Netballers: A laugh a minute

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 08:54 23/11/2013
Netballers
Dean Kozanic
LEARNING THE CRAFT: Members of the Netballers cast took on pupils from Rangi Ruru Girls' School to brush up on their skills. Karyn Gibson, left, and Amanda Shields full of enthusiasm after scoring.

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REVIEW: If you enjoy a laugh a minute, Kiwi humour and have ever played in a social sports team, then Netballers is for you.

The latest production from CAS'n'OVA theatre company offers melodramatic characters, over-the-top humour and all the bitching and backstabbing expected when a bunch of eclectic women get together every week to play netball ... and drink.

The script is packed full of naff lines and throwaway jokes that won't be to everyone's taste, but there are moments of more understated comedy that ease the slapstick tone of the overall performance.

From the husband-stealing beautician and the cigarette-dragging whinger to the oversexed mother, talented teenager and jovial club manager - Netballers brings you all the stereotypical personalities one would expect to find in your average social Kiwi sports team.

The Red Hot Mamas can't seem to catch a break on the netball court and while the ladies happily bond over vodka and wine in the clubrooms, they struggle to do so during games.

Add a touch of infidelity and a dash of Hollywood-esque cheer and bonding and the team finally manages to turn over a new leaf - both on, and off, the court.

However, the scene changes are too long and impede the overall flow of the first half and some gags verge on cringe worthy.

The actors do their best to work around occasional awkward wording and constant bickering and it is the script itself that lets them down.

Strong performances from Karyn Gibson, as the liquor-loving and somewhat reserved Roz, and Helen Fahy, who plays the sex-mad and ditzy mother, help buoy the more stilted acting.

The mother-daughter tensions between Roz' character and the team's coach Joyce - played by Pat Hannah - offers perhaps the only real moments of the whole show.

Perhaps I'm just not a laugh-a-minute person as looking around the theatre every other audience member seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

 

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