Goldilocks and the Three Queers

BATS Theatre, Wellington

13/04/2010 - 17/04/2010

The Basement @ 39 Dixon street, Wellington

11/02/2010 - 20/02/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

Queers, Cults and 1970s San Francisco, Goldilocks and the Three Queers! 
A San Franciscan Fable of Funkadelic Faggotry

The 2010 Fringe Festival is a vehicle for director Adam Donald to bring to audiences this third in a series of contemporary, political, hilarious, fairytales, Goldilocks and the Three Queers.

Set in 1970’s San Francisco, Donald awakens the gay rights movement by literally getting the audience involved in a rally! With a theatrical cocktail of music, mischief and mayhem, audiences will experience the strangely outlandish morals from the well-known stories we all grew up with. 

A new take on the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the show is very much for grown-ups, as Goldilocks explores the world of the 1970’s with drug culture, gay activism and religious cults.

Adam’s shows are ‘out there‘, the comedy is extreme, but is well articulated with a strong historical commentary. “Donald wants to literally wake audiences up,” especially gay audiences as to what was happening in the 1970’s. “Our generation has grown complacent, we take for granted the equal rights we have today and we forget how hard people had to fight for those rights.”

Goldilocks has been devised by the actors: Bronwen Pattison as ‘Goldilocks‘, who has been sent on a mission to convert as many heathens as she can and bring them to the light of Jesus; Simon Leary as ‘Baby Queer’; Martine Gray as ‘Momma Queer’;  Roger Johnson as ‘Papa Queer’. 

With original music by Tane Upjohn-Beatson, the team have created a outlandishly bizarre, unexpectedly surprising comedy which is sure to entertain. 

Goldilocks and the Three Queers
Fringe Festival 2010
The Basement @ 39 Dixon Street
February 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 ,20
Cost $10/12/15 

Where: BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace
When: 9.30PM, 13- 17 April, 20-24 April
Tickets: $18 General, $13 Concession
Book at:, 802 4175

Bronwen Pattison as ‘Goldilocks’
Simon Leary as ‘Baby Queer’ 
Martine Gray as ‘Momma Queer’
Roger Johnson as ‘Papa Queer’ 

Produced by Josephine O'Sullivan
Music by Tane Upjohn Beatson
Costumes by Bronwen Pattison



Tane Upjohn-Beatson: musician
Bronwen Pattison as ‘Goldilocks’
Simon Leary as ‘Baby Queer’ 
Martine Gray as ‘Momma Queer’
Roger Johnson as ‘Papa Queer’ 

Chris Tse as the Landlady
Director : Adam Donald
Stage Manager : Karen Gordy
Producer : Kathryn Jackson
Musician : Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Lighting/Set Design : Fern Karun
Goldilocks/Costume : Bronwen Pattison

High-camp theatricality overwhelms dramatic potential

Review by John Smythe 14th Apr 2010

And now for something completely different from the extraordinary authentic power of My Name Is Rachel Corrie at Bats (7pm). Goldilocks and the Three Queers (9.30pm) – revised from its first outing in the Fringe – delivers the high camp romp its name implies. Yet both are political in their purpose as they explore global issues from an American perspective, one evoking a very true experience, the other opting for bizarre fantasy.

Rather than draw on the rich resources of Wellington’s 1960s-70s underground gay culture (Carmen’s coffee lounge et al), Short Term Visitor Parking’s devised work vamps up a pop culture pastiche of San Francisco at that seminal time, albeit with a Momma Queer straight from the Bronx and Goldilocks from the Deep South Bible Belt.

Given all the elements explored were present in NZ too – TV cooking shows, kids fixated on superheroes and losing their virginity, fanatical moral watchdogs (Patricia Bartlett), socio-political activism (world leaders in legislating for gay rights), suspect spiritual gurus and their communities (Bert Potter’s Centrepoint) – it is a crying shame the opportunity has not been taken to place our participation in the gay revolution into the global conversation.  

So a stroppy Japanese drag queen landlady (Chris Tse), whose only concern is collecting the ‘lent’, sets the scene along with Tane Upjohn-Beatson’s live electro-funk music …

Pill-popping, substance-snorting and lurex pant-suited Momma Queer (Martine Gray) alternately totters about attempting to demonstrate how to cook chocolate brownies, harangues her about-to-become legal son about putting away childish things, goes shopping and flakes out on the sofa.

