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Mysterious Maria

Thorough detective work reveals that Maria Williams (improvisor, actor, deviser, MC and recently, stand-up comedian) loves Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and theatre practitioner Jo Randerson, toured NZ singing to children while wearing a black velour onesie, and is giving her brother a run for his money in the comedy scene. We tracked her down and conducted a very serious interview.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Usually about which boring topics I’d chat at length about if I was a Radio Host (hire me, I can talk waaay too much about tonnes of very boring topics!). I also sing-fantasise that I’m dueting with Celine Dion.

What were you like at 15?
Loud, constantly laughing, singing, and over-committing. So, exactly the same. Possibly more successful? Definitely more stable. 

What quote or saying do people say that you think is complete BS?
‘Not all those who wander are lost’ – as someone who is lost I resent it. 

And ‘you only live once’ – where’s the proof?

What’s something your brain tries to make you do and you have to will yourself not to do it?
I constantly get in trouble for talking or acting before thinking. The only will I have is in my last name.

Where were you 3 hours ago?
In bed binge-watching Judge Judy. Highly recommend it: 23 seasons so you never run out AND it makes you feel better about your own life!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to BATS theatre, to see The Mournmoor Murders!

Describe your show in 5 words: 
Cult-classic mystery: funny, ridiculous, sexy

With her bud Alice May Connolly, Maria has devised The Mournmoor Murders, a ‘rip-riot, absurd, and nostalgic kiwi crime comedy’ inspired by murder mysteries such as Midsomer Murders, Hot Fuzz and Twin Peaks. The pair perform in Wellington until 11 May and in Auckland from 14-18 May, as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo.

For info, including venues and tickets, head to

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