Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

24/07/2012 - 28/07/2012

Production Details

CAROLINE slept with CHRIS who’s pestering HILLARY who’s friends with FIONA who tolerates SEBASTIAN who’s bugging SCOTT who’s starting to wonder if Inviting Caroline was a really BAD IDEA. 

You’re invited to the party… 

This naughty little New Zealand comedy deconstructs the hedonistic party lifestyle within a group of friends, exploring their various social quirks and bad behaviour.

Cocktails, Caroline and catastrophe. It’s the perfect party.

Inviting Caroline’s Auckland premiere features a stellar cast – Ben Van Lier, Ben Legg, Junior Misimoa, Lisa Sorensen, Amelia Reynolds and Kat Glass as Caroline. Directed by Chris Tan and produced by Kristin Burns, this fast paced, action packed script by Ross MacLeod is a future kiwi classic.

“A nutty, clever view of the classic Kiwi party, with all the sexual whimsies and social expectations of a group of inexplicable mates, Ross MacLeod’s play is a must for a younger audience.” – Gail Pittaway – Waikato Times 

Proudly sponsored by the delicious HELL PIZZA. 

Inviting Caroline is showing at
The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
24th – 28th July 2012
7pm (Running time 1 hour)
Book at
or ph (09) 361 1000 

All tickets are Standard General Admission
$15 + booking fee 

Or purchase in person at:
Real Groovy, 438 Queen St, Auckland
Conch Records, 115A Ponsonby Rd, Auckland
The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland 

Amelia Reynolds
– Fiona
Ben Van Lier – Scott
Lisa Sorensen – Hilary
Kat Glass – Caroline
Ben Legg – Sebastion
Junior Misimoa –Chris   

For anyone who has ever hosted a Party

Review by James Wenley 28th Jul 2012

It’s a fine art to hosting a great party. In Inviting Caroline we learn from twenty-something Scott all the traps for new players; when to confirm the date, the ratio of food eaten to food left on the floor, and the importance of screening your invite list.

It’s a bit like putting on a play: getting the space ready, hoping lots of people will come, and that they all have a good time (Party Reviewers – now there’s a good idea!). [More


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Deftly written bad idea engagingly performed

Review by Kathryn van Beek 25th Jul 2012

Inviting Caroline begins with the ending (and ends with a new beginning, but we’ll get on to that later). Lights come up on a scene of chaos: three couples clinched together in furious rather than amorous embraces.

Blonde Hilary and brunette Caroline are locked in a battle of good and evil, best friends Chris and Sebastian are trying to kill each other, and protagonist Scott is wrestling Fiona, a ginger ninja with a black belt in karate. The action freezes and Scott addresses the audience in the first of his many amusing asides: “In retrospect,” he ponders, as a grimacing Fiona clings to his back, “inviting Caroline was probably a bad idea.” 

Why inviting Caroline was such a bad idea is explored in the next hour of the play, as we back-track over the two weeks leading up to the party and meet the series of misfits and miscreants who will be invited. Ben Van Lier delights as philosophical Scott who has planned his party with all the military precision that a twenty year old student can muster. Van Lier infuses Scott with a sense of creative Kiwi everyman (think Dave Dobbyn, Peter Bland, Tim Shadbolt et al) and is utterly credible in the role of a well-intentioned, slightly bumbling young intellectual.

Scott has the motley crew of friends typically acquired at university. Fiona (played by the compelling Amelia Reynolds) is fierce but loving, and has the dubious ‘super-power’ of being able to get people to forget she exists. Chris (Junior Misimoa) is a bogan so dumb he makes Bret Michaels look like Stephen Hawking. Hillary (Lisa Sorensen) is apple-pie laced with arsenic; Sebastian (played convincingly by Ben Legg) is an insufferable dotcom geek…

And then there’s Caroline (Kat Glass), the magnetic black-haired minx who inspires hilarious thunder-and-lightning special effects.

The six friends are not particularly well-suited to each other, and to make matters worse they are all partial to a tipple and simmering with intense sexual frustration. The party is a powder keg, and Caroline is the spark that makes it explode. From the ashes, new futures arise for each of the characters.

Everything about this play is very good. The acting is engaging, the writing deft, and the direction (Chris Tan) smart. Actor Ben Van Lier and writer Ross MacLeod emerge as people to watch in the theatre scene.

Inviting Caroline might not stay with you for days afterwards, but at just $15 a ticket (make sure you bring another $7.50 for a glass of the Basement Theatre’s mulled wine) it is the perfect way to kick-start a fun night out. I just hope yours ends less chaotically than Scott’s did.


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