Same Time, Next Year

Celebration Theatre, Hagley Park, Christchurch

06/07/2011 - 09/07/2011

Wintergarden Season 2011

Production Details

Laughter, Tears, Romance, Friendship Once a Year. It’s Irresistible! 

George and Doris, two well-intentioned, ordinary people meet by accident when they stop over at a country motel en route for their separate appointments the following day.

Something sweet and unexpected happens that weekend – and it keeps happening for the next 25 years!

From their initial unplanned, sexual encounter, we see George and Doris in five year increments. Times change. They change.

Against a background of social and political upheaval, from the Eisenhower era to the coming of the Beatles and the end of the Vietnam War, George and Doris develop a deep relationship that carries them through both the triumphs and troubles of their respective family lives.

Funny and poignant.

Repertory is delighted to present this award-winning play with two of New Zealand’s top professional actors in the lead roles.

Eilish Moran and Ross McKellar, who last performed together in the Court’s sell-out season of Homeland, share the stage again in Same Time, Next Year in the unique Celebration Theatre, a luxurious, heated theatre marquee, Hagley Park.

Sound/AV design by Brenda Hayes

Same Time, Next Year
Celebration Theatre, Hagley Park
Wednesday 6th July & Friday 8th July at 6:00pm
Thursday 7th July & Saturday 9th July at 8:30 pm

Price: All tickets $25.00
Bookings: Phone (03) 332-0039 or online 

Special Note: No complimentaries etc. are available with this production because of the staging costs involved.   

Romantic comedy warms the heart, tickles the ribs

Review by Alan Scott 08th Jul 2011

Their old theatre might have gone with the wind, but Repertory still thrives, and, judging by the quality of this production, nothing the world can throw at it will alter that.

We live in strange times, for sure, but Celebration Theatre’s marquee in Hagley Park, complete with portaloos and all, is oddly comforting. It might be the new normal, but once the lights come up and the actors enter the stage, it is the same old, priceless magic.

Same Time, Next Year is a delightful, feel-good romantic comedy. It doesn’t tax your mind but it does warm your heart and tickle your ribs, as you watch Doris and George develop their relationship over a twenty five year period. After their one night adulterous fling in 1950, they meet up for one weekend every year which we see in scenes set five years apart.

To be honest, the play is a little dated and some of its humour seems somewhat quaint now. As they have changed, so have we. But don’t let that worry you, because there is plenty in this play that is timeless and the two actors, Eilish Moran and Ross McKellar, breathe such freshness and life into it that it all seems so enjoyably real.

Indeed, watching their interplay and interactions, where they really listen to each and respond so naturally, you become aware that the good actors don’t demonstrate their own talent, they enable the talent of others to shine. So the appealing depiction of Doris and George’s imperfect pairing is the outcome of two performers’ complete compatibility with each other.

Not bad, for a cold night in a warm tent in the middle of a park. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


Make a comment

Genuine chemistry and warmth

Review by Lindsay Clark 07th Jul 2011

The latest Repertory production is testimony to the flexibility and perseverance of a dedicated bunch of thespians. It could hardly be more different in its essential workings from the grand scale weighty themes of Hamlet presented in early May at the vast Aurora Centre. Here, we have a deft two hander, pattered out in the cosy intimacy of a tent. The important constant though is the ability to engage the audience and to make the enterprise feel worthwhile.

The play spans 25 years of a strangely tender affair. Doris and George are both ‘comfortably’ married to other partners, but continue to meet annually after their first random encounter, thus tapping into each other’s family circumstances and changing lifestyles. Six scenes, set at five yearly intervals from 1951, follow a familiar pattern in the same guest cottage of a country inn.

The pair must first break the ice before swapping good and bad stories about their respective spouses and getting on with the main agenda. As a good Catholic, she is supposedly on her annual retreat. He always finds a business reason to be in New Jersey at that time. Lively, good-humoured writing provides a laugh a minute, albeit of the romantic comedy kind that stretches our willing suspension of disbelief.

Slide sequences and popular songs between scenes pinpoint the time neatly and raise appreciative recognition from many, as do the authentic costumes, notably when Doris makes spectacular entrances. The not too distant past is an entertaining place.


Behind all the fun of course, is the teamwork which allows it all to run smoothly for our enjoyment. Repertory’s Artistic Director, Rozena Hallum, does a fine job tuning the components and highlighting the essential sweetness of the story without allowing descent into sentimental pap.

Brenda Hayes (sound and AV), Amanda Dickie (wardrobe) and Robin Harris (lights), all bring special skill to the challenges of a production in these circumstances.

The actors themselves are a delight and create each scene with freshness and depth that goes way beyond the laughs, fleshing out the sitcom with spontaneous ease.

As Doris, Eilish Moran moves from shy high school dropout to poised and powerful woman of the world, building a character of engaging honesty and practicality. The immediacy of her work is outstanding. 

In his George, Ross McKellar gives us a well rounded portrayal of a good bloke smitten by something beyond his control. His endless capacity for alternate guilt and elation is very endearing.

Perhaps best of all and most satisfying from the audience perspective, is the genuine chemistry and warmth they kindle as a couple, attentive and responsive to each other, making the most of every nuance of the relationship. 

Not as resoundingly deep as Hamlet of course, but as a winter warmer, this production brings a splendid glow to the heart. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council