Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

21/09/2018 - 29/09/2018

Production Details



Urinetown is a hilarious and honest look at what happens when private toilets are outlawed in an attempt to regulate water consumption. Destitute citizens are at the mercy of one corrupt mega-corporation, and failure to pay for the right to pee results in a trip to the ominous “Urinetown”. An unlikely hero steps up and takes on the tyrannical regime.

A winner of three Tonys and multiple other theatre awards, Urinetown is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself.

METEOR THEATRE, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton
21-29 September 2018
tickets: www.themeteor.co.nz

URINETOWN was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheatreDreams, Inc., and Lauren Mitchell
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia).
All performance materials supplied by Hal Leonard Australia. 

Antony Aiono, Christina Wilson, Mike Williams, K-M Adams, Zachary Clarke, Julia Watkins, Anika Hayes, Shaun White, Maria Jane Eaton, Laurie Hayes, Bethany Haigh, Mikey Sorensen, Reid Benseman, Maya Hasegawa, Angela March, Chelsea Kelly, Vivi Crossland, Taniora Robinson, Director Scot Hall | Musical Director Sam Cleaver

Hair & Makeup Design Jocelyn Kerr
Costume Design Rose Sidwell
Set Design Katie Houchen

Theatre , Musical ,

Romantic, dramatic, comedic pisstake impeccably presented

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 22nd Sep 2018

Tonight there are three in my party heading into Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre for the opening night of Urinetown. The foyer is buzzing as a capacity crowd dawdles in to take their seats. There is a certain excitement crackling in the atmosphere, as this is the inaugural production of Bold Theatre – a collective drawn together by a love of live theatre; by Charlotte Isaac, Ray Powell and Aaron Chesham.  

I love a good souvenir programme; this one is beautiful. As I flip through the plush pages (good paper stock) I note the inside cover states the trio have founded Bold Theatre in order to realise their vision to foster local talent, as part of a commitment to keep theatre fresh and engaging while challenging audiences to experience theatre that is contemporary and exciting. Which in itself is a bold mission.

I am looking forward to this as I have long been a fan of Antony Aiono who tonight plays the lead: Bobby Strong. The company is a mixture of new and familiar names, one that catches my eye is KM Adams, who is an unmistakable voice of Hamilton radio – out from behind the microphone to play Officer Lockstock.  

From the moment we sit down there is much to take in: the soundscape designed by Dr Jeremy Mayall is impressive as I regard with awe, the well-constructed set designed by Katie Houchen. The band (ably led by Musical Director Sam Cleaver) strikes up the overture cleverly concealed within the centre of the stage and I am immediately struck by the exceptional sound quality.

Then we are off! What a ride!! The galloping pace is set as we meet Officer Lockstock and the company, learn of the exposition issue and of course that there is a real problem with the need to ‘spend a penny’ – literally, this is the case: paying to pee. 

Urinetown is a pisstake: a Broadway musical send-up of Broadway musicals. Set in a post-apocalyptic future world where the divide between rich and poor gapes wide, water is in short supply and private toilets are outlawed. Nothing lasts forever; we selfish humans and our unsustainable lifestyle will render us extinct. Eventually.

We meet our protagonist Bobby Strong, after learning the fate of his father who is sent straight to Urinetown for his ablutionary misdemeanours. The laughs come quickly (and are plentiful throughout), thanks to the faultless narration of Officer Lockstock. KM Adams does not miss a beat, and provides just the right amount of sass to draw out the hilarious sarcasm of the role; for a little lady she has a big singing voice and belts it out. 

It feels like we are speeding through the first act, I barely catch my breath between gasps and guffaws, and numerous enthusiastic rounds of applause. I keep thinking to myself that I have not had this much fun at a show in a long time. Antony Aiono’s Bobby is a charming and disarming hero/lover across from Christina Wilson, in the role of Hope – naïve, wealthy and goofy. It’s lovely to watch them play off each other.  

Faultless is a word that comes to mind as I jot notes at intermission. The entire production is so bloody sharp, which is most definitely why the laughter and applause is so forthcoming throughout the show. We get ice cream and natter to fellow audience members – everyone is saying the same, this is a great show. I am champing at the bit for the second half to start and when it does the tremendous ride continues.

I am swept up within the story, stamping my foot along with the music, head filled with sound and my eyes are barely able to keep up with the whirling costumes of the frankly dangerously energetic cast. I stand in ovation at the show’s end and am immediately a bit sad that it has all finished. As a reviewer, that is a good feeling to have. 

In reflection; the choreography is thoughtful and executed sharply – everyone is in time and does not miss a beat, which is no small feat; the company are obviously disciplined and well-rehearsed – Philippa Chesham has done a stunning job (the clipboard dance will forever be on my top ten list of best sequences). Sound designer Ben Mannell’s skill and his attention to detail is clearly evidenced by the quality of what we hear – the theatre is literally filled with sound.

The costumes (designed by Rose Sidwell) are well thought out and well made, aptly accompanied by effective hair and makeup (well done Jocelyn Kerr). Aaron Chesham’s lighting is simple but so effective, a special mention to the follow spot operators, Tom and Dave Smith, who do not miss a beat, which is an unenviable task, especially as there is so much movement and action in this show. Kitty Houchen’s multi-level set design enhances the power of the empirical corporate overlords, and the poor downtrodden masses. It provides a feast for the eyes in that the company has so many nooks to inhabit, it is quite magical. 

Director Scot Hall deserves high praise for his work, he has assembled a talented and clearly hardworking cast who can sing and dance and act; his effort to bring the musicians and crew into alignment with his vision for the production is obvious. This production of Urinetown is impeccable, every member of the team has the right to feel very proud.

There is romance and drama and a lot of great comedy in the telling of this tale. Having spent most of my adult life performing comedy I am of the firm belief that if you are going to take the piss, you had better do it well. In this case it is done to perfection. Bold Theatre have a hit on their hands. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council