THE MOTOR CAMP
by Dave Armstrong
based on a story by Danny Mulheron
Directed by Tim Bartlett
at Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch
From 23 Jun 2012 to 4 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Lindsay Clark;
HOT KIWI COMEDY AT THE COURT THEATRE
The weather outside may be cold, but things are heating up inside The Court Theatre with Dave Armstrong's "100% pure NZ comedy" THE MOTOR CAMP, inspired by one of the great kiwi summer traditions.
Well-known for THE TUTOR, LE SUD and SEVEN PERIODS WITH MR GORMSBY, Armstrong has written a play about the sparks that fly when two distinctly different families are forced to share adjoining plots at a motor camp for their summer holiday. The kiwi comedy has been a national hit, attracting rave reviews for its mix of cheeky comedy and social commentary as well as a repeat season in Wellington due to popular demand.
Stephen Papps and Tom Trevella, fresh from roles in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, swap Shakespeare for sandals as university lecturer Frank Redmond (Papps) and working-class businessman Mike Hislop (Trevella), who find themselves neighbours at the Windmill Motor Camp. The pair's conflicting views on culture, education and parenting lead to steadily increasing mutual irritation.
Jill Reynolds plays Frank's frustrated wife Jude Redmond, whose hopes of a relaxing getaway are thwarted by her husband's book-writing aspirations and the neighbours' boisterous activities. Juanita Hepi, recently returned from a season of THE MAORI TROILUS AND CRESSIDA at London's Globe Theatre, plays Dawn Tairoa, Mike's partner.
Phoebe McKellar is the Redmonds' petulant teenage daughter Holly, who is more interested in texting than enjoying the scenery - until she meets Jarod, Dawn's troubled son from a previous relationship (Tola Newbery).
Set designer Nigel Kerr has created a motor camp that "could be anywhere on the east coast of the upper South Island", accommodating two full-size caravans on the stage. Artist Maurice Kidd has spent two weeks painting a scenic coastal backdrop 34 metres wide and 4.8m tall on over fifty MDF panels.
THE MOTOR CAMP marks the main-stage directorial debut of Tim Bartlett, who has appeared on stage in numerous Court productions and is enjoying directing "one of the funniest new plays from a kiwi playwright".
Artistic director of The Court Theatre Ross Gumbley is similarly enthusiastic about the production. "Armstrong's 'warts and all' portrayal of everyday New Zealanders makes us gasp at his moxy and roar with laughter at our own pretensions. Naughty, considered and very funny - THE MOTOR CAMP is destined to become a classic piece of Kiwiana."
THE MOTOR CAMP
by Dave Armstrong, based on a story by Danny Mulheron. Directed by Tim Bartlett
Contains coarse language and sexual references.
Performances: 23 June - 4 August 2012
Show times: 6:30pm Mon/Thu, 7:30 Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat (2pm matinee Sat 30 June)
Venue: The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington
Tickets: Adults $48 | Senior $41 | Groups (20+) $39 | Under 25s $29 | Child $19
Bookings: 03 963 0870 or www.courttheatre.org.nz
Stephen Papps, Jill Roberts, Phoebe McKellar, Tom Trevella, Juanita Hepi, Tola Newbery
Director - Tim Bartlett
Stage Manager - Jo Bunce
Set Designer - Nigel Kerr
Lighting Design - Joe Hayes
Sound Design / Operator - Sean Hawkins
Costume Design - Pauline Laws & Pam Jones
Properties - Anneke Bester
Production Manager - Mandy Perry