Cindy and Eric Go To Hell

Maidment Theatre - Musgrove Studio, Auckland

04/06/2009 - 07/06/2009

Production Details

‘We’re going to hell on an elevator and there’s nothing we can do about it.’

Thomas Sainsbury will direct Todd Emerson, Dena Kennedy, Roberto Nascimento, Madeleine Richards, Gareth Williams and Martyn Woods in his new dark comedy Cindy and Eric go to hell opening at The Maidment Theatre’s Musgrove Studio on June 4th. 

After a lifetime of suffering, Cindy and Eric are sentenced to an eternity in hell. Surviving demonic ghouls and torture chairs, ripped nails and sulphur burns, their resolve is not diminished. Cindy is determined for them to get out . . . or at least abate the god-awful boredom. Cindy and Eric go to Hell, a black comedy, is a tale of love, hate and a demon called Raoul.

Cindy will be played by Dena Kennedy. Dena, a two-time Chapman Tripp nominee, has credits ranging from TV’s Facelift and The Insider’s Guide to Happiness to lead roles in productions of Dying City and Cloud 9.

Eric will be played by Martyn Wood. Martyn has been working continuously in theatre since graduating from Toi Whakaari three years ago. Productions include Rome – The Musical, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, This is Our Youth and Kiss of the Spiderwoman

Hans, Eric’s Christian best mate, will be played by Gareth Williams. For the last two years Gareth has been touring the country with the comedy musical troupe, The Lonesome Buckwhips. Last year he was nominated for a Billy T James and Chapman Tripp award. He is currently recording a four-part mockumentary for Radio New Zealand. His screen credits include The Truth About Men, Home for Christmas and This is not my life.

God, Jesus, an angel, and a whole host of demons will be played by Todd Emerson, Roberto Nascimento, Andi Crown and Madeleine Richards. Todd’s recent roles include parts in Amazing Extraordinary Friends, The Worlds Fastest Indian and Outrageous Fortune. Roberto has recently acted in Sainsbury’s earlier play The Needies. And new comer, Madeleine Richards, is well known to the Fashion World with her label MAW and is very excited about treading the boards under Sainsbury’s direction.

Cindy and Eric Go To Hell was penned and will be directed by award-winning New Zealand playwright, Thomas Sainsbury. In the last two years Thomas has written and produced his plays LUV, Loser, The Mall, Beast, Gas and The Feminine. He is currently residing in London where he has produced productions of his plays A Simple Procedure and . . . and then you die. Thomas’s plays The Mall and Loser have been published by Play Press. Loser and his play Main Street are currently being adapted for the screen.

Cindy and Eric Go To Hell
Musgrove Studio, Maidment Theatre
Thurs 04 – Sun 07 June 2009 at 8.00pm
book tickets online
Telephone bookings: (09) 308 2383




Cindy - Dena Kennedy
Eric - Martyn Wood
Hans - Gareth Williams
Zadie, Shannon, Leoni - Andi Crown
Raoul, Jesus, Satan - Todd Emerson
Boris, God, Archie - Roberto Nascimento

Designed and operated by Thomas Sainsbury
Producer - Roberto Nascimento


Every character somehow sympathetic, no matter how dishonest or grotesque

Review by Candice Lewis 05th Jun 2009

The theatre is rather full, the stage is dressed with a few basic props bathed in orange-toned light and old fashioned songs from a sentimentalised passage of history tempt me to sing along, ‘cos she’s got personality, plus she’s got a great big heart!’

Within seconds of the opening sequence in which a hard working, subservient Cindy (Dena Kennedy) attends to her intellectually disabled client, I am transfixed.

These people know how to act. I would go as far to suggest that any actor wanting to do theatre work needs to take note. It is possible to be funny, satirical, deep, light-hearted, and filthy without passing into irritating over-acting!

Cindy’s manager (Andi Crown) is brilliant, delivering the kind of dry, cold and deeply uncaring attitude of many a superior throughout our fair land. She plays several other thoroughly enjoyable characters with ease, a pleasure to watch.

The relationship between Cindy and Eric (Martyn Wood) is instantly recognisable; your friend is engaged to a gay man and doesn’t know it yet. Eric’s two great loves are Cindy and his best friend, the extremely vile Hans (Gareth Williams).

I’m enjoying how the disgusting Hans has enough ego laden charm to challenge even God; he lights up the stage with his cheerful cruelty.

From the title of the play I assume you won’t be surprised to learn that Cindy and Eric do indeed go to Hell, and it only partly lives up to their expectations. I laugh loudly when the torture scene unfolds and realise I’m the only one doing so.

Maybe it’s because I used to be a ‘real Christian’ in my obviously misspent youth, but this black comedy works for me. I am smiling to myself throughout, and I love every single performance.

It is obvious that the English-accented slacker Jesus (Todd Emerson) is a favourite, and his entrance is even better than a walk on water. As with Crown, Emerson plays multiple roles with skill.

Roberto Nascimento is a pushover as God, and most delightful as a hard-working demon.

Of course, if you are a hardcore fundamentalist Christian, this might be offensive and you’ll be tempted to point out the flaws, especially in what constitutes sin. I wouldn’t take my Nanna, the swearing would give her a heart attack and the content would finish her off! She wouldn’t get it, and I wouldn’t expect her to.

There is obvious product placement happening, but that manages to also be amusing due to the way it’s done.

This is a show worth seeing if you have a sick funny bone that needs tickling. The beauty of it is that every character is somehow sympathetic, no matter how dishonest or grotesque.

If Heaven is entertaining theatre that leaves you with a smile, then you’d better book a ticket! At only $20/$15, it’s a hellishly good bargain.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council