The Cape

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

08/02/2008 - 01/03/2008

Production Details

Buckle Up for the Ultimate NZ Roadtrip – on Stage in Auckland in February 

1994 Road Trip Coming of Age Recipe
Take 1 x faggot; 1 x jock; 1 x dealer; and 1 x poet. Mix vigorously. Drive north for three days in one shitty Japanese 2nd hand car. Expect interesting results on arrival.

New Zealand 1994: Before ‘P’, before everyone owned a mobile phone… the year Kurt Cobain died. Eb, Arthur, Mo and Jordyn leave their harsh lives behind to drive from Wellington to Cape Reinga on the roadtrip of a lifetime.

Kiwitheatre presents the Auckland premiere of award-winning Wellington writer Vivienne Plum’s coming-of-age production The Cape at the Herald Theatre, THE EDGE®, Auckland in February.

Starring Damien Harrison (The Tutor, Shortland Street), Dane Dawson (Outrageous Fortune), Michael Whalley (Karaoke High) and James Kara, The Cape follows four young men from Wellington to Cape Reinga. This could be the roadtrip from hell – each of the teenagers has a secret and as they drive up the North Island, the tension rises and the car becomes a pressure cooker.

Hilarious and tender, the play takes audiences on a rollicking ride as the foursome is forced to grow up and confront some ugly facts about themselves, their companions and the reality of life.

The Cape was first staged at Circa Theatre in Wellington in August 2007 and Michael Whalley received the award for Best Male Newcomer at the 2007 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for his role in The Cape.

The Auckland production is directed by Celia Nicholson and features set and lighting design by Sean Coyle, with panoramic digital imagery by New Zealand designer Robert Appierdo.

The Cape is at the Herald Theatre, THE EDGE®, Auckland from Friday 8 February to Saturday 1 March. Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK or  

Damien Harrison - Jordyn
Dane Dawson - Eb
Michael Whalley - Mo
James Kara - Arthur

Set and lighting by Sean Coyle
Panoramic digital imagery by Robert Appierdo
Robert Appierdo - Video Design
James Nicholson - Sound Design
Wiki Kessell - Costume
Jonny Cross - Lighting operator
Francis van Kuijk - Sound/AV operator 
Lauren Hughes - Assistant Producer
Sally Woodfield - Publicist
Charlotte Crone - Stage Manager 

Short and sweet and funny

Review by Jessie Kollen 14th Feb 2008

Roach clips, Midori, Cypress Hill, Supergroove, chip sandwiches and the year 1994. 

The Cape (written by award winning playwright Vivienne Plumb, directed and produced by Celia Nicholson) tells the story of four boys on a road trip from Wellington to Cape Reinga.  The play itself is a lot like a chip sandwich, not immediately appetising, but once you’ve had a few bites you might find yourself enjoying it.  And I did.

The opening scenes of The Cape are a bit like being forced to hang out with a bunch of idiotic guys you’ve never met before.  The play begins with two of the four boys; EB, played by Dane Dawson (Outrageous Fortune) and Arthur, played by James Kara.  They are completely stoned and giggling wildly while smoking yet another joint.  If it takes a moment to engage with these characters this is only because they are so real. I found myself momentarily cringing at their stoned antics.  EB opens the first scene with a tirade of wild/lame stories and eventually comes up with the idea of a road trip to Cape Reigna. 

It becomes pretty obvious that everyone (including the audience) is going to get rather sick of EB’s loud mouth by the end of the trip.  Arthur will supply the drugs for the journey but the others will have to pay for their share, he is a businessman after all.  The third character, Mo, played by Michael Whalley (Karaoke High), wears a woolly beanie and appears from under a sleeping bag that has been lying dormant behind EB and Arthur while they smoke and giggle. 

The last character we meet, Jordyn played by Damien Harrison (The Tutor, Shortland Street), is a friend of Mo’s, previously unknown to EB and Arthur.  Jordyn arrives to fill the fourth seat in the car.  So the trip begins.  And it is quite a trip, it’s a laugh out loud trip, especially the little tiki-tour when the guys drop acid…

The stage set is simple, a white platform with a few extra angles and levels which takes on various aspects, car, picnic table, roadside etc. throughout the course of the 90 minute play.  There is a large screen hung behind the stage, playing filmed scenery of the roads on the drive up north, and providing still or moving images as a backdrop to the action on stage. 

The costumes worn by the four boys are basic, in the style of teenaged boys who don’t take much care in their appearance.  However, Jordyn who is fairly obviously gay wears a crisp white T-shirt for most of the play and EB wears a shirt with cut-off sleeves in a certain camp style, it seems that he might also be gay, but still in the closet …  And why does Mo always wear that beanie? And will Arthur really do enough drug deals to start investing in car-parks?  

The Cape is of course a coming-of-age story, and so each of the boys learns a little something about himself and each other during the journey.  The strength of this play lies in its ability to make the audience laugh, and in the convincing characters.  The Cape is short and sweet and funny.  Will you like it?  I don’t know.  Have you ever tried a chip sandwich?


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Road trip never gets out of first gear

Review by Shannon Huse 14th Feb 2008

For fans of coming-of-age stories, The Cape sounds like entertainment heaven, promising a Kiwi story about four mismatched guys on a drug-fuelled road trip from Wellington to the North Cape. Unfortunately, it’s more like theatre hell. [More]


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