Many thanks to all the musicians, artists, friends and audience who played, performed, danced, laughed, brainstormed and brought their energy to this kaupapa and many thanks to Creative New Zealand for the opportunity to create these amazing shows.

MEOW, from the stage

The rules of the cabaret:

We, the performers, are not a product and you, the audience, are not consumers.

We are here…
– to share some good times
– to commiserate over the terrible mess that we find ourselves in
– to be soothed and entertained by talented people who have dedicated their lives to ridiculous pursuits
– to think about time, the past, present and the future and how it’s all connected
– to notice where and when we are
– to make some noise……or at least to make some noises…

APRIL 8, 2021

April themes: The beginning of autumn, a time of nostalgia, the experience of being transported back to every other April by the feeling in the air, what is time anyway?

-Political themes of misinformation and the nightmare of our bureaucratic system, how the cycle repeats, time and time again…

-The metaphorological weather report

-Audience participation: emotional roller coaster – making wordless vocalisations of various human emotional states as directed in a big sweep around the room, while the band plays an original jazz tune with a fast walking bassline.

-The Moonthly Astrology Update – provided by our in-house astrologer Erika Grant

-Wisdom of the Oracle of the Cabaret – the Sexy Baby Monster – wearing a large baby head created by Stephen Bain, the Oracle sings “it matters what matters we use to think other matters with…” Lyrics by Donna J Haraway

MEOW, from the stage
Back row left to right: Cory Champion, Isaac Smith, Zara Anderson Amanda Maclean (standing) Bek Coogan, Erika Grant. Front row: Blair Latham, Adam Melville, Zoe Ioannou, Amity Alton-Lee
Back row left to right: Patrick Bleakley, Cory Champion, Isaac Smith
Front row: Chris Clinch, Gerard Crewdson, Connor Gentry
Zara Anderson
Rosie Langabeer and Nick van Dijk
Neil Feather
Amanda Maclean, Kate Telford, Hannah Griffin

The Astrology Update

Erika Grant as The Astrologist
Left to right: Kate Telford, Gabrielle Young, Erika Grant, Amanda Maclean
Gabrielle Young as Aries, The Ram
Zoe Ioannou (left), Amity Alton-Lee

The Metaphorological Weather Report,  April 2021

Jen McArthur as The Metaphorlogist


  “We are continuing to watch a system of imaginary but measurable concentric circles surrounding this location.

  Coming in from the West we see a stable system of traditional values that is dissipating into fear of change.  A high pressure system of unbridled capitalism will stall about the ranges and remain stagnant until something better comes along.

  Conditions in the south will be a wintery mix of disproportionate comparisons, red herrings and category errors creating some slippery slopes in the administrative regions.  

  The long range forecast is for empty promises giving way to plausible deniability with occasional rhetorical flourishes.  

  In global weather, a deluge of information has increased the likelihood of the ironic singularity. The Bulletin of Ironic Scientists has moved the doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight – Midnight representing the point in human civilization when truth no longer exists.

  Tomorrow morning will begin with vague but well-worn euphemisms so remember to keep up your eye-stretching exercises so they are all ready to roll. Let’s just practice that together shall we?”

Proceeds to lead the audience in some eye-roll exercises
– by Neil Feather, Rosie Langabeer and Jen McArthur

Bek Coogan
Left to right: Hannah Griffin, Bridget Kelly, Blair Latham
Left to right: Connor Gentry, Kate Telford, Hannah Griffin
The Oracle of the Cabaret – Sexy Baby Monster – head by Stephen Bain, performed by Amy Booth

MAY 13, 2021

May themes: Late autumn, the veil is thin between the the worlds of the living and the dead. A time for contemplating death, in spooky silliness and in all seriousness.


-Booth the clown performs a striptease down to a skeleton

-The moonthly astrology report

-A metaphorological news update on the “moral stock exchange” ie the current wait times at the pearly gates, price of crossing over the river styxx, the most up-to-date values of the various sins, the debacle in the office of reincarnation and soul reassignment

Audience is invited to write messages on the backs of rangiora leaves to those they have lost.

