Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

31/01/2012 - 04/02/2012

Production Details


Leopard examines the lives of five young people all interconnected by sex, desire, and loss, as it challenges the laws of “finders keepers”, reality vs morality, and questions our obligation to love, over our instincts to live.  

A brand new play by Shoshana McCallum, Leopard turns the spotlight on human nature, as it pieces together a twisted jigsaw puzzle of dubious perceptions, infidelity, and modern day disharmony amidst a lovelorn urban jungle.  

Basement Theatre
31 January – 4 February 2012, 8pm  

Shoshana McCallum
Andrew Munro
Donna Brookbanks
Jordan Blaikie
Simon Wolfgram  

Immensely credible

Review by Aidan-B. Howard 01st Feb 2012

This was going to be a difficult task, dealing with the equally difficult subject of infidelity, but I have to say that right from the start this troupe (Playfight Productions) did a surprisingly good job at it.

The basic storyline is that a core group of three – Dave (Andrew Munro), Rebecca (Donna Brookbanks) and John (Simon Wolfgram), who constitute one couple and a best friend – regularly go to a bar at which one of the two main protagonists, Jessica (Shoshana McCallum, who is also the playwright), works. Dave and Jessica have an extra-relationship fling. Not a unique storyline by any means. However, what it lacks in uniqueness is made up for in the skill with which it is written and performed.

The vast majority of Leopard is a simple hoot: very funny, pacey and well acted. The final ten minutes are more sedate; more philosophical. I have to admit that the transition from the humour of the main story to the philosophical ending does seem somewhat abrupt and too starkly contrasted, but because it does not stretch out too long, and is still very adeptly acted, this jarring can easily be overlooked.

The acting is superb and ‘understated’ (in the positive sense of the word) by all, although I did find that when Rebecca found out about the fling, her response was TOO muted: it’s as if she does not want to disturb the neighbours. Don’t be afraid of the proximity of the audience! But the characterisations are all spot on and immensely credible.

I am sure that the audience will be entertained by a piece of ironic humour which I am equally sure is not intentional. It is the fact that actors in their twenty-somethings are dealing with an issue steeped in ‘experience’ and ‘world wisdom’; an age at which above all others people are hooked into the fantasy of ‘fidelity’ and ‘monogamy’. (It is reminiscent of the humour of a seven-year-old child espousing the benefits of fiscal responsibility.) Most humorous.

Over-all, a wonderful and brief (75 mins) piece of entertainment.


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