The Xmas Monologues 2

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

20/12/2010 - 22/12/2010

Production Details

We got a cat last Christmas. We got it for the kids but they didn’t like it all that much. So we got rid of it.”


Following last years highly acclaimedTHE CHRISTMAS MONOLOGUES,seven new tales of the twisted and the macabre will be told at The Basement theatre this December. THE XMAS MONOLOGUES 2 opens on 20 December.

A kidnap victim is forced to carry the next son of God. An ADHD suffering 8-year-old wants to trap some reindeer. A negligent family discovers kittens and puppies aren’t just for Christmas. A lonely petrol station attendant must work alone on Christmas Day. A stubborn woman witnesses road rage and holiday traffic in the extreme. A compulsive binge eater just can’t help themselves. And a timid young woman desperately wants to sing in her local choir. 

THOMAS SAINSBURYis one of New Zealand’s most popular and prolific playwrights, gaining considerable attention and praise in the past few years for productions of his dark comedies in New Zealand, USA, Australia and London. His plays include Sunday Roast, LUV, The Mall, Loser, Beast and The Christmas Monologues. He has previously been selected three times for Playmarket’s New Zealand Young Playwrights Competition. The Mall, Loser and The Christmas Monologues have been published by The Play Press. Thomas’s debut TV show, the observational comedy, SUPER CITY, will air early next year on TV3. 

WHEN: 20, 21 and 22 December, 8pm
WHERE: The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
TICKETS: $20.00

The horrific humour of Christmas madness

Review by Sian Robertson 22nd Dec 2010

I’m sure we can all relate to the anxiety, overwork and stretched budgets that usually seem to surround this supposedly happy time of year. You thought you had it bad? These Monologues take the misery of Christmas to the next level. Gruesome at times, painful, a bit like funniest home videos but even sicker and much funnier. 

Writer and director Thomas Sainsbury, skilled at blending the macabre and the mundane to great comic effect, has concocted a mixture of the inevitable horrors of Christmas – such as awful music and intolerable relatives – with some less predictable horrors, such as being forced to be the incubator for the Second Coming or suffering the violent revenge of mistreated pets.

The monologues aren’t interlinked, except by the common theme of Christmas and its many disappointments.

Lara Fischel-Chisholm’s Donna recounts, with exasperated detachment, the drive to Christmas dinner at her dad’s, as she has to negotiate her way amongst angry drivers, heavy traffic and gory road accidents. Not for the faint-hearted! 

Ciarin Smith is the fat cousin who struggles with overeating but dreams of being thin, until he stumbles on a dubious solution on Christmas day that affords him the best of both worlds. However, his ‘fat kid’ requires some suspension of disbelief, as Smith is anything but fat. Which isn’t to say his character isn’t believable – the young man’s misery and self-pity are palpable. Perhaps some bulkier clothing would have helped create the effect.

A naughty little girl (Helen Corry) decides that if she can’t have any presents, no one can. But her plan to trap the reindeer backfires, resulting in a traumatic Christmas day. Corry’s energetic performance as a roughly nine year old girl is very convincing and had me in stitches with her bratty logic. 

Roberto Nascimento gives a subtle and creepy performance as a disturbed young man who gets a job as a shopping mall Santa Claus.

A dad (Simon Ward) who thinks pets make good Christmas presents, hasn’t fully grasped the responsibility of pet ownership. The tables turn when mistreated Christmas pets from all around band together and exact revenge. Ward is wonderfully earnest and down-to-earth as he describes the nightmare that overruns his family.

Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu plays a woman who was kidnapped to be the surrogate mother of the Second Coming and is now deranged and heavily pregnant. She is wickedly funny. 

Kura Forrester’s mall security guard sent barmy by Christmas pop songs and job dissatisfaction had me in tears of laughter. 

If you’re feeling harried and stressed by Christmas madness, The Xmas Monologues 2 will help you to have a sense of humour about it. Be warned: it’s not one for the whole family, so sneak away and leave them squabbling while you treat yourself to a night out. 
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