Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton

01/08/2019 - 11/08/2019

Production Details

And we’re live! The oven’s caught fire, David is drinking and Peter has some bad news. Prepare to be transported to a 1980s television studio for big laughs, rum-fuelled showdowns, and some very questionable cooking. It’s the Christmas special and they’re up to their eyeballs in turkey stuffing and melting cream castles. Now all they need is an audience…

Move over My Kitchen Rules, the original kings of kitchen drama are back. An immersive live experience originally co-created by theatrical daredevil Kip Chapman, this Clarence St Theatre-produced version of smash hit Hudson & Halls Live! offers a hilarious glimpse into the lives of two of New Zealand’s trailblazing TV personalities at a pivotal point in their career. Directed by Matt Walker and starring Jordan Mooney, Simon Learyand Melissa Lawlor.


Hudson & Halls! was developed and created for Silo Theatre Trust with the assistance of Creative New Zealand and Silo Theatre Trust’s Patron donor programme.

The original production premiered at the Herald Theatre, Auckland on 6 November 2015, directed by Kip Chapman and starring Todd Emerson, Chris Parker and Jackie van Beek.

By Arrangement with Playmarket

Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton 
1 – 11 August 2019

Produced by:  Clarence Street Theatre Trust
Executive Producer:  Jason Wade 

David Halls:  Jordan Mooney
Peter Hudson:  Simon Leary
Ngaire Watkins:  Melissa Lawlor
Mr Lynch:  Ray Powell

Director:  Matt Walker
Set Design:  Dan Williams
Lighting Design:  Aaron Chesham
Sound Design:  Aaron Chesham
Marketing Design:  Ray Powell

Stage Manager:  Tracey Wilson
Publicity:  Yvonne Milroy
Operator:  Nina Hennig
Props:  Samantha Fowler
Crew:  Grant Wilson

Theatre ,

Packed with laugh-out-loud moments

Review by Cate Prestidge 01st Aug 2019

“Counting down audience, start clapping on 5,4,3,2 and we’re live!”

Based on the iconic cooking duo of Peter Hudson and David Halls, who were on our television screens for over a decade from the mid-70s, this production launches the audience into a clever recreation of an ambitious Christmas special. Did someone say “Cream Praline Castle?!”  

Written by Kip Chapman (with Todd Emerson and Sophie Chapman), the show includes dialogue and action from episodes which is worked into a terrific narrative that explores both the hilarity and chaos of the characters and their cooking. The show also acts as a homage to Hudson and Halls, who have taken on significance as being both mainstream tv hosts and demonstrably gay men at a time of repression in New Zealand. It premiered to wide acclaim at Silo Theatre in 2015 and toured to festivals over the next two years. Now it is exciting to see this new professional season from the Clarence St Theatre.

It’s also great for the local community to see the return of a couple of Hamiltonians: Director Matt Walker (Home and Away) and Jordan Mooney (Westside) who have forged professional careers in theatre and television. As David Halls, Mooney is joined by Simon Leary (Dirty Laundry) as Peter Hudson, comedian and actor Melissa Lawlor as the Floor Manager Ngaire Watkins plus Bold Theatre’s Ray Powell as the technician, Mr Lynch.

Mooney is entirely charming as the garrulous extrovert David Halls. Capturing Halls’ chaotic approach to cooking, drinking and non-stop banter, he alternates between helping and hindering his more serious side-kick. Simon Leary hits exactly the right note as Peter Hudson, the more ‘cheffy’ and organised of the two, but always on for a glass of something or a quip as David whips around the kitchen getting in the way and fighting over the stovetop. There are some hilarious and tender moments between the two which glimpse at the strength of the relationship beyond the cameras.

Lawlor, recently back from the US, is great as Ngaire, a not-quite-competent foil to the shenanigans as she tries to maintain order, wrangle the set, the audience, the cue cards and the kitchen set up. Her physical comedy skills are a huge asset to this role while Powell, as technician Mr Lynch, is in good form amongst the ‘off stage’ action.

The set is a vision of mid-80s apricot with many recognisable elements from the original show and retro kitchenalia, including surprising co-star and comedic nemesis: the Ralta Kitchen Wizz.

The audience interaction is fun and not at all difficult, in fact it’s integral to the concept, and the physical comedy and improv moments work for any audience. A group of high school students beside me love it and form a huge queue at the end for photos with ‘the stars’. 

Hudson & Halls Live! is packed with laugh-out-loud moments, possibly even a snort or two. I went with a crashing headache at the end of a long day and I was transported. You’d have to be a real curmudgeon not to love this show. Do go. 


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