BATS Theatre, Wellington

22/11/2012 - 01/12/2012

Production Details


With the National Government trying to end the year on a high after a tough year of bad press, their preparations for are in full swing for the parliamentary dinner. Labour are in the final stages of planning their Santa Tour of New Zealand and the Greens are still trying to decide if celebrating the commercialism of Christmas is in line with their parties philosophy.

However, everything starts to unravel when a sudden spiritual reckoning visits New Zealand.

After a sold out season in the NZ International Comedy Festival, Public Service Announcements returns to BATS Theatre for its Christmas season with an all-star cast including the return of Allen Henry as Winston Peters.

This up-to-date political satire comedy show will give you an enlightening inside look into the parliamentary process as all of your favourite (and not so favourite) Politian’s prepare for the Christmas period.

‘…bought continual waves of laughter from the audience to make this a laugh-a-minute show a great piece of political satire and very entertaining.’ – Ewan Coleman, The Dominion Post.

Directed by Chapman Tripp winner Rachel More Henry and Anya Tate-Manning and written by renowned local comedian James Nokise.

WHEN: 22nd of November – 1st December 2012 9:00pm

Kent Terrace, Wellington

Winston Peters:  Allan Henry
David Lange:  Phil Grieve
Robert Muldoon:  Brian Sergent
John Key:  David Lawrence
Bill English:  Alex Greig
Paula Bennett:  Johanna Cosgrove
Hekia Parata:  Salesi Le'ota
Chris Finlayson:  Jack Sergent-Shadbolt
Nikki Kaye:  Kate McGill/Jean Sergent
Todd McClay:  Hayden Frost
David Shearer:  Simon Leary
David Parker:  Thom Adams
David Cunliffe:  Paul McLaughlin
Jacinda Ardern:  Anya Tate-Manning
Grant Robertson:  Andrew Paterson
Su'a William Sio:  Asalemo Tofete
Kanwal Singh Bakshi:  Ahi Karunaharan
Tariana Turia:  Bryony Skillington
Pita Sharples:  Salesi Le'ota
Metiria Turei:  Anya Tate-Manning
Russel Norman:  Aidan Weekes
Hone Harawira:  Asalemo Tofete
Celia Wade-Brown:  Kate McGill/Jean Sergent
The Pope:  Hayden Frost
Plus special guests ...

Consulting Director:  Rachel Henry
Production Assistant:  Rebecca Lockhart
Technician/Stage Manager:  Ashlyn Smith  

While patchy there’s brilliance

Review by John Smythe 23rd Nov 2012

’Tis Christmas at the Beehive and all is not well
The charm of John Key is losing its spell
Winston is restless, his spirits on rocks
As dead David Lange cracks hearty and mocks.

The three living Davids seek leadership traction
As bright Grant Robertson taps through the action
Jacinda Adern is a party-girl stressed
That Nikki Kaye’s party is thought to be best.

Paula Bennett brings news John Banks’s been arrested
The Johnny and Bill show is now sorely tested
“Jihad!” cries Chris Finlayson, frocked up to go
To the ballet or opera or NZSO.

Hekia Parata strides through her crises
Rendering her leaders quivering micies
Mistletoe, though, does make them quite frisky
While Sir Rob Muldoon takes drams of Win’s whiskey.  

Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples
Have to work hard at not losing their marbles
While Hone Harawira hovers above
Fluffing his feathers, both eagle and dove.

Spreading the love with gifts for a new way
Is Russell Norman with Metiria Turei
While all through the house wafting tinsel around
Is her worship the mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.

Kanwal Singh Bakshi and Su’a William Sio
Find common ground: gay marriage? A no-no!
The Pope happens by midst the gay marriage thing
Just wanting the masses to kiss his ring.

Todd McClay and John Campbell complete the live cast
’Though many more names get a serve or a blast.
While patchy there’s brilliance enlightening us all
I say get along: it’s a laugh; have a ball.

For the full cast and crew credits, click here.

PSA: Christmas at the Beehive is not hard-hitting or sharply incisive political satire. In trying to cover all the bases it mostly just skims the surface. There are one-note and gratuitous characterisations and gags. Some actors have worked hard at nailing their roles while others still have their scripts close by.

But pace, focus and timing are well maintained as they make the most of Bats’ idiosyncratic topography. Director Anya Tate-Manning and her 19-strong cast have woven the disparate threads of James Nokise’s script into a dynamic 90 minutes of generous, gifted performance. 


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