Centrepoint, Palmerston North

17/02/2018 - 25/03/2018

Production Details

He’s looking for his perfect match. She isn’t.

Unlucky-in-love Bill makes a list of the top ten qualities he looks for in a soulmate. When the ideal woman magically appears on his doorstep, he quickly learns that the list could use a few revisions. As his quest for perfection leads to hilariously unexpected results, Bill soon discovers that you may not get what you wish for, but you will get what you deserve.

Our 2018 season opens with this sparkling comic hit from Canada’s most successful playwright Norm Foster and adapted especially for Palmerston North. Starring Siobhan Marshall (Outrageous Fortune), Millen Baird (800 Words) and Aaron Ward (Shortland Street), The Love List is guaranteed entertainment for anyone who is, was, or is looking to be, in a relationship.

17 February – 25 March

Design Ian Harman, Talya Pilcher

Theatre ,

Very funny and thought provoking in its light way

Review by Tania Kopytko 19th Feb 2018

The Love List is fast paced, very, very funny and a great start to the Centrepoint 2018 year!  

Director Daniel Pengelly has brought together a great cast and a great ‘localised’ version of The Love List, to give Centrepoint Theatre Palmerston North a strong start to the 2018 theatre season.  

It is a crazy story, written by Canadian Norm Foster, where two ‘blokes’ come up with a ‘Love List’ of 10 qualities they want in the ideal woman. All this will be organised by a gypsy woman in Tirau, once she receives the list. No it doesn’t seem plausible, but the whole story is a fantasy. It is hilariously funny but also has the home truths.

So while this play is not ground-breaking and will not change the world, in its very funny and light way it still reminds you about the way men and women might think. They are not always PC and they can be crude. But that’s the way of the world. And when they are being even half natural that can be a very funny thing.

Originally written for a Canadian audience, Pengelly has added generous quantities of local jokes and observations, so that everything and everyone of note in the region gets a mention or swipe – the Esplanade, the Lido, Roxannes (bordello), Marton, Kimbolton and the delicate anatomy of the Palmerston North Mayor all produce many laughs from the audience, who lap it up. All this is supported by a great “contemporary retro” apartment set, designed by Ian Harman which is lit well by Talya Pilcher.

The experienced actors perform wonderfully: Millen Baird as Leon, Siobhan Marshall as Justine and Aaron Ward as Bill. Leon is an over-inflated then under-confident writer and novelist whose marriage crumples, and whose jealousy or sarcasm often gets in the way of his close friendship with the nerdy statistician Bill. Justine is like a wonder woman – the ideal female mate. 

Bill reaches his 45th birthday and has his birthday dinner with Leon, his best friend. To Leon this is simply “not right” – a major celebratory dinner with just one male friend.  In his opinion Bill has clearly failed in the relationship stakes. For a birthday present Leon gives Bill a session with a Tirau Gypsy woman who will fix his relationship problems. Bill must first list the 10 qualities he wants in a woman. He lists a woman who will enjoy kissing him and be able to talk about statistics, a partner who is unpredictable, speaks her mind, is spontaneous and ambitious.  So the qualities are listed, with help or argument from a very differently thinking Leon, (think ‘big boobs’ and other bloke fantasies). Out of this fantasy list the wonderful Justine materialises. Is she a real person? (where has she come from?) or is she a figment of their wish list. By the end of the first half we are left wondering how will this fantastical tale end.

The second half is more maniacal and the actors maintain and build the tension and drama through continued fast paced dialogue and some wonderful physical tumbles around the apartment. Eventually Justine gets hold of the list and the tables turn. I won’t spoil the ending – but be careful what you wish for. 

The Love List is a wonderful play – very funny, thought provoking in its light way, but more importantly a great evening of theatre and entertainment. It is on until 25 March – go see it, you will not be disappointed and you will laugh a lot!


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