Comedy the blokes will enjoy
A comical conversation overheard on a bus about a wayward bachelor party was the inspiration for Stag Weekend, which plays at Centrepoint Theatre from April 1 for an extended six-week season.
Directed by Centrepoint’s artistic director Jeff Kingsford-Brown, Stag Weekend was written by Cantabrians Dan Bain and Brendon Bennetts and had its world premiere in Christchurch in 2014.
Stag Weekend exposes the world of male shenanigans and the inevitable clashes that result when mates with varying ideas about what makes for a good time reunite in the Tararuas. The show promises a trail of carnage slammed together with loads of laughs when the four very different friends set out to bag a stag.
Simon (Kieran Foster), the groom, is your average guy who is desperately in search of what it means to be a real man in today’s modern world. He’s looking to his best mates for guidance.
Andrew (Andrew Ford) is the one who seems to have it all – he’s settled, with a good job and plans for the future, but all is not what it seems. Professional, polished and in his element in a metrosexual city environment, his veneer starts to slip when confronted by the reality of the Tararuas.
‘‘ Stag Weekend manages to combine big, broad laughs,’’ says Ford, who reprises his role as Andrew having appeared in the original production at The Court Theatre. ‘‘It’s also a thoughtful and heartfelt examination of what it means to be a man in New Zealand – an important topic.’’
Charismatic, alternative lifestyler Tim (Ben van Lier) is put out when he realises that not all things in life are as easy to obtain as they have been in the past. There are some situations that a winning grin and and instant guitar melody just can’t fix.
‘‘I’m thoroughly looking forward to performing Stag Weekend,’’ says van Lier. ‘‘Comedy is probably my favourite genre to perform and it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do so. A lot of laughs with a bit of drama sprinkled over the top – what more could you ask for?’’
Finally, traditional Kiwi bloke Gary (Thomas Knowles) cannot understand why his boyhood mate wants to do anything other than hunt, drink, vomit and build stuff because that’s what real blokes do… don’t they?
Personalities clash and the jokes tumble out as the four debate the merits of glad-wrapping the naked groom to a pole versus an afternoon at the driving range followed by wine tasting. One thing the foursome can agree on are the individual changes that each has undergone since high school days.
Playwrights Brendon Bennetts and Dan Bain have worked together for over 10 years. With this play they wanted to replace the shortlived nature of improvisation that they are known for in Christchurch with a script that would last. ‘‘We started Stag Weekend over five years ago pre-earthquakes. Every place that we started writing has now fallen down! It shows the destructive power of our writing, no building can withstand it!’’ says Bain.
During the writing process, Bain was one of Bennett’s groomsmen but there, they insist, any similarity to the play ends.
To win a double pass to Stag Weekend, post your stag/hen night horror story to Centrepoint Theatre’s Facebook page. Winners will be drawn weekly throughout the season.
Stag Weekend runs at Centrepoint from April 1 to May 14. Tickets: Adults $40, under 30/community services card/senior $32, tertiary $20, high school $18, group 10+ $36 pp. Bookings 06-354-5740 or www.centrepoint.co.nz.
Cast of Centrepoint’s Stag Weekend (from left) Thomas Knowles, Kieran Foster, Andrew Ford and Ben van Lier.