opened for [Australian group] The Chats which are an actual punk band.''

Ms Hughes and Ms Howells met at the University of Otago capping show when they were students, and met Ms Dick through the Dunedin theatre scene.

Discharge's show What is this, Women's Hour? won best comedy in the 2013 Dunedin Fringe Festival and was nominated for best comedy in the 2014 New Zealand Fringe Festival. They are also known for their 2014 BATS Theatre production Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die, as well as 2015 production 28 Days: A Period Piece .

One of Discharge's founding members, Abby Howells, also brought her one-woman show HarleQueen to the Dunedin Fringe Festival this year. The collective has several other members, some of whom are elsewhere in New Zealand and others who are overseas.

  • Discharge is Rotten to the Core will be performed at 6pm, at the New Athenaeum Theatre in the Octogan tonight and tomorrow.

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

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