New Zealand's most popular playwright, Roger Hall, takes a witty, insightful look at the Kiwi family 25 years on. He revisits the characters from his phenomenally successful comedy, Middle Age Spread, to see how life is treating them today.
Colin and Elizabeth, now in their 60s, have retired to the Wairarapa and are living on a lifestyle block growing grapes - Pinot Noir of course! Three generations of the family gather for a few days to celebrate the New Year. Unexpectedly, their old neighbours, Reg and Isobel, now living in Queensland, turn up and invite themselves to stay.
Hi-jinks and home truths abound as the comedy of bad manners continues, with a good dose of growing old disgracefully.
By arrangement with Playmarket
Well this was a surprise, from the set design to the acting and the story line this was an impressive play for such a small production. This was exciting from the word go and I have to say that it takes much to make me laugh but this did.
This is one of those plays that is as real to life as it comes and it is a definite must see. The actors are particularly well suited for the roles that they are portraying. The story that is being told is one of an elderly couple and their friends and family and the adjustment to the changes that is taking place in the winter of their lives and more particularly how they deal with this process of change.
Initially the play starts slow, to build some background, and then it really starts to get interesting with a lot of twists and turns. The play is approximately about 2 hours long so it is not a late night out but rest assured it is well worth the money. The play is not well suited for children but I have to say that if you are over 22 you will really enjoy this play.
We arrived at the wonderful Centrepoint Theatre a little early, so as to avoid having to wait for a break in the performance to take out seats. Once the show starts, you wait for a break, so you don't disturb the actors or audience. While we waited for the doors to open, we enjoyed a nice quiet drink from the licensed bar in the foyer.
I hadn't finished my Bourbon & Coke when the door swung open and we entered. So, much to my surprise, I was prompted to take my beverage in with me... a great drawcard.
The ambience was set with some nice mellow music, and soon the lights dimmed and the actors could be seen in the shadows, entering the stage.
From that point on, I was hooked. The sets were constructed with great skill, and I had no trouble suspending my disbelief during the show.
The characters have depth and texture the likes of which can only be found in players of this calibre. Simply stunning, really. Somewhere in the show, one of the characters will 'click' in your mind and you will think "Crickey! I know someone just like that!"
The storyline was packed with current-affairs references, giving the play a definitely modern scope which will ring in tune with anyone.
The accoustics and lighting were controlled with consumate skill, ensuring the play flowed smoothly, and carried the right atmosphere throughout. You could clearly feel more 'time' passing in the story when it was appropriate.
Overall, this was so true-to-life that anyone will have to be making some serious effort NOT to enjoy this. With an intermission after an hour, you will find this so easy to relax and enjoy. No numb body-bits for this audience member. :)
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