Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

20/11/2012 - 01/12/2012

Production Details

The Outfit Theatre Company in association with STAMP at THE EDGE present An Awkward Family Christmas. 

“an infectious sense of fun.” – A Criminal Christmas, 2011, NZ HERALD

“One of Auckland’s slickest young companies” – Short + Sweet Festival, 2011, NZ HERALD

Yuletide is here… get ready to cringe! Join the extended Potts-Chambers family’s awfully awkward Christmas shindig. 

You think your Christmas is hard? Try sharing it with Aryan twins, a pottery making lesbian life partner, a brain damaged supermodel and a perpetually unloved stoner son. Add to the mix a meal of orange, cauliflower and spark plugs… it’s gonna get incredibly awkward.

Start your silly season off with a bang and be convinced your family is actually normal over Christmas!*


Herald Theatre
Tuesday 20 November – Sat 1 December 2012, 8pm
Booking Details:
Ticket prices $30 adults, $25 concession
BOOK NOW 0800 BUY TICKETS or 09 357 3355 

POLLY – Jacqui Nauman 
PERCY – Andrew Ford 
BUDDY – Cole Jenkins 
JOHN – Brad Johnson 
DENISE – Michelle Leuthart
KAZ – Laura Daniel
TREVOR – Mick Innes
FELICIA – Heidi Kauta
KEITH – Joel Herbert
KEITHA – Kate Vox
WINSTON – Chris Tempest 

Set Design: John Parker
Lighting Design: Brad Gledhill
Producer: Ema Barton
Co Producers: Pete Coates, Sarah Graham

The title tells you all

Review by James Wenley 23rd Nov 2012

The ‘awkward’ brand of humour is one well known to audiences. Popularised in modern times by the Ricky Gervais School of comedy, it employs cringe, painful pauses, and a whiff of nastiness to sell its humour. Thomas Sainsbury has long done his own successful spin on the genre, and is a great match working for the first time with the Outfit Theatre Company with Director Benjamin Henson for their annual Christmas show. The title is a very good clue as to whether you’ll enjoy this play. Believe me; this family Christmas is awkward indeed.

We open on a suspiciously happy couple Polly (Jacqui Nauman) and Percy (Andrew Ford): he’s reading the newspaper, she’s creaming a Pavlova, and both send adoring smiles across the John Parker designed room. It’s the one moment of relative calm the play affords us; then (this reviewer attempting to remain sensitive, which the play does not do), Polly awkwardly walks, feet inward, across the room and we realise she is a few kiwifruit short of a pav (Nauman making a late play for the ‘The GAIL COWAN MANAGEMENT Award for Best Actress/Actor Playing a Character with a Disability/Medical Condition of the Year’ Hackman Theatre Award). Percy launches into a foul rant. Whenever anyone else is around, Percy pretends to be mentally impaired for his own perverse reasons, Ford channeling his Tweedle Dum character from Alice earlier this year. Those are only the first two characters we meet. [More


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Jolly good Christmas romp could be more

Review by Kathryn van Beek 22nd Nov 2012

If you’ve been dreading Christmas with your family this show will reassure you that at least your holiday season is unlikely to be marred by aliens, murder, sexual pottery and hankies in the food.

The play is set in the home of Polly, a pretty young woman who has something terribly wrong with her. Played by the engaging Jacqui Nauman, Polly is the heart and soul of the play and the only likeable member of her family. Polly attempts to please her siblings, her estranged parents and their various hangers-on in her quest to host the perfect Christmas.

At first the kaleidoscope of wacky characters – which include a Celtic Tongan, a troubled next-door neighbour, a beautiful woman with super-human abilities and creepy Aryan twins – is overwhelming but bit by bit each character’s story is told.

Unfortunately some of the more interesting stories are glossed over in favour of kinky sex triangles and gratuitous food fights.

That might sound intriguing but further exploration into the idea of the lonely father who’s recreated the family home, or into the complex relationship between two stoners (played brilliantly by Brad Johnson and Cole Jenkins) would have reaped emotional rewards.

As usual Sainsbury is bursting with ideas and this script is tantalizingly close to becoming a classic. But as it stands, the talented cast and production team have created a jolly good Christmas romp. 


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