Play stays true to real life

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

It’s ap­pro­pri­ate that mixed emo­tions are ex­pected in the au­di­ence dur­ing the Toko­roa Lit­tle Theatre’s lat­est pro­duc­tion.

Af­ter all life is full of them and lead­ing New Zealand play­wright Roger Hall’s You Can Al­ways Hand Them Back, di­rected by Tina Ward, pro­vides a real ‘‘in­sight into life’’ ac­cord­ing to cast mem­ber Iris Men­zies.

‘‘It’s a story about grand­par­ents (Men­zies plays the grand­mother) and the dif­fer­ent stages of life that they go through,’’ she said.

‘‘First of all they are long­ing for grand­chil­dren and urg­ing their chil­dren to have them and then there is the birth, buy­ing a pram, and babysit­ting.

‘‘They then have to move into a re­tire­ment vil­lage so that changes their lives and the grand­fa­ther (played by Keith Mal­lett) then gets a sore knee so he can’t play golf.

‘‘The grand­fa­ther then goes into hos­pi­tal and passes away and the grand­mother has to start do­ing things on her own. All the sorts of things that hap­pen in real life as you get older.’’

Men­zies said de­spite some som­bre parts the stage pro­duc­tion is mostly full of hu­mour and has a happy twist in the end.

‘‘It’s very very funny but so true to life and ev­ery­one who comes, whether they are grand­par­ents or par­ents, will re­late. Even grand­chil­dren will see their grand­par­ents in the char­ac­ters,’’ she said.

‘‘You will have a laugh, a tear maybe, and you’ll go home with a lot to think about.’’

She said the cast has been re­hears­ing since Jan­uary and was look­ing for­ward to shar­ing the pro­duc­tion, which will be nar­rated by Dominic Bow­ers-ma­son, with oth­ers.

There will also be orig­i­nal songs and Bar­bara Gra­ham, a for­mer mem­ber of the Toko­roa Oper­atic So­ci­ety, will be back for the first time in years on the key­board.

‘‘The cast has been work­ing re­ally well to­gether and Tina, who has been in theatre for years, has been bril­liant.’’

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