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Performed at:

2018 NZ Fringe, Wellington

2017 Brisbane Poetry Festival

2017 St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival

2017 Castlemaine State Festival

2016 Adelaide Fringe

2015 Melbourne Fringe


Most Innovative Work Nominee - 2018 Wellington Fringe

Best of the Late Night Fringe - 2017 Montreal Fringe

Best English Production Nominee - 2017 Melbourne Fringe

Best Emerging Writer - 2015 Melbourne Fringe

Miss Congeniality meets Roald Dahl in this rollicking adventure full of blood, sweat and tans.

In the prime of Ancient Greece there was Homer’s 'Odyssey', in the swell of the Regency age there was Lord Byron’s 'Don Juan', and now, amidst the up-chuck of the reality-TV era, comes 'Poet Vs Pageant'.

What will happen when an awkward outsider dives head first into the perilous seas of a beauty pageant? Be transported by a tale about outer change and its inner cost, told in epic poetic style. With added sequins.

Direction by: Mark Pritchard


Huge thanks John Kachoyan, Perri Cummings, Matt Kelly, Andrew Callaghan, Cameron Powell and Sharon Nevile.


“Inspirational, mesmerizing, profound, relateable, absolutely fantastic – those are a few of the countless ways to describe Telia Nevile’s outstanding spoken word performance” - Montreal Theatre Hub


“Dazzlingly written, dynamically delivered” - Montreal Gazette

“It’s not often that you see a 45-minute show spoken in poetic cadence that holds your attention for that period. However, Melbourne, Australia’s Telia Nevile manages to pull it off in a style not seen often since Homer or Shakespeare” - Westmount Mag

“I cannot do justice to the exquisite lyricism of the script” - The Booklet


★★★★½ "Telia Nevile is a rare talent. Witty and wordy, illuminating and nerdy – another great show from an innovative writer/performer.” - Adelaide Theatre Guide


★★★★ "A sheer delight. Satiric wit and humorous undertow.” - The Clothesline


★★★★ "A lot of heart is crammed into Nevile’s story, making it more than just clever rhyme. Her lyrical prose makes us feel for the contestants as much as the heroine and, as the beauty pageant draws to its finale, I’m embarrassed to admit I was holding my breath. An epic journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation.” - Glam Adelaide


★★★★ "The recital is an impressive one, both textually dense and fiendishly clever, chock full of wordy goodness. And Nevile brings it all to life with a confident, animated performance, which is helped along by her Seussian range of facial expressions. Clever, distinctive, intelligent and insightful: a feast for lovers of literature, and a delight for fans of the nerdy-underdog tale.” - Great Scott


“Telia had her intimate crowd completely charmed from start to finish. Short, sharp-witted and sparkling, Poet vs Pageant is absolutely delightful and definitely not to be missed.” - Radio Adelaide


“Gloriously smart and so full of heart that it’s an unmissable treat” - The Age


“The roots of this poetic style are deep set in the rhythms of romantics such as Wordsworth and Coleridge – the rhythms and language that distinguish the great poets from the amateurs. Mixing this with the cheeky, experimental theatre style characteristic to Melbourne’s contemporary theatre makers, Nevile has managed to remind the world – or rather, a few small rooms of people – that good poetry is the greatest form of storytelling.” - Milkbar Mag

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