Free­wheel­ing strip-off fun

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

The Streaker by Gre­gory Cooper, di­rected by Jeff Kings­ford-Brown, Cen­tre­point Theatre, Novem­ber 5 - De­cem­ber 17. Re­viewed by Richard Mays.

What makes a mid­dle-aged man - a son, a hus­band and fa­ther - take his clothes off and run the length of the (ahem) Bone­yard?

Is it the $1mil­lion streak­ing stake of­fered by the lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion for the fi­nals of the ITM Cup, or is it some deeper more pri­mal urge?

Re­cently made re­dun­dant call cen­tre man­ager Ron Hewett is about to find out in this sea­sonal romp.

The Streaker plays on the premise that most fam­i­lies are only two pay pack­ets away from fi­nan­cial col­lapse. Greg Cooper’s take on this is an in­ter­est­ing amal­gam of sit­com, panto and homo-erotic farce with some prom­i­nent ‘‘slap­stick’’ ap­plied at the end.

The ‘‘in-your-dreams’’ back­drop is a Tur­bos home-ground ITM Cup fi­nal against Waikato, and all the ex­tended ‘‘bread and cir­cuses’’ hype sur­round­ing it.

A cast ably headed by Greg John­son as Ron and Danielle Ma­son as Linda his long-suf­fer­ing other half, de­liv­ers the tim­ing and the laughs that this light­weight de­lib­er­ately cliche-rid­den do­mes­tic com­edy de­mands, along with a num­ber of satir­i­cal zingers.

Di­rec­tor Jeff Kings­ford-Brown keeps things zip­ping along as the re­la­tion­ships be­tween three gen­er­a­tions of Hewetts. There’s Ron’s ex-hip­pie mum Llana, cur­mud­geonly 72-year-old dad Bill, and his two chil­dren, all de­fined in ar­che­typal fash­ion.

Si­mon Leary makes the most of mul­ti­ple roles to help main­tain the mo­men­tum, while voice-overs from mem­bers of the lo­cal MoreFM break­fast crew build to­wards the game-day cli­max. The prod­uct spon­sor an­nounce­ments are worth lis­ten­ing out for.

The sim­ple two-di­men­sional set by Oliver Morse adapts per­fectly to the pace, al­low­ing for quick­fire changes of scene. With just enough so­cial bite to pull The

Streaker be­yond the slough of su­per­fi­cial­ity, the pro­duc­tion en­sures plenty of well-pitched free­wheel­ing bare-cheeked fun to en­joy.


Greg John­son stars in Cen­tre­point Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of The Streaker.

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