Hannah Playhouse, Cnr Courtenay Place & Cambridge Terrace, Wellington

05/03/2024 - 07/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

by Micky (Sarah) Delahunty with Parekawa Finlay
Directed by Micky Delahunty | Musical Direction by Jono Westo,

Weirdo Productions with A Mulled Whine

Jimmy was young and talented. Wrote songs and sang them. Loved people and liked boys. Was smart, sensitive, creative and kind.

JIMMY is the story of his astronomical impact on the lives of a group of young people.

Plunge into far off galaxies and the Vortex, the Tardis and the Enterprise, memories, loss, laughter — and music music music … Hurtling through the time and space of grief, navigating the stars, seeking new life and the warmth of the sun.

A musical with original songs by the cast and Cole Hampton. An anthem of love for our friend.

7pm, 5 – 7 March | Hannah Playhouse
Tickets $20 – $25 from https://fringe.co.nz/show/jimmy

Starring Ari Leason, Parekawa Finlay, Olivia Marshall, Jared Lee, and Jono Weston

Original Compositions by the cast and Cole Hampton
Light Design and Operation by Wren Glover

Produced by Micky Delahunty and Eleanor Strathern

Theatre , Musical ,

60 minutes

A beautiful tribute to a man who is very loved

Review by Shemaia Dixon 06th Mar 2024

At the Hannah Playhouse the audience is presented with intergalactic imagery that sets up the ‘space odyssey’ to come. Jimmy is a musical written by Micky Delahunty with Parekawa Finlay and directed by Delahunty. The first thing that leaves an impact on me is the writer’s note written in the program:

“This show is for our friend Cole Hampton. It is not his story. It’s the story of a Jimmy, a character, Cole was playing in a script I wrote for him and Ari Leason. We were rehearsing it at the time of his death. We could never do that play. So we wrote JIMMY…”

This note, and the knowledge that Cole Hampton, as well as the cast, wrote the songs in Jimmy, sets the tone for the show. It becomes clear that Jimmy is a very personal show to all that knew Hampton.

The show itself is episodic, consisting of vignettes that at first seem unrelated, yet each story has a thread that connects them. Lou (Ari Leason), Jack (Jared Lee) and Puāwai (Parekawa Finlay) are Jimmy’s bandmates. James (Jono Weston) played music with Jimmy growing up and Orla (Olivia Marshall) is Jimmy’s younger cousin.

We see episodes set in the past, of each person interacting with Jimmy, and eventually, all characters come together at Jimmy’s funeral, where they meet and sing ‘Good’, a song the characters say was written by Jimmy. The program reveals that the song’s composer is in fact Cole Hampton. The other song written by Cole Hampton, ‘Weirdo’, is also attributed to Jimmy.

Poignantly, even when Jimmy is ‘onstage’ as such, we never actually see him. Jimmy is often represented by an empty chair which characters converse with. This detail only adds to the emotion of the show.

The way each character expresses their longing to see Jimmy again and the way he has impacted each of their lives is extremely emotional, particularly when we know the backstory. The interweaving of different stories makes me realise how much impact one person can have on others, and in turn, the world.

The actors clearly understand the message they’re conveying and bring the emotion necessary to communicate that message and honour Cole Hampton. Leason, Lee and Weston perform with passion and emotion. Marshall brings a nice change as a younger character who had a different, dynamic with Jimmy, rooted in childhood.  In particular, Finlay stands out, not just because their character Puāwai brings a Māori worldview to the narrative, but because Finlay has a natural magnetism that draws in the audience.

The songs are beautifully written and performed. Musical director Jono Weston does a skilful job, carefully ensuring each song adds to the narrative.

Lighting design by Wren Glover adds to the fantasy element and makes it clear which episode the audience is witnessing. Graphic design by Rebecca Le Pine and Twofold helps further immerse the audience in the fantastical elements and sets the mood for each episode. AV operation is brilliantly operated by James Mills Workman.

It’s clear that though this isn’t Hampton’s story, Cole Hampton is Jimmy. As I leave the theatre, I have the lasting impression that I miss Jimmy. I did not know Cole Hampton and I never met him, but it is clear that he impacted many people and that this show is a beautiful tribute to a man who is very loved. My heart goes out to all who did know Cole Hampton and my congratulations on a brilliant show. 


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