February 25, 2013

You Can Always Hand Them Back

Roger Hall, despite being one of the best playwrights in the country,  is perhaps best known in Wellington for his annual pantomimes at Circa. For You Can Always Hand Them Back he has teamed up with Peter Skellern on music and lyrics. Being a fan of his pantomimes myself I don't think I've ever seen anything so serious from him before - and do remember this is meant to be a comedy.

The show enjoyed such rave reviews at its sell-out last set of performances that I was confident I would like it too. I did, to a degree. The first half of the show was great but I almost wished I had ducked out at half time. The second half of the show was more serious, so much so that they weren't able to pull it back up to a comedy no matter how much they tried. I was disappointed that the ending felt forced, a desperate attempt to end on a happy note.

Kath (Lynda Milligan) and Maurice (George Henare) are proud grandparents who tell the story of their grandparenting to the audience with some help from Wellington musician Tom McLeod on piano. The three have great chemistry and harmonise well, particularly in the Christmas song. George seemed to talk/sing quite a bit but his voice was overshadowed by the power of Lynda's. My compliments to the set team, although there were a few hiccups with projecting backgrounds and photos it didn't remove from the storyline.

I'm not quite sure I agree with the promotional tag line "no grandparent will want to miss it, and no would-be grandparent should" but then I'm not a grandparent, am I? What did the grandparents out there think of the show?

23 February-30 March
Times: Tues/Wed 6.30pm, Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sunday 4pm
Tickets: $25 - $46

For more information and to book tickets go here

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