Rest homes cul­ti­vate com­edy

The New Zealand Herald - - PUZZLES AND HOROSCOPES -

Rest homes are prov­ing to be fer­tile ground for play­wright Roger Hall as he glides past 40 some­thing years of de­liv­er­ing box of­fice gold to New Zealand theatre.

Last Legs has all the el­e­ments of Hall’s inim­itable brand ar­ranged with the cosy con­ve­nience of a wellde­signed re­tire­ment unit. The sharply drawn char­ac­ters can­vas a range of recog­nis­able Kiwi types and grant au­di­ences the plea­sure of see­ing their own sto­ries pre­sented on stage.

Vivid ob­ser­va­tions of per­sonal foibles gen­er­ate plenty of hu­mour and a hint of pathos as char­ac­ters re­flect on the dis­ap­point­ments that oc­ca­sion­ally bring them to the brink of de­spair. A smat­ter­ing of gen­tle satire on po­lit­i­cal fol­lies and pop- feisty and en­gag­ing as the long­suf­fer­ing wife of a dodgy real-es­tate agent with an elec­tri­fy­ing stage pres­ence thanks to Mark Had­low’s bravado per­for­mance.

Ray Hen­wood finds an ap­pro­pri­ately la­conic tone for a re­tired univer­sity pro­fes­sor, re­ju­ve­nated by an af­fair with a flir­ta­tious ac­tress and Cather­ine Wilkins brings an ap­peal­ingly in­de­pen­dent spirit to her nu­anced por­trayal of a woman of ill-re­pute.

Ali­son Quigan dis­plays fault­less comic tim­ing as a For­est & Bird stal­wart who once made her­self self­suf­fi­cient in cu­cum­bers while Mar­garet Mary Hollins cap­tures the aloof snob­bery of an aca­demic wife try­ing to fill the void of a love­less mar­riage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.