10/08/2021 - 14/08/2021
THESE BOOMERS ARE A-OK
Sir Roger Hall’s critically acclaimed show, about two spirited seniors, is coming to the ‘top of the south’
New Zealand’s most successful playwright and the “Godfather of New Zealand Theatre” Sir Roger Hall is opening his latest play in Nelson and Blenheim this August.
Summerset Retirement Villages Present Winding Up by Roger Hall which will open at Theatre Royal Nelson on August 10th, 2021. Winding Up then heads to the ASB Theatre Marlborough in Blenheim on August 19th.
The comedy revisits not only Roger Hall’s signature brilliance in comedy playwriting, but also two beloved characters who were at the heart of his smash-hit play, Conjugal Rites, which went on to theatre in the UK and became a popular British TV series in the 1990s.
Now in their seventies, Barry and Gen are coping with failing health, death of friends, estranged family, the need to downsize and (God help everyone) planning their funerals.
As in the Auckland production these fiercely-OK Boomers will be played by two of the country’s most celebrated comic actors, Mark Hadlow ONZM (MAMiL, The Hobbit trilogy) and Alison Quigan QSM (A Shortcut to Happiness, Calendar Girls, Shortland Street) who memorably performed together in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Hall’s Last Legs in 2017 and again in the premiere production of this play at Auckland Theatre Company’s Waterfront Theatre in February 2020, before the planned tour was interrupted by the Covid lock-down.
Director Colin McColl says, “Alison and Mark are great friends and have known each other since their drama school days. They are each superb actors on their own, but put them together and it’s comic dynamite. They have years of experience with Roger Hall’s work and an innate understanding of how his characters are comical but honest. I’m looking forward to bringing the production to the South Island”.
Award-winning actor Mark Hadlow is one of New Zealand’s most prominent performers. Lauded widely for his physical comedy, Hadlow’s critically acclaimed one-man show MAMiL has played to sell-out theatres throughout New Zealand. He has performed in over 150 plays, from musical theatre to Shakespeare, and appeared in dozens of films and TV series, including Mortal Engines, The Hobbit trilogy, Meet the Feebles and King Kong. Hadlow was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts in 2017.
Alison Quigan’s theatrical experience also spans more than 40 years. In that time she has acted in and directed over 100 plays, including 15 Roger Halls, and written 13 original works. She is perhaps best known for her work on Shortland Street, playing Yvonne Jeffries from 2004 to 2010, however other acclaimed roles include Cathy in Mum’s Choir and Mattie Fae in August: Osage County. Since 2013, Quigan has been the Performing Arts Manager of the Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku where her job is to support new work with emerging practitioners in South Auckland. She was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for Services to Theatre in 2001.
The award winning creative team is led by Colin McColl (The Life of Galileo, Billy Elliot the musical, August: Osage County); Set Design by John Parker (Still Life With Chickens, Six Degrees of Separation, Shortland Street – The Musical), Costume Design by Debbie Thearle (Last Legs, The Tempest, Waiting for Godot) and Sound and Lighting Design by Sean Lynch (Six Degrees of Separation, The Audience, Joan/The Daylight Atheist).
Winding Up will showcase Hall in classic form, demonstrating yet again his inimitable wit and knowing insight.
Summerset Retirement Villages Present: Winding Up by Roger Hall
Tuesday 10 August – Saturday 14 August 2021
Theatre Royal Nelson, 78 Rutherford Street
Tickets and info theatreroyalnelson.co.nz | Ph 03 548 3840
Thursday 19 – Friday 20 August 2021
ASB Theatre Marlborough, 2 Hutcheson Street
Tickets and info asbtheatre.com| Ph 03 520 8558
*Early Bird $40
*Group of 10+ $40 pp
– Service fees apply
*See venue websites for details
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Sir Roger Hall, New Zealand’s best known and prolific dramatist, has more than 40 plays to his credit. Hall produced his first stage play Glide Time in 1976, closely followed by Middle Age Spread, which was a smash hit throughout New Zealand and also the West End, where it ran for 15 months and won the Comedy of the Year Award.
Many successful plays and productions have followed, including musicals, pantomimes, radio dramas, books and plays for children. Hall has written more than 70 sitcom episodes for TV, from Gliding On to Spin Doctors. His more recent plays include Who Wants to be 100? (Anyone Who’s 99), Four Flat Whites in Italy, A Shortcut to Happiness, Book Ends, You Can Always Hand Them Back and Last Legs.
In the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Hall was made a Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit, adding to the list of other literary awards, including an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Victoria University and the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2015.
Barry: Mark Hadlow
Gen: Alison Quigan
Director: Colin McColl
Set Design: John Parker
Costume Design: Debbie Thearle
Lighting & Sound Design: Sean Lynch
Sweet and heart-warming stuff
Review by Gail Tresidder 11th Aug 2021
Here we have the everyday story of Barry and Genevieve Masefield coping with the vagaries of getting old with positivity and the regular consolation of glasses of wine from their door-to door-wine company. Barry’s neglected hearing-aid, his muddled glasses, borrowed walking sticks, Gen’s ongoing irritation with the Body Corporate and constant requests for baby-sitting-and of course, being of a certain age, the inevitability of illness and death …
And it is funny, this touring Auckland Theatre Company production directed by Colin McColl. Very funny. The full house audience, grey-headed for the most part, roars with laughter. We laugh and laugh. And sometimes we are close to tears.
It must be difficult to hold an audience for a full hour-and-a-half-plus with only two players. Mark Hadlow and Alison Quigan manage this effortlessly, helped not only by the warm-hearted script but by the excellent lighting and sound (designed by Sean Lynch) that adds much to the emotion and ups and downs of their (and our) stories.
The set (John Parker) is terrific with its Rangitoto backdrop and furniture seemingly straight out of Freedom. Also love the costumes (Debbie Thearle) – perfect – and the back-dropped holiday snaps from their much looked forward to Cruise (not to be had again for the foreseen future anyway).
This is sweet and heart-warming stuff, as to be expected from one of our funniest and cleverest playwrights.
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