Everyone's Got An Errol

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

05/03/2024 - 06/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Sophie Badrick: Director/Producer/Writer
Brandon Entwistle: Producer/Writer
Brock Oliver: Producer/Writer/


Everyone’s Got An Errol is the debut show from DAMBATS. The show is a comedy and tickets are $22 adult and $18 for concession.

What is an Errol? He’s that mate with no ambitions, no opinions, no skills. Like an appendix. No one needs one but everyone’s got one (unless it’s been removed). So what happens when three Errol’s are left alone in a room? They may be useless apart, but together…. they’re slightly less useless.

What happens when Errol is told that he should stand up for himself? How far and how literally will Errol take that one statement, what is standing up for yourself and what trouble will it get him and his friends Carter and Duane into?

BATS Theatre, The Dome
Tuesday 5th and Wednesday the 6th of March 2024

'The Errols'
Errol: Brandon Entwistle
Carter: Brock Oliver
Duane: Ryan Holtham

'The Peters'
Peter: Brandon Entwistle
Joseph: Brock Oliver
Franklin: Ryan Holtham

The Bagman: Aimee Dredge

Comedy , Theatre ,

60 minutes

Feeling their way towards what could become an excellent show

Review by John Smythe 06th Mar 2024

Having long felt that co-opting the name ‘Karen’ as a term of dersision is grossly unfair to innocent Karens, I approach Everyone’s Got An Errol with trepidation. I needn’t have worried. In this Dambats’ comedy, the Errol we start with is not the same Errol we end with. His character arc is salutary.

The same may be said for Errol’s workmates Duane and Carter. They work in semi-specified roles for a developer called Peter and/or his partners-cum-contractors, Franklin and Joseph, on what seems – from the model Peter ponders throughout – to be a construction job; a Retirement Village complex, perhaps.  

Co-written and produced by Sophie Badrick (also the Director), and actors Brandon Entwistle and Brock Oliver, Everyone’s Got An Errol plays out, with simple staging, like a short graphic novel. Errol, Duane and Carter are clownish in that they are uncomplicated, gullible and somewhat innocent lads adrift in a man’s world. Their first appearance as slackers in beanies gets an instant laugh of recognition from their very supportive opening night audience.

Also instantly relatable is their blokey jostling for status. Carter (Brock Oliver) likes to goad Errol (Brandon Entwistle), with Duane (Ryan Holtham) as a slightly reluctant ally, by way of proving Errol is “a pushover” and telling him to stand up for himself. This sets the quest for the central plotline.

It also emerges that Duane is the only licenced LBP (Licensed Building Practitioner) on the job, required by his contractor boss Joseph (Oliver) to sign off on work Duane feels is substandard – not least because Carter is a careless co-worker. So Duane has to wrestle with whether to stand up for what’s right or keep quiet so he and Carter don’t lose their jobs.

Meanwhile Errol’s progression from ‘pushover’ status takes him through a bullying phase (another highly relatable syndrome) before he seeks enlightenment from a Bagman (Aimee Dredge) – i.e. a homeless person who lives in and out of bags, not to be confused with a mafia-style bagman.

There is entertainment value in Oliver doubling as Carter and Joseph, Holtham as Duane and Franklin, and Entwistle as Errol and Peter. Their differences are well delineated. But initially this comes at the expense of long blackouts for restaging and costume changes, which compromises the rhythm and flow of the show. As I ponder what conventions might be employed that allow for instant transitions, ingenuity suddenly comes to the fore when Errol and Peter have to confront each other. It works a treat.

While the components are assembled for an excellent comedy-of-insight into masculine behaviour and value-systems, Everyone’s Got An Errol could reach its goals with more impact if the stakes were higher. Comedy thrives on jeopardy. Rather than a sprawling low-rise complex, what if the project included a high-rise apartment block? (Consider the CTV building that pancaked in the Christchurch earthquake as an example?)

The revelation that Carter’s family will suffer badly if he loses his job would work better if his circumstances were set up earlier and the moment of jeopardy was played with more commitment. The script might also benefit from greater clarity about who exactly does what on the project and where they stand in the hierarchy.

The Dambats are a welcome addition to the Wellington theatre scene. With Everyone’s Got An Errol they seem to be feeling their way towards what could become an excellent show. I sincerely hope they interrogate their artefact rigorously to see what more is has to offer.


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