The Outing

The Front Room, Wellington

16/10/2008 - 18/10/2008

Production Details

An original musical with songs and dance from the 60s through to today, The Outing takes you on a journey through the lives and loves of a group of friends as they make their way to a dance party in Civic Square. There will be love, laughter, drama, and heartache along the way.

Show details
The Front Room (ex James Cabaret), 5 Hania St, Mt Victoria.
*Each night there is a Corporate Box / VIP area

Thursday 16 October 8.30pm Opening Night Show – Corporate/VIP box entry 7pm
Friday 17 October 8.30pm Show – Corporate/VIP box entry 7pm
Saturday 18 October 5.00pm Show
Saturday 18 October 8.30pm Closing Night Show – Corporate/VIP box entry 7pm

» Corporate / VIP ticket – $60.00
» General admission – $35.00
» Student ticket – $20.00 (Saturday 5.00pm show only)

Corporate / VIP tickets include
» Goodie Bags
» Nibbles
» Glass of bubbles
» Pre show entertainment
» Admission to front of house seats

Tickets* can be purchased from
» The Front Room each night before the show – eftpos and cash only (no credit card)
» Real Groovy – 250 Cuba Street, Wellington – Corporate / VIP tickets only
*A separate $2 booking fee may apply

Aaron - Hans Landon-Lane
Corey - Eli Joseph
BJ - Jac Lynch
Kaine - Ben Paulsen
Kate - Shelly Reet
Jane & Petula Clark - Kerina Deas
Justin - Jack Trolove
Luke - Palesoo Levy
Max - Anny da silva Freitas
Shane - Margaret Tolland
Tess - Toni Regan

Drag Queens
CandyBox - Brendan Goudswaard
Lovey - Debbie Ferrere
Karma - Munaam

Multiple parts
Andy Duncan
Des Smith
Gay Puketapu-Andrews
John Jolliff
Kate Smith
Rowan Moulder
Sam Curry
Shannan Lambert
Shar Handisides
Shruti Navathe
Taryn Meltzer

Session singers - Kate Smith, Louie Brandon, Shar Handisides
Narrator - Louie Brandon

Elizabeth Kerekere, Kevin Haunui, Gay Puketapu-Andrews, Alofa Aiono, Rene Davis, Kimiko Kajihari, Sue Griffith,

VORN - Adrian, Declan, Simon Bayliss, Vorn Colgan
Saxophone - Jenni Bedford
Piano - Matt Sullivan
Guitar - Shar Handisides

Brendan Goudswaard - Candy Man
Cade Taylor - Cell Block Tango, I'm bringing Sexy Back, Romeo & Juliet
Julia Walsh - Everybody's Free, Red Alert Taryn Meltzer - Downtown, Romeo & Juliet

Lighting Designer - Fausto Brusamolino
Sound Engineer - Sarah Davies
Lighting & Sound - Glenn Ashworth
Show Caller - Melissa Moore
Techie - Tina Kilpatrick
Film Footage - Jack Trolove, Jules Lovelock
Costume, Props & Set Designer - Margaret Tolland
Prop making - Margaret Tolland, the cast workshops, Tina Kilpatrick, Shaun Murphy, Shane Yarrall, Laurie Yarrall, Sarah Jewitt, Helena Coolen, Sharon Heslop, Helena, Penny Wyatt, Sandra Tuara, Louie Brandon, Jan Rowland

Drag Queen costumes - Brendan Goudswaard, Margaret Tolland
Miss Demeanour - Petula Clark, Tess
David Freak Design - Cell Block Tango
Front of House - Ellie Gray, Elizabeth Marshall, Sue Insley, Jacki Byrd, Will Dransfield, Kate Fitzroy, Gary Nates, Kirsty Robertson, Nick Henry, Amanda Wills, Chris O'Neill, Sian Andrews-Warmuth
Back Stage Hands - Jacki Byrd, Elizabeth Marshall, Helena Coolen, Will Dransfield, Kate Fitzroy, Suzen Adams

Corn-fed coterie

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 21st Oct 2008

The Outing is a musical show or, as the programme has it, ‘an original musical tour de force’ about a group of gay and lesbian people travelling on a bus (shades of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) from Newtown to Civic Square for a dance party.

It takes a long time to travel such a short distance because the bus keeps stopping to pick up every gay and lesbian cliché, joke, and stereotype on the way. It’s as if nothing has changed – in the theatre at least – since the 1970s when gay concerns were first heard on our stages.

The problem of work devised by and written for a coterie is that the performers don’t have to work hard to get an appreciative reaction as the corny jokes (Kiwi fruit), the juvenile sexual innuendo, and the inevitable scenes of violence and homophobia are trotted out yet again.

The cast of 25 performers, supported by a live band Vorn, has obviously worked extremely hard with the dance routines and the numerous songs though with varying degrees of success. The drag queens were, for drag queens, rather drab, while the kapahaka group Tiwhanawhana brought some style and professional polish to the proceedings and it’s a real pity it appeared only once.

The brightest spot in the whole show was, not surprisingly, the party in Civic Square in which the whole cast appeared wearing enormous hats – they really were fabulous.
For more production details, click on the title at the top of this review. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.  


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Clunky collage of cliché ridden ineptitude

Review by John Smythe 17th Oct 2008

Silly me. Having got wind of The Outing, billed as "an original musical tour-de-force", I investigated further and was assured it was a professional production and yes, they would like a review. Well Red Boots Productions may well make quality corporate and training videos but this venture into live performance is decidedly tacky in both content and presentation.

I almost cried off reviewing it at all until I saw the ticket prices: $35 with a student concession of $20 (Sat 5pm show only) and a Corporate / VIP ticket price of $60 (which includes goodie bags, nibbles, glass of bubbles, pre show entertainment and admission to "front of house seats"). That plus the 25 sponsors and funders listed make them way more accountable than amateur groups.

Even though it’s unlikely the 30+ cast members, 6 musicians, 5 choreographers, 40+ production crew will be paid for the 4-show season, that’s no excuse for shoddy work in what is either under-rehearsed or involves too many less-than-adequate performers. The sound quality on opening night was woeful more often than not (did they do a proper sound check?) and an attempt to project city-scape images over the action simply created a visual mess.

"Original", by the way, does not mean original songs. The musical content includes ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ (from The Wizard of Oz), ‘What a Wonderful World’, ‘Downtown’, ‘I Feel Pretty’ (from West Side Story), ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’, a kapa haka group singing ‘Tihei Mauriora’, ‘Lovestruck Romeo’, ‘Bus Stop’, ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’, ‘I Kissed a Girl’, ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ (from Godspell), the Andrews Sisters’ ‘Candyman’ (a reworking of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’), something involving Bisexual Lipstick, ‘They Had It Coming’ (from Chicago), ‘When a Blind Man Cries’ and ‘Everybody’s Free’.

This rather random concert is clumsily fashioned into the semblance of a cliché-ridden story – devised by the cast – involving a cross-section of the gay community who variously make their ways via a rainbow-festooned bus, a street fair and the city in general to a Gay Icon party in Civic Square.

All the tired old gay double entendres and dildo props get an outing, eliciting shrieks of laughter from about three people (although I did smile at a well-delivered "cunnilingus: that’s a bit of a mouthful"). For dramatic conflict we get a bit of unrequited love and a heavy dose of clichéd homophobia, bringing the longer first section to a downbeat close.

In the shorter second section we learn, inevitably, that gay pride will not be vanquished – either that or they won’t let a bashing get in the way of a good party – and the show culminates in a spectacular parade of headwear honouring architectural and other visual icons of Wellington.