MEOW, from the audience
Amanda Maclean
Left to right: Bridget Kelly, Adam Melville (behind), Hannah Griffin, Kate Telford, Blair Latham
The scene at the door
Bek Coogan with the Howl Sign
Rosie Langabeer
Zara Anderson
Bek Coogan
Left to right: Bridget Kelly, Hannah Griffin, Adam Melville, Zoe Ioannou, Kate Telford, Blair Latham, Amity Alton-Lee, Ben Lemi Patrick Bleakley, Nick van Dijk, Chris Clinch
Amy Booth’s strip-tease down to a skeleton
Amy Booth’s strip-tease down to a skeleton
Amy Booth’s strip-tease down to a skeleton
Left to right: Zara Anderson, Bridget Kelly, Blair Latham, Hannah Griffin, Kate Telford, Ben Lemi, Patrick Bleakley

The Moral Stock Market Report

The Moral Stock Market performed by Amanda Maclean


MORAL STOCK MARKET REPORT-  May 2021 – by Neil Feather and Rosie Langabeer

Brought to you by Righteous Death Advisors Inc. “The afterlife you want, because you deserve it.”

In the realm of deadly sins,

Wrath has really been on the war path in the market because of its ability to combine with all of the other deadly sins and some of the virtues.

Greed is holding on to its value tightly meanwhile, due to increased social distancing Lust and Envy are at an all time low.  

Global lockdowns have led to an overwhelming supply of Gluttony including Drunkenness so get it while it matters little in the big picture. 

USA’s Donald Trump, QAnon and the Proud Boys have contributed to Pride being the sin of the year. Pride, of course, has always thought of itself as being a virtue, contributing to its exponential growth potential.

In virtues, Chastity values have been on a rollercoaster because of fluctuations in the definition of what counts as actual sex. 

Humility retains its value in the New Zealand market but is all but null as an export.

Thanks to increased Gratitude, Charity is on the rise. Temperance remains moderate and Diligence… I don’t seem to have the latest figures on Diligence

I’d say that unless you are an experienced hate-trader keep your stock in Sloth. It will always be a popular favorite and can also be used as a substitute for the virtue of Patience  which has been wearing thin.  

In transitory news:

Cerberus The Hound of Hades is making a comeback and rebranding itself with the addition of more heads.  The last time it had more than three heads was in the 7th century BC when we saw it with fifty heads and some snake tails but has mostly maintained the classic three.  Taking inspiration from current CGI movies, The New Cerberus will have one million heads. Whether or not this is an indicator of an expected increase of souls in the underworld remains to be seen.

 Those entering Purgatory can expect longer lines than usual due to increasing moral relativism, – the idea that there are mitigating circumstances that determine right or wrong in human behavior.  So take a book….and make it…
….the good one.

 The Agency of Karma and Reincarnation is reinstituting merit-based soul reassignment after a period of default lateral reincarnation in 2020.  

The default lateral policy meant that souls were reassigned to the same stations in life that they had just left. 

The agency was put into this passive probationary mode after an incident in April through August. It seems that an overwhelming increase in paperwork led to an administrative error whereby everyone who died in those months were all reincarnated into one individual. 

It is unclear what the agency will do about that person whose name has not been released.

 That’s all for tonight’s  Moral stock market news.

I am glutted with gratitude that you have tuned in.”

The Moonthly Astrology Update:

Erika Grant as the Astrologist and Gabrielle Young as Taurus

Messages to and from The other side and The Procession

At the end of the night the band plays a quiet deep drone, messages are conveyed from the other side by Sexy Baby Monster Oracle of the Cabaret and then our audiences messages on the rangier leaves are read aloud by Jen McArthur the MC, and the band performs a powerfully sorrowful composition by Nick van Dijk , one of the band members and amazing NZ musician/composer.

Sexy Baby Monster – The Oracle of the Cabaret

From this begins a funeral procession. We leave the venue with the audience in tow, and walk around the streets of Wellington, returning to the courtyard outside Meow.

Jen McArthur the MC ceremoniously blows the massages up to the heavens as bubbles. The band shifts into a lighter more celebratory style, and we conclude the night outside Meow.

Amity Alton-Lee
Blair Latham (left) and Ben Lemi
Gerard Crewdson
Rosie Langabeer

JUNE 17, 2021

June themes – The Longest Night, Saturnalia/The Night of Misrule, deep space, Gemini, cosmic stuff, stars, Matariki

Gabrielle Young and her volunteer sister being Gemini on the door
in the foreground: Nick van Dijk
Rosie Langabeer
Neil Feather (foreground) and Zara Anderson
Amity Alton-Lee
Gerard Crewdson
Zoe Ioannou (left) and Adam Melville
Nick van Dijk
MEOW with Lady Lazer Light’s star effects
Left to right: Connor Gentry, Blair Latham, Gerard Crewdson
Kate Telford
Chris Clinch
Erika Grant
Ben Lemi (left) and Connor Gentry

