3. TOUR DE MAMIL
Actor Mark Hadlow discovers his inner MAMIL at The Globe.
Mamil (mæml) n.
1. Acronym for Middle-Aged Man in Lycra.
2. New Zealand solo stage play written and directed by Gregory Cooper starring Mark Hadlow as shonky property developer Bryan Cook. Features the central character’s attachment Little Ted, a crutch of other cycle-o-paths, while giving men’s health issues more than just a passing shake.
3. Sentient biped with ‘‘bornagain’’ addiction to crankshafts and saddles. Compulsively ‘‘Lycras’’ anything Facebook features about two-wheeled selfpropelled transport. 2010 neologism attributed to British marketing research company Mintel. Mamilian adj, n.
Best place in New Zealand to ride a bike? Then Mamil should go down a treat in Palmerston North.
‘‘Really, what we’re out to do is give people a laugh,’’ the actor says on the phone from Auckland.
A ‘‘spokesman’’ for a subspecies of baby-boomers, Mark (Dori the dwarf in The Hobbit) plays ‘‘mamilian’’ man Bryan Cook. Bryan is a Grey Lynn domiciled, Beamer X-5 driving, cyclist loathing, Tom Jones loving, chihuahua owning, single malt slugging property developer who has made a small fortune out of building leaky homes. Then comes the 2007 global meltdown.
A more circumspect Bryan is now subjecting himself to a peculiar form of penance for his self-centred, selfish, unethical, sexist, anger-fuelled, bullying and physically unhealthy life by joining a cycling group.
An expensive Italian carbon fibre bike becomes his ‘‘prayer wheel’’, and his like-clad companions are his ‘‘prayer group’’ as Bryan em-bikes on a velocipedic voyage of self rediscovery.
‘‘It’s very funny, but there is also a point to it. Men’s health, communication, relationships, economics. The play is set in 2007, and the 2007 crash is happening to him as it happens. He loses his shirt, but finds redemption through membership of The Peloton, where his biking companions give him a hard time, and even his bike ‘Pinarello’ gives him grief.’’
The bike is a character in the play, and sings.
‘‘Yes, it has something for everyone. It’s not just a play about bike-riding people who wear lycra – it’s an expose of middle-aged men; it blows away the cobwebs of how they think.’’
Special effects play a part, and the impressive set represents ‘‘the rock of a man’s brain’’.
The actor says there is a connection between Mamil and his 1994 award-winning performance in the solo show Sensitive New Age Guy ( SNAG) in that both plays are about the rise and fall of a businessman.
‘‘ Mamil has been so well received. We’ve so far performed it in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Taupo and Martinborough and in each place it has gone extremely well.’’
Following this touring ‘‘cycle’’ its producers are looking at opportunities to take the play to Australia and the UK.
Mamil plays the Globe, Thursday, June 23 to Saturday. Bookings online or Globe box-office.
Mark Hadlow ain’t nothing but a mamil making his way on the ‘rediscovery’ channel as his ‘Tour de Penance’ comes to the Globe.