Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

27/02/2020 - 29/02/2020

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2020

Production Details

A show about getting older and refusing to do it quietly.

Come and experience this one-woman show written by and starring well-known Hamilton personality K-M Adams, as she explores the dangers of being too nice, growing up in radio and her failed theatre career.

Please note includes mature content

Website www.boldtheatre.nz

Meteor Theatre
Thursday 27 & Friday 28 Feb 2020, 7.30pm
Saturday 29 Feb 2020, 6pm
$23 General Admission
$20 Concession

Theatre ,

1 hr

A lovely ride delivered with guts and gusto

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 28th Feb 2020

The foyer of Hamilton’s iconic Meteor theatre is a-buzz with a real who’s who of Hamilton’s best actors, writers, directors, musos and arts patrons, who are shoulder to shoulder with Members of Parliament, funeral directors and (mostly former) radio personalities. We’re all here for the opening night of Bold Theatre’s latest offering; Old, Bold and Going Nowhere.

The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival programme describes is as a one-woman show, written and performed by well-known Hamilton personality K-M Adams, exploring the dangers of being too nice, growing up in radio and her failed theatre career. I identify with and relate quite strongly, hence am sold on the premise.

K-M Adams comes with a pedigree; chances are if you have lived a chunk of time in The Tron, you will have heard her voice in an ad on the radio, as the celebrant presiding over a wedding or funeral, or pre-2010, as the voice of Waikato’s 92.0 MoreFM breakfast show, which she hosted for a whopping fourteen years.

Sam Cleaver is masterfully tinkling the ivories as we take our seats and, near on fifteen minutes late (pet peeve of mine I have to say, especially in a festival where people may be headed on to another show or event from this one), he launches into the spoken introduction for the show’s star.

Rolling into the room on a shiny red mobility scooter, festooned in sequins, K-M greets us Queen-waving and belting out Robbie Williams’ hit Let Me Entertain You and the laughs come easily here. I can hear the love in the room for K-M who sets off in character: all airs and graces with some terrifically acerbic one-liners and a stream of powerful show tunes as testament to her love for singing and musical theatre. 

I am really impressed with her use of an easel and placards as the centrepiece for the narrative, no PowerPoint clicker here: a crafty nod to being of a ‘certain age’ which is the powerful driver of the story line.  

Interestingly, around a third of the way into the show, K-M lets the façade drop and we see K-M the woman laid bare. Gone is the accent and the high-status pomp. Remarkably frank and honest, K-M bravely shares her challenges around starting a family and staying tough in an industry which is so reliant on the art of speech, while – off the air – is quite often thoughtlessly careless with words. I am brought to tears. Not that I am left in the dumps, K-M sings another showstopper and her show turns the corner to brighter skies.

It’s here that I have to say I enjoy the show the most, because we really are getting the rawest version of the star. She tells tales, reveals more placards, and has me in fits at the hot flushes (I note most of the row I am sitting in turns to eyeball me, as I have been sitting there waving my fan wildly since before the curtain came up).

The set design, lighting and sound are sensitive and effective. Kyle Chuen is a great director and he has done a nice job. K-M tells us he has also lent his gifts as a choreographer and script advisor; certainly a wide role to take on. While I am impressed, my only question would be around whether another set of eyes on the script might tighten up some of the flotsam in places, and possibly make more of the transition from character and the actualisation of self, in parallel to commercial radio broadcasting which is sold on personalities who are in essence characters (or caricatures) of themselves when the mic goes live.

K-M clearly loves to play up to a crowd and does so endearingly well. There are messages and moments of clarity that bring me to thoughtful pause and easy laughter. My favourite: “You can’t put a flower in an arsehole and call it a vase.” That’s the first rule of comedy right there: it’s funny because it is true!

It’s a lovely ride this show, delivered with guts and gusto. A number of the audience are on their feet in ovation as the curtain falls. I give a wee whoop also for Sam Cleaver who is a faultless accompanist and at times a cute comic foil. I commend BOLD Theatre on choosing to produce an original show, at its premiere, and one that focuses a singing, dancing, touching and honest spotlight on the plight of an ageing cornerstone of Hamilton’s media/arts scene. Yay!


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council