Baby Queer (Simon Leary) plays out his fantasy life as Butter Boy, the offsider of gay Hero Guy (whose nemesis is Psycho Bitch) while anticipating coming of age when his Papa ‘pops his cherry’: the first hint of the play’s truly sinister aspects.

Goldilocks (Bronwen Pattison), who happens into the Queer home, is loud, committed, clumsy and has a weakness for chocolate brownies.  Her only interest is in converting anyone and everyone but when Baby finds himself aroused by her – a girl! – the plot begins to thicken …

Draped in tie-dyed fabric, Papa Queer (Roger Johnson) is an expansive wannabe guru waxing lyrical on the virtues of peace, love and tolerance – except when it involves his gay son being lured into the conventional, conforming and conservative straits of heterosexuality by a Christian girl.

Involving the audience in a Papa-led Gay Pride protest rally – a very 70s theatrical device – puts us in the position of wanting to play the game in support of the actors while becoming aware that mindless following of a guru figure can be lethal (e.g. Jonestown). And it is.  

As directed by Adam Donald it is hard to tell which is the means and which the end. There is so much time and space given to high-camp theatricality, as if the driving purpose is to create the opportunities to ACT A LOT, that the dramatic potential of an evolving true mutual attraction between Baby and Goldilocks remains sadly unexplored.

Likewise the interrogation of true tolerance – of love, freedom, trust, the right-to-be-oneself etc – is not given its dramatic due in the present moment; it’s just a dimension we may or may not feel moved to contemplate in retrospect. Except I have a niggling feeling this dramatic twist is there to give the show dramatic form rather than deliver a political punchline that has been well set up en route.

So if you want real world politics and consciousness-raising via a stunning solo performance (by Kate Prior), see My Name Is Rachel Corrie. If you want a high camp romp with under-cooked political pretensions, see Goldilocks and the Three Queers. And if you want bizarre juxtaposition, see them both.   

Note: Links below to reviews by Maryanne Cathro, Ewen Coleman and Uther Dean are for the original Fringe season.
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. 


Garrett Duncan April 25th, 2010

This is the review of the show from

Review: 75 min of LOL at BATS
By Tony Richardson

BE WARNED: If you're after a docudrama about San Francisco in the 1970s, go out and hire MILK on DVD. If you're looking for a fairy tail, maybe click onto NZD. But, if you're looking for a little bit of both and wanting almost nonstop laughter book now at for the last performances of Goldilocks and the Three Queers at BATS in Wellington.

Goldilocks and the Three Queers minces us back 40 years to a dank flat in San Francisco and the family home of the Queers. Happily enough, Mama Queer, Bottom Boy and Papa Queer bear no resemblance to the super straight (and sacrine) Brady Bunch - that other 1970s quintessential American family.

The plot is simple enough. While Bottom Boy (Simon Leary) awaits his 18th birthday (US age of consent) to be relived of his anal virginity, the family home is invaded not once, but three times by Goldilocks (Brownwen Pattison) one of Jesus' foot soldier, who is hell bent on exposing the family's evil ways. To cope, MTF Mama Queer (Martíne Gray) consumes copious amounts of cocaine, liquor, various pills and brownies while Papa Queer (Roger Johnson) receives prophetic messages for another god about the future of his Queer family and the family of Queers. Ling Ling (Chris Tse) is the family's nasty upstairs neighbour and land lady/lord who grounds the entire show by demanding back rent from the hapless Queers.

Easy peasy right? All this proved difficult for the heterocentric Wellington theatre reviewers/bloggers. It seems they sat silently in their seats scribbling away only to go home and attempt to define New Zealand gay theatre and/or and to dismiss Goldilocks as “OTT Camp”. They somehow forgot to have a good time.

Under Director Adam Donald, Short Term Parking presents cohesive and hard-working ensemble of performers. Musician Tane Upjohn-Beatson sits Stage Right and blasts out one great tune after another. Did I say there were two very fabulous original songs? And dance?

The expertise Bronwen Pattison brought to the research, design and construction of the many 1970s costumes in Goldilocks is seldom seen at BATS. With so many costume changes the show works like a runway and is worth the ticket price alone.

Dane Giraud April 17th, 2010

I see, so you reject the charge that you are telling playwrights how they should write their plays but are happy to challange them to explore and exploit points of difference etc... by suggesting that, rather than setting the plays in locales that they have chosen they should have set it in NZ locales so that the play can have more New Zealand specific themes... My mistake, John. 

