Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette

6 October, Hastings Function Centre
Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017

Louise Beuvink enters to three seconds of the Andrew’s Sisters’ trumpet sounds wearing a forties dress, flared and waisted. This type of ‘waisted’ is never mentioned however.

She opens by thanking Hastings for packing out the venue for her. She is genuine and has us laughing early on with a confident blend of kick-arse and old-fashioned girl. She loses the gorgeous shoes early on. They are high, “like a shitty ex-boyfriend that you adored initially but they just end up hurting you.”

The table next to me has six women, self-diagnosed as ‘early thirties’, and they are typical of the crowd with only six men raising their hands when asked. Louise assures them that they will enjoy the show and she is right, all through the one-hour stand-up comedy, male laughter is loud and appreciative.

She is a ‘lady’ of today. The language is peppered with the f-bomb, there is a long, very funny spiel on the latest steamy feminine hygiene practices, and a Mary Poppins-esque, sweetly delivered song, “just a spoonful of liquor helps the gentlemen go down…in the most delightful way.”

Louise hilariously describes her depressed Emo stage she now says glamourised an illness. She’s never had therapy (expensive and Dutch don’t go together it seems), so she flies return to Wellington. That way she gets to offload on a complete stranger for free.

She’s had a really cool boyfriend for three years but she almost lost him in the beginning when that girl that no-one likes, but who seems to always turn up at parties, got involved. Yes, drunk Louise. “You know, when you’re too drunk to pretend you’re sober enough to…” we are given various scenarios here, funny and true. She’s good.

If a lady’s number one concern is ‘Appearance’, two is ‘Catering’, and boy, this girl can cook! Chicken Paté made with saveloys, delicious! Audience representative, Caroline, is brought forward to help whizz this delicacy up (even matching aprons), before Louise introduces us to the miracle of turning Goon Creek cask white wine into Champagne…or bubbly stuff anyway.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It wasn’t mean or demeaning, may even have been liberating for some, and it’s always great to be able to, indirectly, laugh at ourselves. Chucking an orange bowl across the stage full of all the f—s she gave about voiding the Soda Stream warranty, got a house of laughs in itself.

Louise shared her vulnerabilities, her lovely voice and sharp wit generously. I would go again and take some girl-mates, or my husband. Did I say she was good?


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