Four Flat Whites In Italy

SKY CITY Theatre, Auckland

11/06/2009 - 04/07/2009

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

09/07/2009 - 11/07/2009

Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton

15/07/2009 - 18/07/2009

Baycourt - Addison Theatre, Tauranga

30/07/2009 - 01/08/2009

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

24/07/2009 - 26/07/2009

Production Details

Written by Roger Hall
Directed by Janice Finn

Holidays from hell were never so much fun! 

Venice! Rome! Tuscany! With a copy of Lonely Planet in one hand and an Italian phrase book in the other, recently retired librarians Adrian and Alison feel prepared to face the excitement of la bella Italia.

But when their best friends suddenly drop out of the trip, are they really ready to share their precious holiday with their new neighbours?

And will Adrian’s wandering eye make it impossible for Alison to keep him on their busy sightseeing schedule?

From bingeing to budgeting, Michelangelo to la dolce vita, this is one journey they’ll never forget – they may even need a holiday to recover!


11 June – 4 July

Bruce Mason Centre
9 July – 11 July

Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton
15 July – 18 July

TSB Showplace, Taranaki Arts Festival
24 – 26 July

Baycourt Centennial Theatre, Tauranga
30 July – 1 August 



Adrian — Stuart Devenie

Alison — Darien Takle

Harry — George Henare

Judy — Annie Whittle

All other parts played by Peter Daube and Toni Potter


Set & Costume Design — Tracy Grant Lord

Lighting Design — Andrew Malmo

Sound Design — Mike Clarkin


Production Manager — Mark Gosling

Technical Manager — Bonnie Burrill

Senior Stage Manager — Fern Christie

Stage Manager — Laura McCabe

Assistant Stage Manager — Mitchell Turei

Lighting Operator — Robert Hunte

Sound Operator — Mike Clarkin

Properties Master — Bec Ehlers

Wardrobe Supervisor — Sophie Ham

Flyman (SKYCITY Theatre) — TJ Haunui

Flyman (Bruce Mason Centre) — Junior Apera

Dresser (SKYCITY & Bruce Mason Centre) — Sara Taylor

Set Construction — 2 Construct 


Kiwi quartet on tour in Italy with all the cultural baggage

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 15th Jun 2009

Early in the first act of Roger Hall’s new play – as an irritable foursome of mismatched travellers are dragging their suitcases through Venice in search of the eternally elusive pensione – Stuart Devenie turns to the audience and announces: "Well you know what’s going to happen don’t you?"

And while there can be few in the audience who were unable to predict the trajectory of this story of redemption under a Tuscan sun, the journey uncovers plenty of discreet pleasures and amusing diversions. [More]
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. 


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Funny and insightful with tragic underpinnings

Review by Candice Lewis 14th Jun 2009

This is my first Roger Hall play. A friend tells me it’s the kind of thing enjoyed by Remuera housewives, so I’m not expecting it to be to my taste. That proves you shouldn’t always listen to your friends.

Two couples, one sparrowy, intellectual, sparse in joy and money, the other wealthy, peacock-bold and brash with ignorance, decide to travel to Italy together.  

Politics, education, clothing, money, and sex all serve to illustrate the divide between the couples.

The Peacock style male, played by George Henare, is typical of a blustering National voter over the age of 50. He embodies the ‘old style’ male, and his wife, played by the lovely Annie Whittle, appears to tolerate and even indulge him. We presume this is because he isn’t selfish in bed and is happy to let her wield the credit cards as she wishes.

The male half of the miserable Sparrow-like couple is played by Stuart Devenie. Devenie also narrates the play, speaking to us directly about what is happening and how he feels.

This narration is often very funny and insightful, I feel close to him from the start, and even when he does something ‘really stupid’, I can’t help but understand.

Sight-seeing is a task rigorously, seriously and irritatingly over-seen by the Sparrow-wife played by Darien Takle. Her desire to consume the sights, to swallow great lumps of Italy without pause, serves to alienate her from the rest of the group.

Beneath the highly strung surface, this is a woman struggling with grief and the need to forgive. That struggle and need is reflected in Whittle’s own performance: the uniting parallel. The underpinnings of tragedy are what make great comedy. Ordinary people have extraordinary lives.

Toni Potter and Peter Daube play various roles seamlessly and most often, stylishly. I feel like getting a long black wig and pretending to be Italian.

Therefore, to enjoy this play, you don’t have to be retirement aged or living in Remuera. I think you’ll find a good story with believable characters to transcend those distinctions.
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. 


Candice June 16th, 2009

It is remiss of me to have left out a comment on the set by Tracy Grant Lord. It is very well done, it contributes to the play effectively and dynamically. The direction (Janice Finn) is also obviously of a high standard. The actors move with confident grace that comes with skilled choreography.

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