Nelson Arts Festival
REVIEW: Party with the Aunties Jaycee Rooms, Founders Park Tuesday, October 16 Reviewed by Janet Whittington.
We arrived early and the party had already started. Not what I was expecting for a play. Two blokes were right into it with the guitars and singing their hearts out. Another lady was with them, a beer in hand. The bar was rocking. They even had our local Peckham's cider - so I ordered a boysenberry one. Great to see local beer, wine and ciders offered at the festival.
The singing drinkers turned out to be the actors. After the full house of about 70 had all ordered a drink, taken a seat and a sausage with bread and our favourite tom sauce, the play started.
Scene set wouldn't you say?
What followed was in an intimate setting, the stage being the walking space between the tables, chairs and audience on both sides of the room. A tough call for actors as they had no props.
These three ate us up. They were happy, light-hearted, good-natured, laugh-out-loud funny and brilliant. Wonderful singing voices, which was important as they sang constantly throughout the play with the audience joining in. I knew and sang every song.
It was a very funny take on one of the best of the modern Maori traditions - the party. A tourist wouldn't follow it as well as we do. Erina Daniels, the director and playwright should get a medal for the script. It was extremely witty and very original. It takes something for me to laugh that much these days as I have spent years with comedy and really thought I had heard it all until tonight.
The actors pulled off a very difficult play. I have seen others of this ilk and it can go very wrong; but not this play. I was totally wrapped up in the story from the opening scene. Kura Forrester seemed to get the most parts, acting six roles. There were 15 to 20 people at the party, with only three actors. They had lots of local Nelson references which endeared the audience to them even more.
This play gets 10 out of 10 from me. I would say it could be the first prize hit of the festival. Do go. It is on again Wednesday and Thursday this week.
- © Fairfax NZ News