May 27, 2018

The Breaker Upperers

What a quaint idea! A service to help you end your relationship. It isn't too hard to believe, what is hard to believe is that it took them 15 years to start having problems doing it. Best friends Mel and Jen share a home and a business...and at one point shared a boyfriend.

Flashbacks depict the start of the friendship which became a business. They appear to be set in the 80's even though it would have happened in the early 2000's. This was probably done for more laughs but just felt confusing.

The cast boasts almost every NZ actor who's worked in the last 5 years popping in for a cameo. You'll spend the first ten minutes squealing "Oh my God, it's...!"

The storyline is surprisingly well rounded though loaded with hideously awkward scenes that are meant to be funny but are mostly cringe-worthy. I had trouble staying in my seat but I'm glad I did.

The movie does have a heart alongside the ridiculousness. Mel is lovely and under her hard exterior Jen is hurt. It's refreshing to see a storyline that's based around a friendship rather than a romance though it felt like the lack of a man had to be replaced with (to remain spoiler free I'll call it) something else.

Playing in all theatres

May 10, 2018

Still Life with Chickens

It won the Adam Award for Best New Zealand Play last year so you can be pretty confident that Still Life with Chickens will be good. But how is such a simple set up - a lady in her garden, talking to a chicken good? I don't know what to tell you, it just is.

It's short but it packs a punch. The real grit is hidden in the middle amongst phone calls to granddaughters and feeding the chicken, that really happened. Goretti Chadwick plays Mama who uses her passive aggressiveness to hide her loneliness and the skeletons in her closet. It's quite a talent to play to a puppet and a recorded voice.

I wouldn't have believed that a puppet could emote, but it did. The chicken is a character in itself, so much so that, even though the puppeteer is on stage you ignore him.

The play is sweet and well worth a watch but I wish it had more grit, that it explored the dark sides a bit more. Be warned that is only 45 minutes long - just a little over $1 a minute.

Performances: 8 May-2 June, 7:30pm (Tues-Sat), 4:30pm (Sun)
Tickets: $46