Takaka Village Theatre, Takaka

20/10/2012 - 20/10/2012

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

15/05/2012 - 19/05/2012

Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin

20/03/2012 - 23/03/2012

Suter Theatre, Nelson

18/10/2012 - 19/10/2012

Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

22/06/2012 - 23/06/2012

BATS Theatre, Wellington

08/03/2012 - 17/03/2012

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

23/11/2012 - 01/12/2012

Nelson Arts Festival 2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Dunedin Fringe 2012

FUEL Festival 2012

Production Details

He tried to save New Zealand by becoming Helen Clark’s young lover… He failed.  

Now, the Chapman-Tripp® award-winning Richard Meros is back, with a new nuclear-PowerPoint® to prove the number-8 wire nation faces extinction, our pioneer culture eclipsed by the globalised Fonterra® farmer with a Facebook® account.

Meros alone holds the key to our salvation – the craggy New Zealand hardness that still glimmers within the most urbane of latte-drinkers. The spirit of The Southern Man.

There will be politicking and merchandise, so bring cash.

BATS Theatre, 1 KentTerrace, Wellington
8 – 17 March 2012

Ticket Prices
Full $18.00
Concession $14.00 

Then at various Festival venues … 

Meteor Theatre 
Fri 22 Jun-23 Jun, 9pm

Nelson Arts Festival 2012 

Suter Theatre
18 – 19 October, 7pm

Takaka Village Theatre 
20 October, 8pm

Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man
by Geoff Pinfield and Arthur Meek, adapted from the book by Richard Meros

Season Dates:  23 NOV – 1 DEC 2012

Thursday 22 November:  Public preview, 8pm
Friday 23 November:  Opening night, 8pm
Saturday 24 November:  8pm & 9.30pm
Tuesday 27 November:  8pm
Wednesday 28 November:  NO SHOW – HOBBIT PREMIERE
Thursday 29 November:  8pm
Friday 30 November:  8pm
Saturday 1 December:  8pm & 9.30pm
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office.  

For up-to-date information visit  

Design by National Park (Steffen Kreft and Paul Neeson)  

1 hr

Cleverly constructed and excellently performed

Review by Helen Sims 26th Nov 2012

In Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man Arthur Meek reprises his role as Richard Meros, the fictional writer-satirist-philosopher he brought to life so memorably in On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover

Meros’ stock and trade is devising outlandish solutions to national woes – last time it was to revive the mojo of a Prime Minister with flagging popularity, this time he’s found the cure to the stagnant economy. Meek and co-writer Geoff Pinfield have once again cleverly adapted Meros’ book into a PowerPoint presentation for the stage.

Meek as Meros ushers us into the theatre, where a large screen is set up flanked by tussock floral arrangements.  The format is similar to OTCAPOHCTMAHYL.  Meros presents a PowerPoint lecture setting out his thesis: the only hope of preventing sovereign default is the stoic Southern Man, a hero in the mould of Hercules and Maui.

As ‘Meros’ says in his programme note, there is “cause for contemplation”; a compelling case is made that the underpinnings of our economy are unsustainable. Through a disastrous Work and Income-induced fruit picking experience, Meros has become convinced that the solution lies in cessation of whinging and the adoption of the values of the elusive Southern Man.

The show lacks some of the manic humour and sheer outrageousness of OTCAPOHCTMAHYL. However, Meek’s energy and enthusiasm is once again unflagging. He delivers the presentation at pace, sometimes leaving the audience to do their best to keep up. He is skilled at engaging the audience.  The PowerPoint design by Pinfield, Meek and National Park Animation and Illustration is more sophisticated than OTCAPOHCTMAHYL, allowing Meek to interact with the images.

No one and nothing is immune from Meros’ critical eye. There are both gains and losses from the wider premise in Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man.  Whilst not as enjoyable as its predecessor, it’s another cleverly constructed and excellently performed solo show. 


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A salute to the Southern Man

Review by Sarah Dunn 20th Oct 2012

I was greeted at the theatre door by a curly-haired man strongly resembling Arthur Meek, who wore a sharp blue suit with a real, bright pink bow tie.

“You look a bit lost,” he said. “Which seat are you in?”

I introduced myself and asked whether he was Arthur, the actor.

“I’m Richard Meros,” he said proudly. “B.A!”

Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man is an all-encompassing experience. Part motivational seminar, part thesis presentation, part theatrical production, this one-man show was the result of a collaboration between Meek, director Geoff Pinfield and a writer named Murdoch Stevens. [More]  


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A verbal roller coaster ride and a visual download

Review by Richard Howard 23rd Jun 2012

Cleverly adapted from the 2008 Richard Meros book of the same name by the vital and charming Mr Arthur Meek and his cohort director Geoff Pinfield, this one man power point performance is engaging, witty and intelligent. It is also great fun.

Never will you have had an opportunity to explore the depths and quirks of the New Zealand national psyche, the grave social issues and challenges of our time, as this playful writing and performance allows.