John Smythe April 17th, 2010

Once more, Dane, you attack me for things I have not said. It’s a trial to have to reply.

Of course I wouldn’t “mark down Shakespeare for not setting Hamlet in England.” When he made plays from exotic stories he retained their settings but produced them in modern dress with actors using their ‘own voices’ (unless playing specifically French, Welsh or whatever characters who were foreign to the setting). And there was many a veiled topical reference, e.g. (since you mention Hamlet) in the characterisation of Polonius as a parody of Queen Elizabeth's leading counselor, Lord Treasurer, and Principle Secretary William Cecil, Lord Burghley.
Shakespeare’s England did not have instant mass media access to other cultures via film and TV, so of course there was a hunger to explore beyond the known world via the various arts. Nowadays we have easy access to the authentic voices of others, we can’t get away with faking them as easily as we used to, and the one thing we can surely do better than anyone else is be ourselves (and isn’t ‘finding oneself’ a fundamental quest for most human beings as they mature?).   
I have mentioned before the American comedy guru who told us, “You guys are so lucky! All the stories have been told, over and over, ad-goddam-nauseam. But you guys can tell them again in you own ways, in your own voices, and they’ll come out sounding new and fresh!”
I am not demanding that “we must set plays here”. I was part of the panel that Awarded Albert Beltz’s Yours Truly, about Jack The Ripper, the Chapman Tripp awards for Outstanding New New Zealand Play and Production of the Year in 2006. I did not “mark down” any of the NZ productions in the NZ International Arts Festival for not being set in NZ. I simply observed that 5 out of 7 were not and wonder at the implications: is this what our creative artists are going or is this what is getting selected by the Festival’s powers that be?  
If finding international markets for our work is part of the purpose, I think we should remind ourselves that it is the culturally specific works that travel best. This is not to say we should pretend we are isolated from the rest of the world. In the NZIAF Sound of Silence was a specifically Latvian response to the socio-sexual revolution as evidenced in the songs of America’s Simon and Garfunkel. T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T. retold a classic Italian film story in a very Polish way. Eleven and Twelve, created in France, used a critique of the French colonisation of African states to interrogate the whys and wherefores of all wars. The Walworth Farce transplanted an Irish family into an English housing estate and all the characters were very culturally specific.
And where do you get the idea I am advocating a “church of cultural back-slapping”? Personally I find plays that are about the culture to be ‘on the nose’ and prefer plays that are of the culture and about something more specific, allowing the cultural critique – and it’s almost always a critique – to operate implicitly rather than explicitly, where that’s part of the purpose. But that’s just me.
I am also a fan of ‘hermetically sealed’ plays that explore human experience in a specific cultural context while capturing an essence we can all recognise. Each year our better-resourced that companies give us contemporary plays from a range of American British, European and Australian playwrights that fill that bill but it remains very rare to see such plays from NZ playwrights on those main stages. And it is not because they are not being written – see the line up in the latest Adam Play Writing Awards.

Again I reject the charge that I am “trying to tell these playwrights how they should write their plays”. I have been expecting a Gen Y practitioner or five to explain that American culture is so omnipresent in their lives – from Sesame Street to X Box – that it’s part of their cultural DNA. Meanwhile I am happy to challenge them to explore and exploit their own unique points of difference in order to achieve distinction. And I challenge our recurrently funded theatres, especially, to do the same.

Dane Giraud April 16th, 2010

I don't actually think it is important to tell NZ stories, or American stories or Icelandic stories, or any story for that matter. They can all be entertaining, challanging, confronting, titilating; they can amount to a great night out, sure, but important? 

But you kind of take my post into a realm I never envisaged to be honest, Sam (Affirmation/ cultural trauma?!?) and to imply that I don't think people should tell NZ stories at all is to get me completely wrong. If that's what an artist wants to do; if it is their choice, then by all means they must go for it! What I object to is the fact that John, rather than reviewing many of these works, is in fact just trying to tell these playwrights how they should write their plays (A charge he attempts to deny, but the fact that it happens so often makes it pretty hard to) adding rather smugly that if they took his advice they would be showing artistic maturity!?

sam trubridge April 16th, 2010

I think that affirmation is valid Dane. There have been periods where peoples of different kinds have been prohibited from telling their own stories, or speaking their own languages. I think it is important that we see 'ourselves' out there from time to time, and confront our reflections in more challenging ways than Shortland Street. Sure we can see this in other peoples' stories, indentifying with Hamlet for example. But sometimes it it is important to hear a familiar name, see a familiar landscape, or hear a story about the place you come from. Like you I am concerned that a preoccupation with telling our own stories is is just as limiting, and just as exclusive... but Shakespeare also wrote a lot of other plays set in England and I don't think he would be quite the playwright he is if he hadn't written them. Within the local lies the universal, and vice versa... time for a drink!

