Globe Theatre, 104 London St, Dunedin

17/05/2012 - 26/05/2012

Production Details

Lovepuke (written in 1993) is a hysterical take on the state of love and relationships in the contemporary urban setup. Lovepuke, by definition, is a rancid and fake form of affection. The play follows its characters in their desperate bid to find true love.

The story is told from the perspective of Glen, a singleton who is extremely cynical about the whole love thing and boarders on misanthropic. Glen is the mouthpiece for Sarkies’ commentary on the subject of love, and from here he introduces the other characters; sickened and disgusted by their various shades of lust and love. 

Lovepuke is a brutally honest, challenging and experimental Kiwi play that explores the disgustingly beautiful concept of ‘love.’ It is a hectic glimpse into the love lives of young Kiwi couples and their arguments, mind-games, competitions, and sexual conquests. 

A stage filled with chairs – some tall, some broken, some glamorous, some comfortable, some unstable…

A stage filled with people – some tall, some broken, some glamorous, some comfortable, some unstable…

Meet the characters:

Glen – He’s a cynic.
Hermione – She’s a poet.
Louise – She’s a man eater.
There’s Kevin – He’s secretly gay.
Ivan – a blokey bloke.
Janice – She’s trying to live her dreamy fairytale life.
Marissa – She’s a little bit adventurous, a big bit boring.

See what happens when Glen watches over three couples as their relationships get taken through the paces. From the first time they meet, via the old routine we know too well of ‘sex, argument, break up, make up, sex, argument, break up, make up…’ to the points of ‘stability’, ‘children’, ‘staying together forever’ or ‘untimely death during meaningless sex’ – Lovepuke will take you on a whirlwind tour of true love. 

Come along to this play – we’ll make you laugh, cringe, and maybe you’ll even find that you see a little bit of yourself in the characters. 

Globe theatre, 104 London Street, Dunedin
17-26 May
7pm (2pm Sunday)
No performance May 21 


Glen:  Fraser Jackson
Hermione:  Dell Mcleod
Kevin:  Luke Agnew
Louise:  Anna Parsons
Ivan:  Brook Bray
Janice:  Rachel Marriott
Marissa:  Sofie Welvaert
Nathan:  George Wallace


Stage Manager:  Dominic Angelo 
Lighting Rig And Operator:  Alexandra Ross  

Not for easily shocked

Review by Barbara Frame 18th May 2012

Aptly named, Duncan Sarkies’ play about love includes the pukey bits. It follows three, or maybe four, couples through the familiar phases of meeting, making moves, elation, fun and games, arguments, problems, lots of sex, and so on until everyone arrives at the “Obligatory happy ending.” 

Ivan (Brook Bray) and Janice (Rachel Marriott) fall madly and deeply in love at first sight, Louise (Anna Parsons) isn’t interested in Kevin (Luke Agnew) until she finds out about his money, and Marissa (Sofie Welvaert) and Nathan (George Wallace) adore each other but have problems to overcome. Overseeing all of this is Glen (Fraser Jackson), describing himself as a “healthy cynic,” pretending he isn’t a loser and is single by choice, fooling no-one and eventually falling for colourful poet Hermione (Dell McLeod) and her cloacal verses.

The stage set, by director Emma Feather Shaw and members of the cast, features as eclectic an assortment of chairs as you’re ever likely to see, and most of them are frequently re-arranged in well-coordinated outbreaks of excitement of one kind or another.

Lovepuke‘s themes are conventional, but its presentation is not, and this isn’t one for the easily shocked. With its elements of romantic comedy, capping show and grunge, it has the look and feel of a student production and is notable for its youthful energy and enthusiasm. A near-capacity audience enjoyed last night’s show.  


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A rollercoaster ride through relationship dynamics

Review by Kimberley Buchan 18th May 2012

Director Emma Feather Shaw brings us Duncan Sarkies’ romp through Kiwi attitudes to relationships and sex in the surprisingly warm Globe Theatre.  

Lovepuke begins with myriad entrances and exits summing up the characters and relationship dynamics. The stage is littered with chairs which are stumbled over, thrown, built up and entwined with. The use of dissociative cue cards for props and as signposts for relationship stages helps to create a concise assessment of these attitudes.

The high energy cast revel in the sparky witty text from Duncan Sarkies. Glen (Fraser Jackson), the healthy cynic observer who comments on and occasionally deigns to join the action, does in fact submit to the obligatory happy ending and rejoin humanity at the end.

Anna Parsons shines as Louise and delivers her lines with obvious relish. Luke Agnew provides us with perfectly pitched comedy as struggling-with-his-true-self Kevin.

Brook Bray sprawls his way across the stage with gargantuan limbs and priceless facial expressions as Ivan, in an on off relationship with Janice, a character that would be hard to individualise but Rachel Marriott pulls it off. Dell McLeod shows impressive control for the first part of the play and flips a switch to become the batty hygrophiliac Hermione.

The cast is rounded out by the furry couple Marissa and Nathan. George Wallace is well suited to his part and Sophie Welvaert is sweet as the long suffering Marissa. The lighting is provided by the exquisite Alexandra Ross.

It’s not highbrow humour and the audience, and chairs, are saturated with sex. In fact, I don’t know how some of the chairs make it through the show. The opening night audience was engaged, charmed and even involved on a personal level when the characters came to sit with them and explain their woes on a one to one basis.

The fast pace of much of the show is uplifting and the frequent overlapping of action provides dynamics but much is missed in the process. The actors all fulfil their characters but the sharpness of some of Sarkies’ lines are not fully explored.

After a tumultuous rollercoaster ride over, under and through the chairs, the performance is rounded off with Anna Parsons displaying a great voice and others some questionable dancing.

Everyone will find someone or something to identify with in this play.  It is well worth going to see for some rollicking hilarity.  


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