Ralph Reviews The Pink Hammer

It’s always good to see ourselves as others see us, says Ralph McAllister.

Sometimes.

Michele Amas’s 1st

Michele Amas’s play , first seen at Centrepoint, Palmerston North in 2014, finally arrived in Wellington at Circa last night to be greeted by an enthusiastic audience.

Photo credit: Tabitha Arthur

The plot is as simple as hammering nails into a block of wood.

Or is it?

Four women meet for their first lesson in woodwork to find that their teacher has disappeared, together with their fees.

Husband Woody (Alex Greig) secure in his man-cave no longer, has to cope with their anger.
He stays, reluctantly, as their teacher.

In a too-long first half, we meet neurotic nurse Louise (Anne Chamberlain), young Irish wanderer Siobhan (Harriet Prebble), strident marriage counsellor (Bronwyn Turei) and elderly ex- horse breeder Helen (Ginette McDonald).

Humour of several types

The humour is often farcical, stereotypical and full of clever one-liners.

Ginette and Alex ( photo credit: Tabitha Arthur)

Poor Johnsonville!

The trouble with both play and production is by the time of the darker side of the second half, we care less and less for these people, with the exceptions of Woody and Helen.

Less is more
Both Greig and McDonald bring a touching simplicity to their performances proving, yet again, that less is more.

Indeed Mc Donald, once more shows us what consummate professionalism is.

Too often the strutting restlessness of this Annabel, the maniacal Joyce Grenfell like performance of this Louise, and the constant smiling of this Siobhan leave us caring less and less instead of more and more.

Obviously, when working with such a talented cast, director Conrad Newport must be held responsible for the final results.

Many will be delighted at this, another play seeing ourselves as others see us.

Harriet and Anne ( Photo: Tabitha Arthur )

Others will be resigned to the fact that, finally, dry eyes not tears, ended this somewhat frustrating evening of what could have been.

Ralph McAllister

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