We see before our very eyes how the long-worshipped New Zealand dream, embodied in the mythical persona of the Southern man, is revered and carried along in the show, only to be shredded in the final analysis and relegated to the dumpster of obsolete societal concepts. Only then are we able to hear the secret of the piece (which shall remain a secret until you see the show!).

Anything but meekly, Arthur delivers a clever, confident performance – more of an illustrated, dramatised, zany kind of lecture really – lavishly illustrated with highly creative and quite ingenious back projected graphics and shadow effects with which he interacts in a perfectly synchronized way. Great stuff!

You are compelled to like the rather eccentric, somewhat nerdy, self appointed social commentator, Richard Meros, immediately and equally compelled to like the warm-hearted, fearless, handsome Arthur Meek in the role; the two seem to be perfectly matched. 

Okay so there were some small sound equipment hitches in this performance and possibly we did not get the promised pyrotechnics; nevertheless the show is largely a marvellous technical feat.

If this performance gets the opportunity to be further developed (and it really should) I would like Arthur Meek to be more thoroughly grounded in the persona of Richard Meros, the character, through whom he delivers the lecture; this would shift the performance above a clever, very sophisticated revue style to something more compelling.

Even-so, this is a good piece of theatre for those of you who like a verbal roller coaster ride and a visual download.  


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Politically Aware and Intelligent Humour, now with Bonus FlyBuy Points!

Review by Rosabel Tan 18th May 2012

These are tough times. There’s the global financial crisis. Climate change. John Key. And Richard Meros, once a leading academic specialising in Helen Clark’s specific niche – can no longer earn a living. And so he turns to the world for a solution, and finds it in that lone figure staring across the plains: the Southern Man.

As with On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover, Meros, played by Arthur Meek, uses a gorgeously rendered PowerPoint presentation to convince us of his thesis in inspired and imaginative ways. Drawing on visual jokes, live-action shadow puppetry and a short-lived bout of pyrotechnics, Meros explains in bullet-point form his search for the Southern Man, the figure he believes will be our modern-day hero. [More]  


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Meros himself deserves a salute

Review by Reynald Castaneda 16th May 2012

Richard Meros is our contemporary equivalent to a Shakespearean jester. The show – or lecture – may be more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny. It compensates this lack with its gusto, thought and performance value.

Cleverly interrogating our social dysfunctions with spot-on insight, Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man is a brilliantly choreographed satire.

Gathering inspiration from our idiosyncratic political figures to our desperate desire to identify our national identity, the show is smartly written and tightly performed. Richard Meros unravels like clockwork.

The show uses a wonderfully produced PowerPoint presentation, which in fact is as witty as Meros on stage. Here, opportunities to make fun of our social zeitgeist are well and truly milked.

Arthur Meek as the title character is quite something else. Even performing outside the confines of his one-hour show as he ushers in his audience, he’s a born entertainer. He comes off as someone who doesn’t only know his material; he truly loves it.

Richard Meros is a perceptive show. Far from being didactic, it’s wrapped in a delicious presentation that’s easily digestible. And to top it all off, it’s very entertaining.

As cliché as this might sound, Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man deserves a salute of its own. 


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Dazzling logic and bizarre flights of fancy

Review by Terry MacTavish 21st Mar 2012

As his valiant attempt to save New Zealand by becoming Helen Clark’s young lover so tragically failed, Richard Meros seeks out a new source of salvation: the Southern Man; stuff of legend, tough, taciturn, indomitable. Good for selling beer.

At first this seems a surprising decision as Meros is in almost all ways the antithesis of the archetypal Kiwi bloke. Meros is super-civilised, exceptionally articulate and blessed with a charmingly sociable personality.

Fortunately Meros’s alter ego, actorArthur Meek, is every bit as exceptional. With delightful stage presence and sheer technical prowess he convinces us that this is a true quest. The audience responds rapturously to his energy, pseudo-enthusiasm and delicious precision of language.  He is so very funny that from the moment he welcomes us personally into the theatre we are willing to laugh along as he mocks all we hold dear.

Meros’s crazily inventive theories are delivered as a power-point lecture, argued under neat headings: the Problem, the Solution, and finally, to seek out the Southern Man himself, the Field Trip (which will gain us NZQA credits if we’re under 18).

This is the same format as the previous show, On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover, that took New Zealand (if not its revered erstwhile Prime Minister) by storm. It is a pattern well worth repeating as it offers marvellous opportunities to debunk our culture and myths about ourselves.

Several other shows at the Fringe have offered rather hit-and-miss slide shows which suffer by comparison. These illustrations are imaginative and always perfectly relevant, providing not just elucidation but witty counterpoint to the spoken words.

They are interactive too. Meek can crouch beside the recumbent Southern Man, or duck frantically to avoid labels that appear to fly out of the screen. Clever lighting ensures he is well lit while the screen pictures are still vibrant.