The drag queens have style, the kapa haka group is polished and the band does well but it’s slim pickings among the rest. A couple of interesting relationships develop in the odd scenes that are oases of coherence in the creatively barren landscape.  About three performers are consistently good and a few others have their moments amid a clunky collage of theatrical ineptitude that suggests anyone who wanted to be in it was allowed because hey, this is about inclusiveness.

Maybe the gay community is happy to pay those prices just to be a supportive part of the scene. But why should they – let alone their sponsors and any other potential audience member – have to accept such low standards in a city so full of genuine talent?


John Smythe October 21st, 2008

On the contrary Helen, I was excited at the prospect of a brand new homegrown musical and having heard about it at the last minute, I rallied others to get to it. Perhaps I was embarrassed I’d done that. I’m glad the Friday show went well for you – greater confidence and a working sound system would have made a big difference.

You seem to think that because I am straight I am genetically determined to respond negatively to gay humour. Well I saw my first drag show at Les Girls in Kings Cross in the late 1960s and I’ve enjoyed regular exposure ever since (cue arched eyebrow), along with women’s comedy in Australia and NZ, Maori comedy, Pacifica comedy …  

My point is that, like millions of consumers of the arts, I am interested in anything that takes me beyond my known universe as well as anything that takes me deeper into it.

Going back, I quickly tired of the predictable John Inman humour on Are You Being Served but enjoyed Julian Cleary and that other English gay TV chat show. I loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert, not least because it was so much more than a romp: the downward pressure, redemptive elements and dramatic resolution took it way beyond that.

But I can’t say I’m steeped in queer culture – which I assume is evolving like all other cultures – so I am all the more surprised to find a show like The Outing being so stuck on retro clichés. And I stand by my criticism of the homophobia / gay-bashing dimension being so clumsily integrated and poorly resolved.

P.S. See my comment re Hootchy Kootchy Girls Burlesque - esp. my big ups for the Toi Cabaret - for evidence that I am not at all indisposed towards shows made up of old favourite songs.

helen varley jamieson October 21st, 2008

John, it sounds like you went to "The Outing" predisposed to having a bad time. Isn't musical theatre supposed to be riddled with cliché? (that's been my experience anyway). Don't you know that gay men and drag queens are genetically determined to respond positively to the recitation of certain musical classics? Didn't you get the strong tone of humorous self-awareness? Did you manage to fully realise your grand artistic vision the last time you led a devised work with an ensemble of around 30 performers ranging from trained professionals to dedicated amateurs and enthusiastic school students?

Maybe there were opening night wobbles and undoubtedly, like just about every local production outside mainstream commercial theatre, "The Outing" would have benefited from a longer development and rehearsal process. But when I went on Friday night (the second night) there was a packed and appreciative house, many strong performances and no technical problems that I was aware of. The audience was incredibly diverse - gay, straight, young, old, corporate, arty, etc - and I'd guess that a significant number hadn't been to the theatre for years. Perhaps after the good time they had at "The Outing", they'll be more inclined to try another show.

There were some great moments that particularly played with the traditions of the local queer community, such as  the lesbian bus driver with her out-of-date schedule, the dog show (hysterical to anyone who's ever enjoyed the dog show at Wellington's annual Gay & Lesbian Fair), the borrowing of the Topp Twins' penchant for audience handbag-rifling, and the finale which blended the concepts of wearable arts and gay pride parades with Wellington's iconic landmarks.

Casting a woman as one of three drag queens was a particularly interesting choice - subtly subverting the semi-sacred status of drag queens and signaling that the theatrical world being created on stage was simultaneously representative of, parodying and consciously problematising the complexities of queer life. But I guess if you're unfamiliar with the queer world, had left your funny bone at home, and didn't want to peek beneath the surface, it's understandable that you would overlook this.

Hans Christian October 20th, 2008

I went along with a good friend of mine and he and i were totally gobsmacked. This play was billed as an original musical theatre tour de force but was more like the unoriginal tour de flop!  It was a total shocker and i totally agree with the review by John Smythe he summed the nights tirade up perfectly.

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