Dane Giraud April 16th, 2010

Oh My Giddy Aunt John... Oops, sorry... Jeez Waaayne, John! So, you would mark down Shakespeare for not setting Hamlet in England? If it was good enough for the greatest writer of all time to mesh and merge from the myriad of world cultures that were at his disposal (As they are at ours, today) why can't we?

Unpack for me why we must set plays here? You have never defined this. I fear you think you have but your claims that it denotes signs of creativity or maturity in an artist are simplistic, hollow and borderline nonsensical. I try to enter your skin to work out why you feel this way and can only come up with the thought that you must feel we need affirming. Is this true? Affirming? A church of cultural back-slapping? Our theatres must be reduced to this?



Joel Baxendale April 16th, 2010

I see where you're coming from John, and I too am wholeheartedly for speaking in our own voices.  In terms of Goldilocks, though, I think it is a case of being a specifically legitimate exception.  Since fairy tales by definition move in an unreal world, then using cultural cliches to define this world are perhaps a handy way to avoid a specificity in locality and time that might detract from the 'moral' of the story.  Whether or not this could be achieved in a NZ context is up for debate, and I would be interested to see Short Term Visitor Parking tackle this new can of worms, if they decide to continue in this vein of adapting folk tales. 

John Smythe April 16th, 2010

Oh dear, Joel – do I understand you correctly? Are you really saying “the more universal themes of tolerance [and] solidarity” cannot be particularised in a Kiwi context based on historical accuracy (see examples in my previous post); that “the simple experience of being preached to so convincingly” would “seem unrealistic or unlikely in that context” (ever heard of Bert Potter or Brian Tamaki)? If so you and your peers have been more culturally colonised that I had feared.


But perhaps it is unfair to pin it all on Gen Y. Of the seven NZ-created shows in the last NZ International Festival of the Arts, three were set in imaginary lands, one was set on the high seas with no Kiwi voice in sight, one was set in America, and of the two that actually had NZ settings, one involved a singer going to America and the other profiled the experience of an American in NZ. (All the international drama, on the other hand, was extremely culturally specific in the way it related to the wider world.)


While I fully appreciate no artist should have their vision prescribed or proscribed by anyone, critics included, can you blame me for beginning to wonder if we are experiencing a renaissance of cultural cringe in NZ?  I’m not saying Short Term Visitor Parking should not have set their fairy story in San Francisco, just registering my sadness that this new generation of practitioners did not see the opportunity to do something truly creative.

I wholeheartedly believe all universal themes are (by definition) present in the Kiwi experience too, and the true creative artists are those who explore and express them in their own authentic and unique voices.  

Joel Baxendale April 16th, 2010

Perhaps you are right, John, about OTT acting and gay cliches being something of blunt instrument that could cause potentially more subtle dramatic elements to be  missed.  However I am inclined to argue the movement towards breaking down conventional actor/spectator barriers outweighs any potential faults the show might have.  It differs in this way from a caberet show, in part by being located in a straight 'theatre' venue, and it maintains a clear story throughout, and so the audience interaction becomes a part of that story, as opposed to an interaction more grounded in a reality of being in a bar, restaurant, nightclub or whatever, that creates a veneer of participation whilst keeping those predetermined performer/audience roles fully intact.

Also I agree that setting the show in the Wellington gay scene would have added an interesting element to the production, but I think it is unfair to criticise the devising team for not doing so.  The world of this play was obviously based in a fairytale version of 1970's San Fransisco, and I think that is a legitimate choice given that it is based on a fairytale.  It is possible that a a show grounded closer to home would have made the issues feel more immediate and personally affecting, but conversely could also have distracted from the more universal themes of tolerance, solidarity, and the simple experience of being preached to so convincingly, by making them seem unrealistic or unlikely in that context.

