Fortune Theatre, Dunedin

21/10/2017 - 11/11/2017

Production Details

Join the Fortune Theatre for the WORLD PREMIERE of One Perfect Moment, Ellie Smith’s hilarious new work about a mother running from her 60th birthday by hauling her daughter on the trip of a lifetime. 

The planned idyllic holiday is soon flipped on its head – as it turns out, 24/7 contact may be a little too much for this pair!

Perry Piercy as Pammie and Bronwyn Ensor (2016 graduate of The Actors Program), as Angel, play two complex and relatable women, bringing to life a whole range of broad comedic characters. Perry Piercy will be making her Fortune Theatre debut this October, bringing with her more than 30 years’ experience as not only an actor but a lauded vocal coach and acting teacher.

Bronwyn comes to Dunedin direct from working with Auckland Theatre Company on their critically production, Boys. Bronwyn has also recently worked with Fortune favourite and maverick director, Benjamin Henson as part of Auckland Summer Shakespeare.

This comedy will touch the hearts and funny bones of every adult who has ever had the dubious pleasure of spending 24/7 for an extended period with a teenager. Young people will hear their own voice screaming that they would rather be locked in a house in Gore for a month than be seen in public with their parents.

In the vein of Four Flat Whites In Italy, this brilliant comedy adventure will have you laughing and cheering in equal measure.

21 October – 11 November 
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Perry Peircy: Pammie
Bronwyn Ensor: Angel 

Director: Jonathon Hendry
Set Design: Ioan Bramwell
Costume Design: Maryanne Wright Smyth
Lighting Design: Stephen Kilroy
Sound Design: Lindsay Gordon
A/V Design: Jon Wilson
Stage Manager: Erica Browne 

Theatre ,

1 hr 40 mins

Mother-daughter relationship resolved in trip across globe

Review by Barbara Frame 24th Oct 2017

Pammie and Angel have a more than usually fractious mother-daughter relationship. Self-dramatising Pammie (Perry Piercy) has a bad habit of getting sloshed and making a spectacle of herself, and is too silly to be really likeable.

Teenage Angel (Bronwyn Ensor) is more interesting: despite preferring most of her interaction with the world to be mediated by her iPhone, she’s scathing beyond her years and has perfected the arts of eye-rolling and scornful incredulity.

She has no interest in travel (“If I want to see it, I can Google it”), so when Pammie organises, if that’s the word for it, a trip to Europe she’s furious. [More


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Forever and fleeting relationships inspire both laughter and groans

Review by Kimberley Buchan 22nd Oct 2017

Pammie, the protagonist of Ellie Smith’s One Perfect Moment, stares at the neighbour’s tree that blocks the light into her property. In her rage and frustration at her first world problems she realises that she has become stuck in a rut. The same Sunday afternoon patterns. The same recipes at pot luck. The same friends with the same complaints about their spouses.

Many people at this point in their lives would shake things up by buying a new recipe book or taking a dance class. Pammie, however, demands that her teenaged daughter Angel start packing her bags as they are going on an adventure. Angel is less than impressed with this plan as the allure of months of free overseas travel is dulled by the idea of her travel companion being her mother.

Our heroines explore Dubai, England and Spain and tick the checklist of mind broadening travel experiences: romance, digestive issues, attacks, surviving without a phone, interminable lines in airports and cab cons. Upon their return home both realise that nothing has changed, except themselves.

Bronwyn Ensor plays the scathing Angel. Disgust hangs off her like the kaftan she wears in Dubai. In between the eye rolling (accompanied most often by an aghast, gaping mouth) enough of her dysfunctional family dynamics are fleshed out to make Angel’s disdain seem pretty reasonable. Her father is a barely sentient bong, her mother flutters from one fluster to the next and her grandmother appears to be constructed out of pure poison. She is also surely intelligent enough to realise, on some level, from the very beginning that her one sided relationship with her boyfriend is doomed.

Ensor plays a huge variety of characters well and really warms into the physical comedy in the second act. She brings great energy to the stage and this is needed as the pace of the script relies on the youthful energy of Angel to balance her stuttering and stoned parents.

Perry Piercy plays Pammie, who strongly resembles a toned down and less media savvy Eddie from Absolutely Fabulous. Her insecure and temperamental air is understandable as we comprehend the full picture of what living with her sadistically spiteful mother must be like. Pammie and Angel’s relationship is almost affectionate by comparison, although none of the characters are particularly sympathetic towards each other.

It is tantalisingly frustrating when you can’t quite remember the word right at the tip of your tongue, and this frustration is transferred to the audience at times when it seems that Pammie’s every third menopausal sentence contains the words “thingy” and “whatsit”.

Piercy ricochets through an assortment of characters and provides the impetus for the whole play. She makes Pammie’s desire to cram a life’s worth of experiences into a few short months tangible to the audience. She is most strongly relatable when she is recounting Pammie’s moment of perfect happiness.

Usually when we sit down in the Fortune we are treated to a set designed by Peter King. This time Ioan Bramhall has created a minimalist white vinyl sheet spilling down from the rafters. The set pieces are four suitcases rearranged to suit every situation that our travellers find themselves in. This allows a great deal of flexibility for director Jonathon Hendry and the valiant Piercy and Ensor as they exert themselves to create the images of far flung countries in our minds. Their efforts are supplemented by Jon Wilson’s digital projections and Lindsay Gordon’s sound design, both ably operated by Anna van den Bosch.

Jonathon Hendry and the Fortune Theatre continue to nurture New Zealand theatre in its premiere of Ellie Smith’s semi-autobiographical play One Perfect Moment. This two hander play keeps the actors working hard as they both play a countless array of characters and sometimes swap each other’s character as well. This allows for some great conflicts – usually in a queue at the airport.

Some of the more fleeting characters are delightfully played. Smith is known for plays that focus on the child parent relationship. This play is more in the style of a Roger Hall, with strong links to Four Flat Whites in Italy, than an examination of the complex dynamics of the mother–teen daughter relationship. It will bring up many memories of the traditional Kiwi OE and remind many parents not to try to be friends with their children.

There is a difference between how old we are and how old we feel. This play will provide you with the opportunity of finding out which end of the age spectrum you sit on by whether you laugh or groan at the antics of the characters. 


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