Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

15/10/2013 - 19/10/2013

Production Details


Kings of Waterview proudly presents its premier season of ‘Golden Boys’. An original play portrayed through the eyes of three South Island lads, who are all grown up and facing some of the issues New Zealanders face on a daily basis.

Whether its family issues, government approval, or just the right to be who you are and who you want to be without all the labels and media hype, these boys go hammer and tongs after their wants and desires and try their best not to hurt anyone in the process …. but we all know, that no matter how hard we try, someone, somewhere, always gets hurt.

So come along and watch as a politician, an All Black, and a billionaire, struggle to keep their lives, livelihoods, and reputation intact throughout whatever challenges life throws at them… or that they endeavour to take on themselves.

Starring Cantabrians Andrew Ford (History Boys, The Sex Show), Jason Hodzelmans (Titus, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris), and Brad Johnson (Alice in Wonderland, She Stoops to Conquer). Directed by Benjamin Henson (Titus, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and Winner of Wellington Fringe Festival Rogue Award 2012 for Confessions).

This is a play that will leave you wondering, pondering, and ready to say ‘Bloody grouse, mate’.

Bookings through or phone 09 361 1000

‘Golden Boys’ plays
Oct 15th – 19th  2013, 7.30pm
The Basement Theatre

Bradley Johnson – Ryan Thompson
Andrew Ford – Aaron Thompson
Jason Hodzelmans – Hamish Thompson
Margaret Blay – Isabella Thompson
Anoushka Klaus – Holly
Elizabeth McMenamin – Sarah
James Kupa – Elliot
Jeremy Rodmell – Oscar (Journalist)

Riley Mooney – Operator

Theatre ,

Mother’s big boys

Review by Candice Lewis 17th Oct 2013

The show opens with Isabella Thompson, (Margaret Blay), mother of the three ‘golden boys’* gazing into the audience and telling us a little bit about her family. Her eyes are shiny and wistful despite her permanent smile, the ghosts of the past playing their part. A huge back drop depicts the family of four seated at a wooden picnic table, all looking very healthy and cheerful.

Why so golden? Well, these boys have achieved what so many people might think of as the ultimate in success. We have the All Black, The Billionaire and the Politician. It seems fitting that as I collect my tickets for the show I have to walk past Len Brown (the Mayor) and his wife (they’re attending another show at the Basement tonight). 

The widowed Isabella is joined by her blustering middle class sons talking too loudly. She continually hearkens back to the days when her (well endowed) husband was alive. It feels a little wooden, and to start with the only character I truly believe is the gentle delivery of Bradley Johnson’s All Black, Ryan Thompson. This stiffness soon subsides as the entire cast hits their strides and authenticity is achieved.  

Andrew Ford warms into his role as Aaron Thompson, the politician, and while his homosexuality is no surprise, his delightful boyfriend Elliot (James Kupa) certainly is. Wow, that Kupa stole the show with the raise of one eyebrow. He’s one of those ‘secondary characters’ that feels anything but secondary.

I’m also riveted by the manic energy of billionaire brother Hamish (Jason Hodzelmans) when he’s being interviewed by the cold and handsome Reporter (Jeremy Rodmell). Tensions rise due to the nature of all three brothers being in the public eye and stakes are raised as secrets are revealed. What is truly golden is not the level of fame or fortune that these young men have achieved but the attitude with which they go about their business. The influence of the loving matriarch is ever present. 

Anoushka Klaus typifies the down-to-earth Kiwi girl in her role as Holly (girlfriend of the billionaire), and Elizabeth McMenamin is perfectly cast as Sarah, Ryan’s unattainable high school crush. Sarah gets some great lines and bounces off the rest of the cast with ease. Moments of affection and passion are expressed, but I find it hard to believe that Sarah wouldn’t slip Aaron some tongue when she kisses him. They’ve just had countless cocktails!

The set is simple and the lighting makes a huge difference, especially in a scene where it seems cast from below. The effect is cold and startling, perfect for the climactic scene unfolding.

The director (Benjamin Henson) has done well with a small space, though at times it feels a little awkward when characters seem too far away from each other. This works fine for many of the scenes in which physical distance echoes the underlying tension.

As resolution is reached, our golden boys strut around wearing these yellowy brown pants that are two shades too tight. I find this distracting and so does my friend. I swear we are not 12 years old, but we’re giggling uncontrollably as these pants give two of the men ‘camel toe’. To be fair, talk of inheriting “dad’s genes” is blatant from the start, so this pants situation could be deliberate. If so, making time for immature giggling would be helpful for someone like me. 

This is a nice show – I feel affection for the Thompson family at the conclusion and even have a tear in my eye. You could safely take your dad to this, unless of course, he’s offended by male camel toe.  

*[Note: This Golden Boys is in no way related to Paul Rothwell’s Golden Boys which premiered in 2006 – ed.]


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Review by James Wenley 17th Oct 2013

What does the typical kiwi bloke look like in our country today?  

Golden Boys offers three possibilities: of the trio of brothers in the Thompson family, one is an All Black starter, one is an entrepreneurial businessman and rich-lister, and one is a Gay Labour politician.  

All have been raised by matriarch Isabella (Margaret Blay), whose husband Pete died when the boys were still young. She has instilled in her “golden boys” a sense of pride, loyalty, of possibilities. A giant portrait of Mum and her lads smiling to the camera dominates the Basement Studio, a constant reminder of their ties. Despite the boys moving on with their separate lives, family means everything. [More


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