Brand new un-bare-ably funny com­edy

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

Cen­tre­point will host a re­union of sorts this sum­mer. Six of the fun­ni­est ac­tors from its 42-year his­tory re­turn to tread the boards in a brand new Christ­mas show, by the writer of MAMIL: Mid­dle Aged Man In Ly­cra, that prom­ises to have au­di­ences in stitches.

Greg John­son stars as Ron Hewlett, a man on the brink of a mid-life cri­sis. He’s lost his job, he’s about to lose his home, and his kids are threat­en­ing to call CYPS for cut­ting off the in­ter­net. So, when a lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion of­fers a mil­lion bucks for a buck-naked sprint at the Mitre 10 Cup fi­nal, Ron must de­cide if sav­ing it all is worth bar­ing it all. John­son, per­haps best known for his roles in The In­sa­tiable Moon and Short­land Street, re­turns to Manawatu af­ter ap­pear­ances in Cen­tre­point smash hits Penal­ties, Pints and Pirou­ettes, and Four Flat Whites in Italy.

Au­di­ences who have seen him here be­fore will know he’s cer­tainly not one for stick­ing to the side­lines. Hav­ing re­ceived more than a fleet­ing glimpse at his ‘‘dad-bod’’ in The Mo­tor Camp, this time pre­pare your­selves for more than an eye­ful of John­son! When asked what ap­pealed to him about do­ing the play, John­son says cheek­ily: ‘‘The nu­dity.’’ Re­turn­ing along­side John­son is The Mo­tor Camp’s Dani­ielle Ma­son as his wife Linda. Ed­die Camp­bell ( Who Wants to be 100?) and Theresa Wood­ham ( Oh! What a Lovely War) grace the Cen­tre­point stage, decades af­ter their most re­cent ap­pear­ances, as Ron’s ec­cen­tric par­ents. The Hound of the Baskerville’s Si­mon Leary and lo­cal theatre favourite Car­rie Green ( White Rab­bit Red Rab­bit) play ev­ery­one else.

The idea of The Streaker came to writer Gre­gory Cooper af­ter a friend’s rel­a­tive - a very straight-laced, sen­si­ble man - got drunk at a cricket match. Af­ter some ‘en­cour­age­ment’ from his mates, he de­cided to streak.

‘‘He only made it a few me­tres be­fore se­cu­rity took him down and once he’d sobered up was ab­so­lutely mor­ti­fied about what he’d done. This story of some­one sen­si­ble do­ing some­thing very un-sen­si­ble ap­pealed.’’

The Streaker also marks the end of an era for Cen­tre­point Theatre, be­ing Jeff Kings­fordBrown’s fi­nal show as artis­tic di­rec­tor af­ter five years in the role. ’’I’m de­lighted to end my ten­ure here work­ing along­side a ter­rific cast on this hi­lar­i­ous Kiwi com­edy with heart.‘‘

The rules are sim­ple: 100 me­tres. $1 mil­lion. No clothes at­tached. How far will Ron go for his fam­ily? And how far will he get? Sprint to find out in this brand new un-bare-ably funny com­edy. The Streaker was orig­i­nally com­mis­sioned by Christchurch’s The Court Theatre, and pre­miered Septem­ber 2016. Cen­tre­point Theatre presents a brand new ver­sion adapted es­pe­cially for Manawatu au­di­ences.

The Streaker runs from Novem­ber 4 to De­cem­ber 17 on Wed­nes­days at 6.30pm, Thurs­day to Satur­day (8pm) and Sun­days at 5pm. Tick­ets $18-40. Book­ings 06-354-5740; cen­tre­point.co.nz: hello@cen­tre­point.co.nz.

Greg John­son is The Streaker, demon­strat­ing the ver­sa­til­ity of a Tur­bos’ buck­et­head.

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