Meros pokes fun at all our sacred sheep – even, recklessly, Creative New Zealand. But it’s never offensive because Meros is endearingly modest. He shares with us his moments of self doubt: “This is the worst salute ever,” he grieves, deciding that Southern Man is not a hero after all and we should get our money back. Fortunately he recalls acknowledged heroes with similarly dubious qualities, like Maui who beats up the sun, and Hercules, whose twelve labours are chiefly about pest control. We don’t get our money back.

But what better way to spend your cash? This is a hilarious show that pays us the compliment of assuming we can keep up with dazzling logic and bizarre flights of fancy delivered at a cracking pace. On no account miss this dose of cheerful home grown irony – it’s just so damned entertaining! Fringe salutes Meros! 


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Wickedly funny

Review by Lynn Freeman 19th Mar 2012

Richard Meros salutes the Southern Man is very clever. And funny, topical and entertaining. It has the same theatrical premise as the adaptation of Meros’ book On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking me as her Young Lover where he (in the fine form of the charmingArthur Meek), Prince of the Powerpoint Presentation, persuasively argues his point. The point here being that the Southern Man is the salvation ofNew Zealand’s many current woes.

The interaction with the on screen images is wickedly clever and it is refreshing to see pointed political satire on stage. Richard Meros, you get a big ‘thumbs up’ salute from this reviewer and Southern Woman.  


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Always clever and beautifully produced visual commentary

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 13th Mar 2012

With Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man we are attending a slick and funny Power Point lecture that salutes our mythical taciturn hero and if you stay the full course of just one hour you’ll end up buying one of Richard Meros’s books and earning a NZQA Level 3 Unit Standard as well as two FlyBuy points.

A large screen, a couple rocks of schist and some tussock are the simple set. The projections are even better than when Richard Meros lectured us on wanting to be Helen Clarke’s lover; they are an often bitingly witty and an always clever and beautifully produced visual commentary on contemporaryNew Zealand. 

The speech also throws amusing darts at such sacred cows as Creative New Zealand, David Bain, John Key and the rest of the usual suspects, not to mention the whole business/corporate rigmarole of snappy, easy solutions to Herculean problems that need solving. 

The enthusiastic researcher, Richard Meros (Arthur Meek), who did most of his in-depth research in the Miramar Public Library, rouses our interest in his quest for our very own Hercules, the saviour of the world who has the answers to climate change, over population and the global financial crisis.

If you can’t get a seat for the Bats season then don’t worry as he’s returning later in the year to Downstage.  


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Sight gags, flair for words and genuine human warmth

Review by Ryan Brown-Haysom 13th Mar 2012

Richard Meros is a man who requires little introduction; that is, if you already know who he is. For those not yet acquainted with Wellington theatre’s most beguiling phenomenon, some kind of primer is clearly necessary. But how to describe him? Gonzo pundit? Cod philosopher? Idiot-savant? Perhaps it’s sufficient to say that Richard Meros is one of the most intelligent and entertaining figures in the often-underwhelming world of home-grown New Zealand satire. This is all the more remarkable given that Richard Meros – unlike Jon Bridges and Jeremy Corbett – is a (mostly) fictional character. Originally the creation of writer Murdoch Stevens, Meros was first brought to the stage by Arthur Meekand Geoff Pinfield in 2008, in the one-man show entitled On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me As Her Young Lover. Four years on, Meek – who has succeeded brilliantly in making the character of Meros his own – has reprised the role and triumphantly returned to the stage in Richard Meros Salutes theSouthern Man.

Like OTCAPOHCTMAHYL, Meros’s new project takes the form of a lecture – it might be more accurate to say a diatribe – delivered over an hour with the aid of power-point slides and a few selected props. It is a format to which Meek and Pinfield are clearly inured, and they carry off the visual gags with pitch-perfect humour and near-flawless comic timing. [More]   


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Timely reflection cleverly constructed and superbly executed

Review by John Smythe 09th Mar 2012

The phenomenon that is Richard Meros, as personified by Arthur Meek – or is it vice versa? – is a splendid way of checking the pulse of the nation and planet in crisis.

The jury may still be out on whether On The Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover offered an act of altruism or self-interest on the part of young Meros (a happy blend of Eros and Me) but this time his goal is nothing less than the saving of said nation and planet.  

Can it really be that into the second decade of the 21st century, as we are, the retro concept of a taciturn – if good and keen – Southern Man, relegated to using his bass profundo tones to sell beer, mate, could be the answer to all the catastrophes that have befallen us and continue to do so?

Once more Meek’s Meros uses a brilliantly crafted PowerPoint presentation – co-created with his director Geoff Pinfield – to pose the problems and propose the solution. It’s like another character with which he physically interacts – and that is fortunate given the lack of a prime ministerial icon to be lusted after.

Yes, the elusive Southern Man is the quest this time. In the process Meek/Meros takes us back to roots we may never have actually known except in myth, reconnecting us to an essence as vital to our sense of being as savs and pavs.

From the first salute to the last gasp of the elusive goal, the cleverly constructed and superbly executed Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man is a timely reflection.   


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