GOD OF CARNAGE
05/04/2019 - 13/04/2019
A play of manners, without the manners
This 90-minute thrill ride takes you into the most dangerous place on earth: parenthood. An innocent squabble over a playground incident becomes an all-out, fur-flying, hilarious brawl between two couples in this magnificent play from Yasmina Reza. God of Carnage stormed Broadway, nabbing the 2009 Tony for Best Play and has since been made into a film starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly.
Come see four of Hamilton’s finest and feistiest performers leave everything on the stage. Literally.
The Meteor Theatre (1 Victoria Street, Hamilton)
Friday 5th April – Saturday 13th April 2019
Bookings at: http://themeteor.co.nz/event/god-of-carnage/
Veronique Vallon - Sarah Nathan
Michel Vallon - Nick Clothier
Annette Reille - Charlotte Isaac
Alain Reille - Nick Wilkinson
Set & Costume Design: Pip Smith
Lighting Design: Aaron Chesham
Lighting & Sound Operation: Mandi Longmuir
Set Construction: Adrian Holroyd
Stage Manager: Heather Longmuir
Production Manager: Jenny Parham
Publicity: Sarah Nathan, Hannah Mooney
Photography: Mark Hamilton
Producer: Bold Theatre
Rollicking tension, humour and humanity
Review by Cate Prestidge 06th Apr 2019
Often described as a dark “comedy of manners, without the manners”, this multi-award winning play by French playwright Yasmina Reza, has been performed throughout the world, including a 2011 film adaptation. It’s a cracker and I was excited to see it selected as Bold Theatre’s first production for 2019.
Reza’s script launches us straight into the ‘complication’ as two couples meet for the first time to discuss a playground fight between their sons Ferdinand and Bruno. Skirting around small talk and overly detailed accounts of dentistry, they settle in to debate, apportion blame and seek resolution.
It starts so civilised with espresso, homemade clafoutis, art books and “What-do-you-do-for-a-living?” but once the middle class veneer curls at the corners, there’s no hiding the sticky mess beneath.
In Bold Theatre’s production, Bruno’s parents Veronique and Michel (Sarah Nathan and Nick Clothier) are the generous ‘victims’ who invite the other couple around to resolve things. Ferdinand’s parents Annette and Alain (Charlotte Isaac and Nick Wilkinson) are less united, with Annette conciliatory and Alain reluctant and distracted by his ever-present mobile phone.
Through rapid-fire delivery of huge amounts of dialogue, the finer points of the situation are debated, allegiances shift, moods change, and opposing views and misplaced words reveal fractures and splits. It’s a clever examination of human nature as their words strip them down to some previously unspoken truths.
There’s great understanding between the performers on stage, all experienced and wonderfully in command of their material. The emotions range from restrained civility to unhinged anger and it a particularly fine performance from Sarah Nathan shows the evaporation of Veronique’s bourgeois political correctness. As Michel says bitterly, from his newly claimed ‘fundamentally uncouth’ position, “A mouthful of grog and, bam the real face appears!”
The play reveals many things: how we see things from our own perspective, how we justify what we think is right and how a ‘win’ can quickly change if someone labours a niggly point. It also asks questions: What constitutes a civilised conversation? What is the role of parents? What really happened to Nibbles the hamster? And the big one: given the same situations, could this be us?
It’s grown up theatre, and Pip Smith’s direction ensures the pace and nuance of the language is maintained and action drives forward (and backwards) in the close confines of the single room set. Is there a resolution? Is that even the point? It’s the ride we’re along for.
Unfortunately, on opening night the cast started their performance before the theatre doors were shut. The ushers did well but there’s no subtle way for latecomers to get to a seat, so I’m sure this will be a one off.
It is a clever, well performed and rollicking 75 minutes of tension, humour and humanity. After their hugely successful season of Urinetown in 2018, I am delighted Bold Theatre has brought this show to Hamilton audiences.
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Revels in humanity more than it rebukes i
Review by Ross MacLeod 06th Apr 2019
Once again “Let’s all have a drink” puts itself forward as one of the most ominous lines in theatre.
Here’s a production where all the elements just gel perfectly. There’s a sharp script that keeps things moving and doesn’t drag things out longer than needed. There’s an ensemble cast of four spot on performances, bouncing of each other in a variety of combinations. Even the set is crafted with the veneer of minimalism and elegance that underlies the theme of the play.
The core premise is two couples meeting up to discuss a fight between their children. And while they highlight immediately that, as adults, they are are able to settle differences in a superior manner, we all know where things are going. Exactly how they get there and the bounces and curve-balls along the way are what make the script a delight. [More]
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer