Little Andromeda, corner of Gloucester St and Colombo St, Christchurch

04/11/2018 - 08/11/2018

Production Details

The Lifestyle is a farcical comedy about three couples attending a swingers party that no one really wants to be at. There’s big personalities, even bigger secrets and of course, the biggest mess of a party that’s ever been!

Set in the 1970’s, New Zealand, The Lifestyle is a show that is hilarious, audacious and even a bit relatable! The story takes place in a suburban house, owned by Catherine and Richard (better known as ‘Dicky Darling’) and as guests arrive, the party gets weirder and weirder!

LLittle Andromeda, corner of Gloucester St and Colombo St, Christchurch
3rd November 2018, 7pm [Cancelled due to bad weather]
4th November 2018,5pm
8th November 2018, 7pm [extra show]

Carole: Kat Forrester
Duane: Jack Harnett
Brian: Aaron Mcloughin
Linda: Joanna Prendergast
Catherine: Victoria McCreanor
Richard: Craig Westernberg

Original concept: Georgie Sivie
Production Manager: Madie Venmore-Kerr
Costume: Victoria McCreanor
Set: Victoria McCreanor & Georgie Sivier  

Theatre ,

Sunday & Thursday only

An often genuinely funny romp

Review by Sean Lydiard 05th Nov 2018

A well-meaning and entertaining romp through the seventies, The Lifestyle brings laughs to the Little Andromeda stage. The pop-up venue’s decision to have a themed cocktail (tequila sunrise) as an appeasement to the weather gods paid off on Sunday night, when the gale force winds that had cancelled the opening night performance the night before stayed away.*

The show opens with a joyful dance sequence that sets the tone well and delights the audience. The costumes are fantastic and the hair is appropriately awful. The comedy is devised by the cast and director (Georgie Sivier) and features three couples attending a swingers party – with various degrees of success. The plot is the least important part of the play and functions more as an opportunity to justify the antics of the characters. 

While some of the jokes seem misjudged (70s sexism and vintage homophobia are still sexism and homophobia) the audience reaction is positive: the jokes land and the semi-nudity draws the appropriate applause. With tighter blocking and better pacing, the show would function as a successful sex farce, however the chase sequences and slow-motion scenes seem disproportionate on the small stage. But that doesn’t stop the audience’s delight: we know what we’re getting and we’re happy to have it.

The actors shine in the piece’s quiet moments – some of the best delivered lines are the throwaways and some of the funniest moments are in the unexpected places. Craig Westernberg must be applauded for spending the better part of the play naked from the waist down (save for a comically over-sized pubic wig) and all the cast should be commended for their commitment to character.

The show benefits from its enthusiastic ensemble cast: there is a genuine sense of delight in their being onstage together and they do well to fill the gaps left by an unpolished script. Some of the gags come at the cost of real characterisation, but the audience’s eager laughter suggest that it is a worthwhile exchange.

While the venue can’t provide all the technological elements the show requires (the actors remain awkwardly visible during the black-outs – it’s 5pm and we’re in a marquee) the Little Andromeda is the perfect place for a new piece like this to find its feet. The script would need reworking before another outing, but in this iteration it is still a successful and often genuinely funny romp through the ‘dangers’ of hosting a swingers party and the delights of seventies costume. 

*There will be an extra performance on Thursday 8 November at 7pm.  


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