Rowena Haley’s show has a simple, yet entertaining foundation: what is it like to grow up with a 93-year-old as your best friend? Through wittily penned songs, anecdotes and large size photographs of awkward teenage years, the Boltonian goes on to describe the ins and outs of befriending her fake ‘Aunty Nellie’, a stingy pensioner that provided quirky words of wisdom such as the show’s namesake.
Although we are invited into the performance by Haley and her guitar with a tune describing her own importance, sarcasm drips from every one of her words and we learn that this is not to be some egotistical hour of showing off but in fact a hilariously self-deprecating story of growing up. She is here to make fun of herself - and others for that matter. Not one to pick on the audience, Haley’s ditties focus more on the stupidity of the everyday, of ridiculous situations we get into in our teens and on the absolute piffle people post on social networking sites. Her cynicism surrounding society bears the hallmarks of old person grump – a trait undoubtedly inspired by her geriatric comrade. It is this element of the show that really brings the laughs, a 93 year old mentality trapped in a 27 year old’s body, with a strict intolerance for everyday annoyances that we can all relate to but are not as brazen as Haley to confess.
There were some slight hiccups in delivery and truthfully the songs were not really the main pull of the show and could have been developed a little more, but the bare bones were there for some lyrical talent that could elevate the set to another level. Despite this, Haley’s performance can be described as a humorous revelry in moaning, intertwined with heart-warming reminisces of an awkward youth that make it relatable from start to finish.