FINELY TUNED SECOND TIME ROUND
devised by Leo Gene Peters, John Butterfield, Jean Copeland, Geoff Pinfield, Amanda Baker, Cooper Amai, Thomas Press & Ceridwyn Roberts
directed & designed by Leo Gene Peters
at BATS, Wellington
From 22 Aug 2006 to 2 Sep 2006
[1hr 5 mins, no interval]
Reviewed by Laurie Atkinson, 25 Aug 2006
originally published in The Dominion Post
In this latest version, which has been revised and tightened, two characters have been deleted and two new ones added, and three of the original cast have been retained playing their original roles. What has not changed is the inventive direction that allows the actors to drive the stories forward with the same comic spirit that enlivened the first production.
The cardboard boxes are still turned into beds, wind machines, dancers in a gay bar, and numerous other things and places in the four or five stories that depict the constant changes we all have to face every day in the turmoil of the modern world.
As a programme note says 'Life, identity, sexuality, relationships: all these things are only ever fixed when they die.' Shifting explores all this through some linked, neatly written and warmly performed stories about a youngish dancer from California adapting to life in Wellington, a young man learning Spanish and having a fleeting love affair before heading off to Spain, a young woman shifting flats, and a scientist being nervously courted by a man who spends most of his time either in his empty flat in Aro Street or at a Winz office.
In my review of the first production I wrote that there seemed to be no necessity for Shifting to ever stop because there were neither climaxes nor resolutions to the stories. I was wrong because, of course, life can never be neatly and tidily wrapped up in a box. But then life can sometimes be unpleasant, but luckily in this amusing hour-long play that idea is kept at bay.
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