Lance A Boyle's Audition

Paramount, Wellington

15/02/2006 - 18/02/2006

NZ Fringe Festival 2006

Production Details

Written, directed and produced by D C Boyle


The show begins with famous book bolter D C Boyle bolting books. Strange women appear one at a time to answer his ad for members of a rock band. Featuring songs, dance, cat fights and jams.

Eva Collins
D C Boyle
Susan Freeman
Janet McAllister
Haukura Jones
Sara Velasquez

Theatre , Music ,

1 hr


Review by Lynn Freeman 22nd Feb 2006

In the "oh dear, what were they thinking?" category is Lance A. Boyle’s Audition (The Paramount) billed as a Musical Comedy.

Some of the music is worth listening to but the production itself is a shocker. Most of the actors are unintelligible as they mutter their lines, but given the bits of the script that can be heard are inane to say the least, perhaps that’s a blessing. Lance (aka DC Boyle) is an obnoxious musician who calls women "chicks" and drills holes in books.

Lady Limerick from Aro Valley sort of plays a plastic electric guitar between babbling unfunny verse while Janet McAllister has presence and energy that are wasted in some kind of weird vaudeville act. Young Haukura Jones’ potential gifts as a performer aren’t allowed to shine as "wahine iti".

And so it goes on. Ghastly.


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Complete disregard for audience

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 18th Feb 2006

To say Fringe 06 is becoming a Festival of extremes is an understatement. Lance A Boyles Audition, currently playing at the Paramount, fits squarely into the category of extreme, and is so bad is it that it has to be seen to be believed. 

Lance of the title, played by DC Boyle, is auditioning musicians, all female, for his rock band.  In between auditionees he "bolts books". That is, he drills holes through books he thinks should never have been published and puts bolts through the holes.  He is a red neck misogynist, so one wonders why he is auditioning females, but is a reasonable musician who plays a mean mouth organ, is an accomplished guitarist and strong vocalist. 

However the laid back manner of the actor playing Lance has complete disregard for his audience and total lack of understanding his medium, performance art.  Only the opening number with Rock Chick (Eva Collins) and a wonderful Maori song by young Haukura Jones, about a young Princess flying on the wings of a big bird from Waikato to Hokianga, have any appeal.

The other auditionees, Lady Limerick (Susan Freeman) who tells appalling limericks and knits while playing guitar, and Newtown Woman (Janet McAllister), an off key Diva from the ministry of Silly Walks are silliness personified.  The final auditionee, a loud mouthed American called Clarinda (Sara Velasquez) with her boyfriend, a half mannequin named Gavin, initially showed promise but then went the way of the rest of the production. 

As a rock concert this show might past muster but as a piece of theatre…! And so DC Boyle and his team should stick with doing gigs in pubs and leave performance art to those who know what it’s about.


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Committed - like a crime

Review by John Smythe 16th Feb 2006

Okay so the Fringe is a hit-and-miss event because it takes all comers capable of pitching a show and scoring a venue. Punters have to expect to find some dross in their quest for gold.

But it is surely fair to expect those who’ve been given a prime venue spot in good faith will keep the faith by putting some effort, skill and commitment into making a show worth punters risking their hard-earned dollars and valuable time on.

Lance A Boyle’s Audition fails on all counts. Sure, the premise has potential. A jaded ‘retrosexual’ rock star holds open auditions to reform a band and is confronted by a series of variously skilled woman wannabees. But there is no dramatic progression from that starting point. Everyone just mucks around, repetitively acting out the basic idea of their character between and during a series of mostly heavy-duty songs – featuring a driving road-trip rhythm and some atonal singing – which at least allow some musical skills to emerge.

It’s not enough. Boyle himself has no stage presence whatever and makes no attempt to connect with his audience. He bolts books that may give girls wrong ideas (his apparently famed means of censorship) and mutters repetitive banalities about the universal ineptness of women. Obviously it’s a set-up for some sort of come-uppance but the long-awaited (45 minutes feels like three hours) payoff is weak and unsatisfying.

Sadly, although they could not be worse than him, the female performers have little more to offer or get no opportunity to shine. A good electric guitarist remains relegated to the background. A Limerick Lady raises the odd smile but mostly what can be heard of her work is dire. A silly-walking diva with a budgie on her shoulder proves a try-hard one-joke wonder.

It takes an 11 year-old scooter-riding, guitar-strumming, trumpet-blowing Wahine to bring anything like an authentic presence to the stage and her rendition of Ue One One, while oddly out of place (except that assumes some rationale in forming the piece), is a breath of fresh air. Also, the Limerick Lady’s facility with te reo is a welcome surprise.

After yet another long and meaningless post-song pause, aimlessly unfilled with the same-old same-old stuff we’ve already seen, one Clarinda arrives with her fiancé Gavin, a sawn-off shop-window dummy. It last I laugh, just once, at her send-up of Californian affirmations. And her singing’s not bad either.

A major problem among the many is that most of the dialogue not spoken on mic is lost through woeful projection (it’s not the acoustics, I’ve seen some excellent live shows at the Paramount). Clearly no time was spent getting the pitch of the theatre. By contrast the amplified music is (or was on opening night) too loud and poorly balanced.

I have it on excellent authority that no sound check was done prior to opening night. Putting that together with the failure to even attempt to form a coherent and cohesive entertainment from the basic idea, it seems fair to conclude the aforementioned commitment was absent.

And yet this show was committed – like a crime.


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