Pillorying politicians at election time
An extravaganza of impersonation, singing, dancing and voting is coming to Circa theatre this month.
Wellingtonians can look forward to seeing some of our most entertaining politicians on stage in Pinky Agnew and Lorae Parry's newest play, Destination Beehive.
Agnew and Parry, who are well known for their respective impersonations of former prime ministers Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark, were eager to deliver another rollicking political satire after the success of their 2005 collaboration The Candidates.
Agnew says it is a feel-good show people of all political leanings will enjoy.
"It's set in a fictitious television studio and Lorae and I play the two TV anchors, amongst other roles, and we are doing an election special, so the audience as they come in are treated like a television studio audience.
"We have everything from meet-the-candidates to a couple of style gurus, who are telling politicians how to dress for success, and of course each of the political parties get to pitch for the vote of the audience. So the audience actually get to vote on the night for who their favourite candidate is - like a kind of polling for that night."
The pair have eschewed the infamous worm polling method and say the voting process will be easy for audiences.
"We have the latest digital technology at our fingertips and we will be using it. We have decided the worm is too squirmy, we don't like the worm so we've decided to make it easy on our audience," Agnew says.
The play runs from August 29 till September 20 and the script will be updated nightly to incorporate any election developments.
"If you're going to see political satire anywhere, it's got to be in Wellington . . . We've got plenty of great material and we'll be updating it nightly. It's definitely not an improv show but we'll be keeping abreast of the daily political situation."
All of the political parties will be represented, with most actors playing several roles, Agnew says.
"There's a lot of song and dance with each candidate who comes on, they usually have a little song to express their policies in a very funny, ironic way."
Parry says there is no shortage of colourful political figures to impersonate.
"Luckily there's always somebody at the Beehive who we can impersonate so that's always really good. We've also got this bunch of wonderful younger actors who can take on some of the younger politicians and impersonate them."
Those expecting to see some of our most high-profile political figures, such as Kim Dotcom, may be pleasantly surprised, Parry says.
"People like Kim Dotcom - you couldn't make him up. You really could not invent Kim Dotcom."
The Dominion Post