Quality topical comedy
By Ralph McAllister
Bruce Mason told me, as we prepared for his revue Wits End in 1956, that audiences should consider themselves well pleased if they enjoyed seven out of ten of the sketches in this form of entertainment.
He might change his estimates if he were to rise from his grave to see Destination Beehive: 2017, currently playing at Circa 2 for the next four weeks.
He would certainly be applauding loudly.
Taking the politicians apart
Lorae Parry and Pinky Agnew focus their significant talents on the forthcoming election, using a structure which has some world renowned politicians introducing local candidates.
This offers wonderful challenges to a formidable cast who seize opportunities to portray and in some cases rip to pieces, reputations of the pompous and pathetic.
Having just returned from London and the election there, and the tragedies of Manchester, Grenfell and London Bridge, I wasn’t sure whether I would be ready ,after a 35 hour flight, for any more drama.
I needn’t have worried.
This was a tonic of intoxicating proportions.I have seldom heard such sustained waves of laughter from an audience.
Highlights, too numerous to mention, sustained 90 minutes of joy.
Meeting the famous and infamous from here and overseas
Meeting Theresa May, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, might have meant a bias to overseas leaders.
Not a bit of it.
We had our own candidates for September, including
~ Winston Peters, a surprisingly generous performance from him
~ Gareth Morgan whose moustache offered endless problems
~ Paula Bennett
~ Bill English and many others.
Top quality acting and production
The pace was relentless, songs adroitly placed and wickedly satirical, musical direction by Clinton Zerf enhancing the evening, together with some stunning choreography by Jan Bolwell, starting with one of my favourite numbers from A Chorus Line, which had me, almost, but not quite, leaping up to join.
Kate Harcourt rolled on to start her love affair with dear Winston, proving that 90 is a dangerous age. Tom Knowles continued his rise to top billing in theatrical versatility with contributions of astonishing wit and variety. Carrie Green was devastating.
Jan Bolwell directed the chaos with aplomb, and the audience roared its approval at the end of a memorable evening. After we voted, I might add, in a tension ridden climax!
The only fault lies in the venue. Why the larger space wasn’t given to this proven successful team of Agnew and Parry defies logic.
In the meantime, book now, for what will surely be a sell-out season.
DO NOT MISS!