Centrepoint, Palmerston North

04/11/2017 - 16/12/2017

Production Details


Constance and Prudence are ladies of leisure who have come to the Hitchcock-themed Macguffin Hotel for a weekend wedding. But what’s meant to be a romantic and joyous occasion quickly descends into chaos as the helpless pair find themselves embroiled in a case of dangerous lies, suspicion and murder!

Don’t miss this brand new Kiwi comedy by The Court Theatre’s Ross Gumbley (The 39 Steps)and Allison Horsley that’ll have you dying from laughter! Check your rear window for psychos as Ropable takes you north by northwest to dial M for murder so fast you’ll get vertigo…

Naughty content guaranteed.

“A delightful romp through murder and mayhem” — The Christchurch Star

4 November – 16 December 2017
Wednesday / 6.30pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday / 8pm
Sunday / 5pm
Preview ($25) Friday 3 November
Opening Night: Saturday 4 November
Post-Show Q+A: Wednesday 15 November
Adult / Full $40; Earlybird $32
Group (6+) / Full $36; Earlybird $30
Concession* / Full $32; Earlybird $26
Student / Full $20; Earlybird $16
*Seniors (60+), under-30s, and Community Services Card holders.
  Valid I.D. is required.

Lori Dungey
Carrie Green
Torum Heng
Yvette Parsons
Mark Wright 

Ian Harman
Kane Parsons and
Talya Pilcher

Theatre , Comedy ,

Riotous comedy too much fun to sustain suspense

Review by Adam Dodd 05th Nov 2017

Artistic Director Dan Pengelly makes his Centrepoint Theatre directorial debut with Ropable. Written by Ross Gumbley and Allison Horsley, both of the iconic Court Theatre company, the show has been revised, firmly locating it in the Manawatu and Horowhenua regions. 

True to Hitchcockian staples, the show is constrained to a single setting: The Shann-inn, New Zealand’s premier Hitchcock themed accommodation. Set and Costume Designer Ian Harman’s realisation of this is exquisite and intelligently crafted for utility of space. Full of curios, kitsch and Hitchcock memorabilia, the Shann-inn is somewhat reminiscent of the Addams Family mansion – an impression that is reinforced with moments of kookiness and the playful energy that suffuses the characters’ exchanges.

These exchanges, ripe with heightened physicality and colourful accents, have the vital unpredictability of improvised and devised theatre ensuring constant action, banter and interjected references. Some of these feel more than a touch shoe-horned in along with some meme-dropping, but given that Ropable is a Christmas show it really is all part of the spirit. And it’s managed well, demonstrating the troupe’s capability and depth of experience.

The actors all distinguish themselves, each character being richly conveyed.

The Shann-inn’s proprietor and manager, Norma, is consummately if grudgingly committed to cultivating her theme (even if she indulges some vices on the side). Carrie Green delightfully undercuts the severity of this role with brilliantly casual bathos and facetiousness.

Torum Heng’s Eden, the gorgeous bride to be and put-upon ghost-writer, carries herself with an appearance of earnest naïveté, along with a hint of sweetly sinister bitterness. Heng develops the role impressively, leveraging fantastic presence and subtlety.

Impossible to keep up with from the outset, Yvette Parsons’ Aunty Prue (Prudence) is endearingly and captivatingly exhausting. Parsons renders Prue with a transparent expressiveness that is both complex and engaging.

Mark Wright’s Montgomery Parker is struggling to turn a new leaf. Unfortunately he is captivated by the glamour of his own past acclaim, and irredeemably fallible. Also making appearances as Eden’s father Nigel, Wright delivers with nuance and aplomb – demonstrating his considerable stage prowess and ability to convey character with pathos and humour.

Articulate, astute and utterly self-possessed (even when in a fury), Eden’s overshadowing mother Conny (Constance) is magnetic – the focus of several characters’ attentions. Aptly, Lori Dungey has a wry intelligence, easy poise and wit that breathes life into the role.

In spite of its Hitchcockian inspiration, Ropable is a particularly Kiwi farce – blending the heightened tensions and reactions of melodrama with witty counterpoint and wordplay, never allowing itself to be taken too seriously as it twists towards the absurd. This may be to the detriment of any deeper suspense sought; the element of surprise is preserved but it’s hard to become really invested in the tension as an audience. The show is basically too much fun.

Be prepared for shocks, scandal and thrills (along with strobing lights, shrieks and screams) in this riotous Christmas comedy. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council