Four Flat Whites In Italy

Centrepoint, Palmerston North

10/04/2010 - 29/05/2010

Production Details

Roger Hall’s latest hit comedy Four Flat Whites In Italy has already proven to be a huge success breaking box-office records all over the country and now it is Palmerston North’s turn to enjoy his latest offering. This is classic Roger Hall – punchy one-liners, classic Kiwi characters and situations most of us can relate to!
Alison (played by Catherine Downes) and Adrian (played by Stuart Devenie) are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to Italy. The delights of Rome, Venice and Tuscany beckon! Finally, the years of painstaking saving and planning are set to pay off…until their travelling companions pull out at the last minute, putting the dream trip in jeopardy.
When new neighbours Harry (Greg Johnson) and Judy (Vivien Bell) invite themselves along, it seems like the trip is saved…or is it? As we all know, travelling with your nearest and dearest is difficult enough, let alone with a couple you’ve only just met.
Join these delightfully mismatched couples as they valiantly negotiate the pitfalls of a later-in-life OE and realise that it’s not just the Italians they have to deal with – it’s also each other.
Seats for this one are going to be in high demand so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment!
The design team includes director Jeff Kingsford-Brown who directed Centrepoint’s sell-out Christmas production Ladies For Hire. Clinton Poole will be designing the lights – he also designed the lighting for Ladies For Hire. John Hodgkins who designed the set for Circa Theatres Four Flat Whites In Italy will also design the set for CentrepointandIan Harman will be designing the costumes. Ian has designed the costumes for many shows at Centrepoint, most recently, Hits of ’74.
Dinner & Show
Our increasingly popular Dinner & Show Deal just got even more exciting! With the addition of The Brewers Apprentice located a short 3 minute walk away we now have three leading Palmerston North restaurants for theatre patrons to choose from: Aberdeen Steakhouse, The Brewers Apprentice and Mao Bar. For just $60 per person you enjoy a 2-course meal at your selected restaurant followed by the current show at Centrepoint Theatre. It is so easy – making it ideal for a fun and relaxing night out or social club or work function! Menus can be found on the Centrepoint Theatre website.
Dates: 10 April – 29 May
Show Times:
Wednesday 6.30pm, Thursday – Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 5pm. There will be no Sunday performance on the 11 April.
$35 Adults, $30 Senior Citizens, $25 Under 30s, $20 Community Service Card Holders, $20 Senior Gold Card Holders, $12 Students,
Special Performances:
Preview Night – Friday 9 April, tickets $20
$12 Tuesday – Tuesday 13 April, 6.30pm. Bookings for $12 Tuesday open on Monday 12 April 9am!
Phone 06 354 5740, online at, email, visit 280 Church Street.
Sponsored by EziBuy
Principal Sponsor BNZ

Starring Stuart Devenie, Catherine Downes, Greg Johnson, Vivien Bell, Amy Tarleton and Regan Taylor.

Challenging and rewarding acting roles

Review by John C Ross 12th Apr 2010

One goes along to a new-ish Roger Hall comedy wondering just how well the acknowledged master will bring it off this time. Gladly, I find this to be one of his more strongly coherent plays, with a character-disclosure-and-development action that runs through its episodes which is complex and twisty enough to sustain interest. It has quite a few potent one-liners, which are mostly effective in terms of little shocks involving shades of grey rather than laugh-making.
Travelling overseas, you find Murphy’s Law lurking in every corner. Stuff can happen, some of it seriously nasty, but all of it stressful at the time: missing connections; having bookings coming unstuck; mislaying vital possessions; getting ripped off, or swindled, or robbed, or lost, or the trots. With luck, in retrospect it all becomes parts of a memorable and valued adventure. Stories to swap.
Having congenial travelling-companions certainly helps; and in this case, and respect, Alison and Adrian start off looking direly unlucky. Their chosen companions for a long-planned trip to Italy suddenly can’t go, and their apartment-neighbours Harry and Judy volunteer to go off with them instead. Adrian and Alison are both retired librarians, low-key, bookish. Harry, a retired plumbing supplies merchant, looks at first like nothing more than a crass, bumptious, loud-mouth JAFA, and his second wife Judy looks brash and flashy. What’s the point of having handsome breasts if you don’t flaunt them?
They both turn out to be more interesting than that (I mean the characters). Conversely Alison and Adrian, who at first appears impeccably ‘straight’, turn out to be carrying a painful heap of psychological baggage and trauma. Things are not made too easy for either of them. Which all makes for four challenging and rewarding acting roles.
The cast, with Catherine Downes as Alison (she previously played her in the Circa production in Wellington), and Stuart Devenie as Adrian (he previously played him in the Auckland Theatre Company production and in the Fortune Theatre production in Dunedin), on the one hand, and Vivien Bell and Greg Johnson as Judy and Harry, on the other, together with Amy Tarleton playing any number of female Italians, and Regan Taylor ditto for males, is generally excellent, well-cast, seamless, wholly credible. Jeff Kingsford-Brown’s directing is sure-footed, with everything working as it should.
John Hodgkins’s set (he also designed the Circa production) is fairly simple, with little more than a medium height wall, bounded by two arches, a movable counter; and sundry furnishings (including a Venetian gondola) being moved around by Taylor and Tarleton.
I’m told this production could be already booked out; still, if you’re in the region, it would be well worth trying hard to get to see the show. It’s that good.
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