John Smythe April 14th, 2010

Correct me if I’m wrong someone but I suspect that’s normal behaviour at drag cabaret shows. When gay theatre trots out the standard trappings of fab frocks and wigs, ott characterisations, the obligatory dildo, simulated gay sex, etc – all present in Goldilocks – can we blame audiences for being insensitive to any more subtle and interesting dramatic elements that might be trying to emerge?

Hannah Smith April 14th, 2010

I think it also needs to be said that the experience of this show was altered (and to my mind completely overwhelmed) by the behaviour of the audience.  The interactive element of the play was completely hijacked by audience members who heckled, wolf-whistled, called out insults, smashed glasses, and stomped in and out willy-nilly to go the bathroom and/or buy more drinks.  I have never experienced anything quite like it.  The atmosphere was aggressive, unpleasant and seemingly totally out of the performers control.

There is absolutely no excuse for an audience to behave in such a disrespectful manner, but I also think you should not invite audience particiaption if you cannot keep said audience under control.  It is like stand up comedy, you have to deal with hecklers straight away and straight up or they will upstage you and ruin the evening for you and everybody else who paid to come and watch you.

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Simply too long but with great potential

Review by Uther Dean 15th Feb 2010

The first thing that really needs to be noted about this season of Goldilocks and the Three Queers is that it is a workshop season. This is an experimental first performance of an in-progress work which will be given its full airing in a few months in a season at BATS.

This is a work with somewhat of a way to go. When it rocks, it rocks. But when it flops, it flounders. But that’s okay, because this is just a tester. A taster of what is to come. I have no doubt that when Goldilocks makes its true debut later in the year that all the complaints I have will be if not totally gone then at least ironed out. There is such great potential in this work (some if not most of it realised in this first outing) that one cannot help but await its return with baited breath. 

Three Queers live together in San Francisco in what seems to be a hallucinatory memory of 1970. Baby Queer, energetically interpreted by Simon Leary, is days away from the age of consent and plans on much consenting. He also flits into and out of a dream world based around his homemade graphic novel about a fabulously gay superhero. Baby Queer’s dream life is wonderfully performed and delightful to watch so it is rather frustrating when it fizzles out to nothing, seemingly abandoned on the way to the end of the play.

There’s also Mama Queer, Martine Grey channelling Fran Drescher with a drug habit, who seems to be constantly in the middle of an anxiety attack. Which is hilarious but not really explored enough.

And finally there is the enigmatic Papa Queer, played by Roger Johnson as more southern priest that gay rights activist. Which is fine because it makes sense in context. I would have warmed to the character a lot more if more of his lines had not been delivered AT THE TOP OF HIS VOICE. Which worked for the character, but not for the fact that the play is performed in a small concrete room where his voices rings off the walls right into the irritated part of your brain.

The same can be said of Bronwen Pattison’s trailer trash, bible bounding, Southern Belle Goldilocks, who would be much more fun to spend time with if she just put a bit more measure into her delivery.

Rounding out the cast is Chris Tse as Ling Ling the Queers’ androgynous landlady. Like the similarly named character in production company Short Term Visitor Parking’s previous work Hansel un Gretel, Ling Ling is a grotesque stereotype. Too amusing to really offend and the fact this work is coming from a devising process so one has to assume that much of the character arose from the performer helps. But, it is somewhat uncomfortable that this company is making a motif across their work of such a grotesque and negative stereotype. Chris Tse however fully commits and has a clear mastery of the nuances of comic timing.

Goldilocks is simply too long. It is rather clearly a nice clear hour of a show, allowed to ramble out to eighty minutes. There is a sense with much of the dialogue that the actors were allowed to riff just a little too long and no one came in and gave it a good prune. The shape of the play also takes great pleasure in allowing the audience to work out what Papa Queer’s mysterious plans are a while before the other characters. Sadly, the ending simply takes too long to occur, going on and rather on, so the audience’s pleasure in having one up on the characters quickly turns to a leaden wait for the inevitable to occur.

Director Adam Donald’s utilisation of the found performance space (a basement on Dixon street) is very skilled as is Fern Karun’s set and lighting. Tane Upjohn Beatson’s live soundtrack is also evocative, fitting and rather groovy.

Goldilocks and the Three Queers has many more hits than misses and you can’t really disagree outright with a show that gives you brownies and cordial. It does however have a little way to go but it’s gonna get there. And it’s still a fun night out.
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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Good in parts, bad in others

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 15th Feb 2010

An interesting aspect of the Fringe Festival is the way new venues appear, like Basement 39 in Dixon Street where Goldilocks and the Three Queers are assembled in a San Francisco basement flat in the 1970’s. 

