Revisiting high school
Paul McLaughlin expects Kings of the Gym audiences to be rolling in the aisles before an actor utters a word.
Writer Dave Armstrong and director Danny Mulheron, the team behind The Motor Camp, have created another assembly of characters, with traits instantly recognisable to anyone who wasn’t homeschooled.
McLaughlin plays dissipated PE teacher Laurie, Ginette McDonald plays by-the-rules principal Viv and newcomer Acushla- Tara Sutton plays bright- eyed, bushy- tailed student-teacher Annie.
‘‘They are not cartoons but you will recognise them from your time at high school,’’ McLaughlin said.
Laurie spends his days in the gym, watching television, gambling and hanging out with the kids and Annie presents a culture shock for him.
‘‘I’ve just graduated from teaching college, a student on secondment who wants to do things in all the PC ways she has just learned,’’ Sutton said.
A fundamentalist Christian, her views are very much at odds with Laurie’s, and she is also on the brink of selection for the Silver Ferns. Principal Viv knows the rules. ‘‘ Viv plays the game well. She knows what’s required of her by the board of trustees, by the Ministry of Education and by the teachers’ training college,’’ McLaughlin said. ‘‘ She uses all the big words and all the new terminology, but you can see she doesn’t quite believe it.’’
Kings of the Gym is running at Circa Theatre until February 16. For more information or to book call 801 7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.
Sergeant Christ: It’s cramped but Jody Mortimer is making music from the spare room of his Sievers Grove home in Porirua.
Royalty: Acushla-Tara Sutton and Paul McLaughlin in rehearsal.