A Tale of 3 Lonely Men and their Quest for an Audience with the Elusive Moa

Studio 77, Victoria University, 77 Fairlie Tce, Kelburn, Wellington

24/02/2015 - 28/02/2015

Pūtahi Festival 2015

Production Details

When you wake up with a head-ache to the deafening sound of birds and your bed is made of coloured leaves it’s time to cut back on the drink. 

When a guitar playing hermit offers you drugs while talking to a flying weta it might be time to reassess your life.

And when you fail your job interview with a racist spotted kiwi, it’s time to seek spiritual advice from the elusive Moa!

Jamie McCaskill (Seed, Manawa)goes solo on stage in a multi-character comedy. McCaskill, the 2013 Bruce Mason Play Writing Award winner, with recent MTA directing graduate Craig Geenty, join forces to present a show with the focus on laughs!

Peppered with oddball small town characters, it’s a surreal adult adventure comedy.

Studio 77, VUW
77 Fairlie Tce, Kelburn
Tuesday 24 Feb – Sat 28 Feb 2015

Theatre , Solo ,

Shockingly funny, vividly gross, shamefully entertaining

Review by Grace Ahipene Hoet 25th Feb 2015

Jamie McCaskill is a One Man talented band; he’s an exceptionally gifted storyteller who stands out even when he’s the only one on stage. 

Jamie presents character comedy at its best, inappropriate in its humour, distasteful at times in its delivery and hilarious in its outcome, but not necessarily appealing for all. 

Take three well-developed Kiwi blokes that the audience easily recognises as beer swilling, story-tellers from the local pub. Three lonely man drinking at a bar, whose lives become intertwined when one, a non-drinker, raises the issue of, “there’s a Moa in the Valley.” Here the tale begins and the characters rapidly spring to life. 

Meet Henry the aging ex veteran, argumentative, slightly neurotic Maori bloke who always has a tale to tell; who likes his Waikato beer and loves his wife and mokopuna.  

Then there’s Bryan, the Speights no 13 handle of beer man, a good ole Kiwi Southern man through and through, who can’t resist sharing his urinal moments with everyone. Pieces of this character’s story are deliberately repulsive, such is his raspberry flavoured toilet humour. Not appealing to this female member but it appears to work perfectly well for the males in the audience.   

Then there’s the odd-ball chap who wants to join the beer swigging crowd but doesn’t quite fit. The smooth talking, new-age, non-drinking, sharing-is-caring Carmichael. Let me buy you a beer or two and a tequila to go, so that you will hear my story about my Moa beliefs and then just maybe you will believe in me.

At his best, Jamie feels like a story-spinning drinking buddy, filled with tales of grand adventures and humiliating experiences. Mercurial in his movement and voice, he easily slides from one character to another. The fluidity with which Jamie brings his personalities to life is a pleasure to watch.   

One of his greatest skills is in producing vividly silly physicality in of all his characters and imagery, painting scenes that are ridiculous but feasible. Such as the character Carmichael offering a gross mental image of a man with a bird fetish in the foulest of sexual behaviours; his sketch of a scene of ‘Kristy the Thrush bird’; as a WINZ case manger, with a restraining order against Carmichael that is both hysterical and instantly repulsive.

Eve the Kiwi proves tempting in all ways. Jamie’s portrayal of Eve doing it the Kiwi way shows a clever piece of writing blended with cliché, symbolism and innuendo. 

Jamie’s elusive Moa adventures are lived out through characters who tell stories that could be crushingly crude or bleak with a cheerful optimism. Everything’s messed up but it’s OK.

Shockingly funny, vividly gross, shamefully entertaining and offensively offending – if you’re a bird lover – Jamie’s elusive Moa adventure show is definitely worth going to see. Just make sure to keep an open mind and go with the flow.


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