The Moonthly Astrology Update: Gemini

Erika Grant the Astrologist
Left to right: Gabrielle Young, her sister as Gemini with Erika Grant
Isaac Smith in the foreground
Erica Sklenars AKA Lady Lazer Light
Bek Coogan with the ‘Get Chips’ sign

Saturnalia, The night of misrule

Audience participation for Saturnalia, making the “sounds of the night of misrule”
Audience volunteers create 4 groups each with a designated leader from the band to each perform the following soundscapes to create the sounds of The Night Of Misrule:
-escalating conversation and laughter
-aspirational chants
-protest chants
-pleasurable food/orgy sounds

Isaac Smith leading a group in aspirational chants
Isaac Smith leading a group in aspirational chants
Erika Grant leading a group in pleasurable food/orgy sounds

We managed to capture a little record of this moment of audience participation. Unfortunately it’s hard to see everything that is going on, but you can see Erika Grant leading a group for making orgasmic sounds of eating delicious food, Isaac Smith is leading a group in aspirational chants, Zara Anderson is behind the camera doing loud party conversations and way off camera are some protest chanters, you can well hear the orchestrated chaos that erupted for our collaborative sonic picture of Saturnalia.

Bridget Kelly
Patrick Bleakley
Bek Coogan as Saturn, the Crone
Sexy Baby Monster – head by Stephen Bain, performed by Amy Booth
Sexy Baby Monster – head by Stephen Bain, performed by Amy Booth

JULY 15, 2021

July’s themes: Comfort and coziness in the coldest part of winter

Features: – a free raffle for 5 minutes of pampering in the comfort nook

-Furry bear arms by Stephen Bain available for extra cozy hugs

-Comedy skits by guest artists Amy Booth and Jen McArthur

-The Moonthly Astrology Update

-Trombone Antics by Amanda Maclean

The scene at the door
The scene from the stage at MEOW
The comfort nook
John Rae
Bridget Kelly and Puppy
Gerard Crewdson
Ben Lemi (left) and Isaac Smith
Booth the Clown’s Heater Skit
Left to right Zoe Ioannou, Amity Alton-Lee, Chris Clinch, Connor Gentry
Jen McArthur’s ASMR skit
Zara Anderson
Neil Feather
Kate Telford dealing cards for a music game improv
Vida Gibson massaging an audience member in the comfort nook
Audience dancers
Erika Grant as the Astrologist with Gabrielle Young and Erica Sklenars
Erica Sklenars and Gabrielle Young – performing Moonchild
Amity Alton-Lee, Chris Clinch, Connor Gentry
Vida Gibson giving a face massage to an audience member in the comfort nook
Amanda Maclean (left) and Jen McArthur
Amanda Maclean (left) with Rosie Langabeer wearing Stephen Bains cuddly bear arms
Hannah Griffin and Rosie Langabeer sing ‘A Joke Too Far’
Sexy Baby Monster – Oracle of the Cabaret
Vida Gibson, Jen McArthur, Sexy Baby Monster and Erika Grant in the comfort nook

FEBRUARY 10, 2022

February themes: The Love Show.

Featured a live green screen surrealist soap opera performance created in collaboration with Stephen Bain. Two band members opt to be actors for the performance creating a team of four people who are ‘winging it’ for the camera on the night.

MEOW with the green screen on the side stage and the main screen behind the band
Zoe Ioannou (left) and Hannah Griffin
Connor Gentry (left) and Kali Barton
Left to right: Grace Kendrick, Will Orlando, Neil Feather (behind), Chris Clinch, Connor Gentry
Left to right: Troy Malcolm, Kate Telford, Stephen Bain
Left to right: Troy Malcolm, Zoe Ioannou, Jen McArthur
Jen McArthur being live-projected
Kate Telford (left) and Isaac Smith with the ‘Aplaud’ sign
Hannah Griffin (left) and Kate Telford
Left to right: Troy Malcolm, Zoe Ioannou and Jen McArthur
Greg Rogan
Amity Alton-Lee
Left to right: Jeff Henderson, Zoe Ioannou, Hannah Griffin
Another green screen scene with Troy Malcolm, Stephen Bain, Jen McArthur
Will Orlando (left) and Neil Feather
Grace Kendrick
Zara Anderson
Left to right: Jen McArthur, Stephen Bain, Zoe Ioannou, Kate Telford
The scene at the door

APRIL 21, 2022 – Worlds Within Worlds

With the new covid restrictions in place we decided to focus on outdoor performances.