Papa Queer (Roger Johnson), Momma Queer (Martine Gray) and Baby Queer (Simon Leary) are not biologically related, just a “family” of gays – preaching the brotherhood of gay rights. There is also their landlord Ling Ling (Chris Tse) – a Jackie Chan look-alike in drag. Into their midst comes Goldilocks ((Bronwen Pattison), a bible bashing hillbilly from the Deep South, trying to convert the Queers from their evil ways.

In the end neither side wins, the moral of the story seeming to be that those in the gay rights movement were just as misguided as those in the Pentecostal movement. 

A devised work under the direction of Adam Donald, it suffers like many of its type in being good in parts and bad in others and overly long. The cast are all highly competent, well skilled actors with lots of energy and animation but, by the time we get to the third cooking demonstration and have suffered incessant shouting, it all becomes rather tedious.


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More like a pile of beads than a necklace

Review by Maryanne Cathro 12th Feb 2010

It’s been a long time since I was in Wellington for a Fringe Festival. Last time I longingly read the reviews from my computer in Christchurch, where theatre tends to happen, well, in theatres. I have long looked forward to seeing experimental shows set in quirky venues that challenge the audience and make a nonsense of the “fourth wall”. The last one I remember was in the late ’90s, set in the front yard of Jason White’s flat in Mt Vic’s Hawker St, which was closed down early by overly challenged neighbours (anyone remember what it was called?).

Anyway, this is the head of excited anticipation with which I waited with the rest of the audience in a hallway off Dixon St to be ushered into a basement that is not usually a theatre venue, to see Goldilocks and the Three Queers. Other audience members were dressed in ’70s fashions to match the setting of the play in the San Francisco of 1970, where the gay rights movement was building up a head of…steam?

We are taken out of our reverie (induced by wondering what the heck is going on) by the arrival of Ling Ling, an OTT caricature of a Chinese landlord who leads us down into the basement to a non-stop and highly amusing monologue of gripes and complaints about the tenants who owe him (her?) rent and get up to all kinds of things. A clever device to set up the time, place and back story. The basement is white painted brick and convincingly dressed (by Fern Karun) as a cheap apartment strewn with saris and daisy floral sheets, and our seating is a mishmash of 70’s chairs sofas and beanbags. Very comfortable.

What ensues is a story devised through workshopping and based on the concept of Goldilocks. It incorporates three queers as promised – Mama Queer (Martine Gray) who is a flamboyant and drug addicted trannie with an abrasive Jersey accent; Baby Queer (Simon Leary) who eagerly awaits his majority and consequent deflowering while living in a fantasy world of comic characters; and Papa Queer (Roger Johnson), a charismatic guru figure who protects them. Goldilocks (Bronwen Pattison) is a southern bible belt trailer trash teen who turns up at their front door to try to convert them to god-fearing straightness.

Devised theatre is always difficult – it means the play is written by committee and the burden falls to the director (in this case Adam Donald) to try to get a coherent plot out of the ideas the cast present. As with many devised pieces, I feel the plot lacks the kind of orchestrated dramatic tension needed to thread it together; all the elements are there but they feel more like a pile of beads than a necklace.

Afterwards I am left wondering exactly what point the show is trying to make. I get the bit about all causes being susceptible to crazy, overzealous users; I get the bit about no one having the moral high ground; but it feels like the most important elements to the cast are the chance to dress up in ’70s gear and put on accents. These things should disappear for us, as their purpose should be to create context not invade the content.

The casualty of all this is the gay rights movement itself, which suffers unintentional – I suspect – derision. Such satire of important historic milestones, hard-won by our forebears, needs to be handled with intelligence and respect if it is to work.

In spite of all this, I was entertained and amused. They are a talented bunch and full of enthusiasm. I think the piece has potential and I hope that they keep refining and reworking it, and maybe take the brave step of losing the constraints of the original setting to give life and relevance to the themes instead. Wellington in 1970 was a pretty heady place to be too, and an unforgiving place in which to be queer.

Oh yes, I must mention Tane Upjohn-Beatson’s musical accompaniment. His electric guitar rifts are the perfect sound scape for the piece; as evocative as a whiff of maryjane.

Definitely worth a visit and I look forward to seeing how the show evolves into its next run. 
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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