Station to Station

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

01/07/2009 - 11/07/2009

Production Details


Crackling with wit and intelligence, Station to Station is a darkly funny new play by Bruce Mason Award winning playwright Michael Galvin.

International events collide with personal passions as a charismatic television presenter turned religious zealot, and his beautiful sidekick, take a mother and son on a rollercoaster ride from Kiwi suburbia to Jerusalem.

Caught in a thrilling, dream-like journey, the foursome negotiate a bewildering world in which nothing is quite what it seems – and the most innocent actions can have explosive consequences. Not to be missed!

Duration: 1 hour 30 min

Performance Dates & Times
Wednesday 1 July:  8.00pm
Thursday 2 July:  8.00pm
Friday 3 July:  8.00pm
Saturday 4 July:  8.00pm
Sunday 5 July:  2.00pm
Monday 6 July:  No show
Tuesday 7 July           :  8.00pm
Wednesday 8 July:  8.00pm
Thursday 9 July:  8.00pm
Friday 10 July:  8.00pm
Saturday 11 July:  8.00pm

*Service fees will apply
General:  $28.00*
Concession (Senior citizens):  $20.00*
Tuesday Student Rush:  $15.00*

Concession (Senior/Student/Beneficiary/Guild Card/SILO Industry Card Holders)

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Thriller-like verve, arresting characters on way to End

Review by Janet McAllister 03rd Jul 2009

Michael Galvin (Shortland Street’s Dr Warner) has written himself a doozy of a role in his new play: Simon, his Auckland evangelist, is willing to lie, entrap and possibly commit terrorist acts to hasten the Second Coming of Christ; the End apparently justifies being mean.

The events Simon triggers are far-fetched and involve plot holes so big you could throw a bomb through them – but then, like any good melodrama writer, Galvin is far more interested in plot twists than logic. It’s the sudden changes of mood and the cat-and-mouse game played both with characters and audience that give Station to Station its thriller-like verve. [More]
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Pithy, fast paced script provokes with subtlety and blatancy

Review by Sian Robertson 03rd Jul 2009

Station to Station is an absurdist satire throwing a spotlight on the hypocrisy of religious fundamentalism. It’s less about sight-seeing and more about journeys of the soul, with the disappointments of hero worship at its core.

Playwright Michael Galvin plays Simon, former TV show host turned rabid evangelist. He and his beautiful ‘assistant’ Veronica (Antonia Prebble) respectively seduce a Mother (Ilona Rodgers) and Son (Mark Ruka) into facilitating their plot to fast-track the Second Coming, playing on their fears and desires with promises of replacing their problems with love /salvation /eternal life.

Fairly tempting stuff, if only one could suspend scepticism. The religious zealots are willing to sacrifice everything in this life for the next one – including the lives of un-allied innocents. Sound familiar?

The morally numb Son has recently returned from Iraq, a casualty of war in more ways than one, to be with his terminally ill Mother (they aren’t given names in the play). The Mother and Son temporarily cast off their cynicism for the promise of passing the buck on to Jesus. However, neither is easily fooled and the scheming, self-appointed saviours of humanity, Veronica and Simon, don’t bargain on stubborn Mother and Son’s free will coming into play.

We are subjected to the intense ravings of the two glassy-eyed, born-again crusaders as they prattle on about the notion that our lives are pre-determined, and everything happens for a reason… Jesus’ design… the Rapture will lift the Chosen Ones to safety as the world self-destructs… etc, etc.

The intense scenes of religious hysteria are interlaced with biting comedy that cuts through the tension just in the nick of time, sending out tangible ripples of relief. Then we are suddenly intruding on intensely intimate moments that are equally confronting.

The cranky mother and her stoic son constantly bring the mood back down to earth and the contrast between them and the other two characters is what keeps it from being a hard slog.

Michael Galvin’s pithy, fast paced script holds the audience in the palm of its hand, delivering a combination of subtlety and blatancy, with provocative ideas that tease the emotions and intellect. Scenes are carefully sequenced to wrench the audience this way and that. Credit also goes to director Cameron Rhodes for eliciting vivid and carefully paced performances from his strong cast of four.

There are lots of biblical parallels, some of which I’m bound to have missed among the multitude of layers within the play. A permanent gilt frame on the back wall containing a different projected ‘painting’ and caption for each scene, mirrors the story and its relationship to the Stations of the Cross – Jesus’ journey to his death.

The characters’ motivations are all baser than they’d like to let on. The Mother is infatuated with Simon the TV personality, not so much Simon the phoney saviour, nor Jesus. Simon has his own hero, ‘the Reverend’. Veronica has her reasons, but the focus isn’t so much on Veronica and Simon’s motivations as the journey of a dying mother and a son who’s lost his sense of purpose.

The Son is filled with self-loathing and numb from the senselessness of war. He is unmoved either by military propaganda or religious dogma but weakens at the promise of love. Veronica is the first woman who (apparently) hasn’t recoiled from his facial scars or treated him with pity, and she exploits his willingness to do whatever she wants, including committing acts of terrorism in Jesus’ name.

Her ploy backfires when her amorous attention gives the Son the fuel to believe in himself and a newfound desire to stop the killing spree and to protect the innocent. Simon and Veronica have indeed salvaged the hearts and souls of Mother and Son, but not in the way they intended.
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. 


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