We occupied the Clifton Car Park off the Terrace and utilised different spaces there for different tunes as we traversed the terrain with our audience. We had cardboard signs that audience members were enables to use to instruct the band to do different things.

Erika Grant
Jen McArthur (left) and Amity Alton-Lee
Connor Gentry
Amanda Maclean
Band and audience mixing together to walk in formations
audience participate in a dance-off with performers Bjorn Aslund and Amy Booth
Zoe Ioannou
Gerard Crewdson
audience members holding the direction signs Jen McArthur on the right
audience shenanigans
Rosie Langabeer
Amanda Maclean (front)
Left to right: John Rae, Bridget Kelly, Puppy, Connor Gentry
Isaac Smith (left) and audience member
Left to right: Connor Gentry, Puppy, Bridget Kelly, Zoe Ioannou, Amity Alton-Lee
John Rae
Kate Telford
Patrick Bleakley
Chris Clinch
Joe Dobson
Amity Alton-Lee
Isaac Smith
Left to right: Tristan Carter, Gerard Crewdson, Erika Grant
Bjorn Aslund (left) and Amy Booth
Greg Rogan
Amanda Maclean (left) and Nick van Dijk


Our second outdoor event. Starting at Pukeahu War Memorial Park and heading down State Highway One to Cuba Street and then around some back alleys with a few tag-along members of the public who were swept up in the spirit of it all.

Hannah Fraser
Nick van Dijk
Pepe Becker with the direction signs
Gerard Crewdson
People watching from inside
Left to right: Pepe Becker, Kate Telford, Amity Alton-Lee , Connor Gentry
Amanda Maclean
Bek Coogan
audience member holding the “drum solo” sign
Left to right: John Rae, Hannah Fraser, Bek Coogan, Isaac Smith, Chris Clinch
Hannah Griffin
Rosie Langabeer

Participant’s feedback

From Zoe Ioannou – alto saxophone player and student at the NZSM

Being a part of this project so far has been wonderful, to be able to explore many different types of performing arts by doing monthly shows at Meow in Wellington during 2021 and 2022.  As a musician, it has been most valuable to work alongside other creatives beyond my personal practice and create high quality art together.

From Amanda Maclean – trombonist and collaborating artist

The personal benefit for me as one of the collaborating artists is development in confidence via the inclusiveness in the band community, and development of skills required to memorize tunes, interact with the spectators and surroundings, and adapt volume and balance to the varying demands of continually changing acoustic environments and sub ensembles that emerge both organically and pre-arranged. 

From Greg Rogan – professional tenor saxophone player

I’ve personally really enjoy the vibe of the group, the calibre of the musicians and performers involved and the fact that we get off the page and onto the streets (or carpark)! Also, Rosie Langabeer’s arrangements and compositions are fantastic! Each piece is so unique and brilliant and strikes that wonderful balance of free-form openness and rhythmic/melodic structure that draws in musicians and non-musicians alike.

I especially think the format of spontaneous paraded music has so much value for people who have suffered setbacks from COVID (financially or health-wise) – they can really benefit from the vibrancy of such an ensemble. It’s a great way of bringing the arts and local live music back into the lives of people who haven’t been able to get out and about to concerts etc and/or might be struggling financially.

From Stephen Bain – guest collaborating artist

Under the guidance of Rosie Langabeer, a very original and socially motivated form of music performance is being developed, harnessing the energy of a highly original group of multi-instrumental musicians. Langabeer’s musical direction and original compositions bring performance makers, theatre-makers and visual artists into the mix, collaborating with generosity and artistic rigour.

From Bridget Kelly – professional tenor saxophone player

Being part of this group is absolutely healing and hilarious and fun! We brighten up the concrete jungle with our colourful presence and our almost circus energy and vibrancy. 
We interact with our surroundings and the audience. 
It is unlike any other show I have played and I love it. 

From Bek Coogan – collaborating artist

The music is not demanding….it is inviting, it sweeps people up to the joy. That is accessible. A reminder of how in the now. In the moment, all you need is to be alive, with others. That is a pretty cool reminder when economically or physically stressed.

A more personal note to me from one of our collaborating artists Jenny McArthur

Thank you for that super fun show, it was amazing to see how all that work you’ve been doing with audience interaction created such a participatory vibe. You really created space for the audience to just be amongst and part of it. The audience was starting to jump in without being asked which is huge. Well done for keeping on developing this aspect. Glad to hear that we will maybe be doing it again!