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Kiwi theatre is returning to the stage this February with a new comedy from beloved New Zealand playwright Sir Roger Hall.
Kicking off at Christchurch's Court Theatre from February 13 and starring well-known Kiwi actors Mark Hadlow and Darien Takle, Winding Up explores the reality of the 'golden years' in a play that is at once heartwarming, honest, poignant and hilarious. With his inimitable wit, Sir Roger revisits Barry and Gen, the beloved bickering couple from his hit play Conjugal Rites, as they tackle family feuds, health problems, modern technology, and the complications of conjugal relations. Winding Up puts the fun in funeral, even as Barry refuses to stop planning his own.
“It’s about us,” says Hadlow. “With an ageing population, so many of the issues in the play confronted by Barry and Gen are topical and provide a window into the complexities of getting older!”
Sir Roger Hall, who was knighted in 2019 for his services to theatre, says, “I wanted to write a play about a couple in their seventies, facing all the issues that come up at end of life. I began writing it, but then realised that Gen and Barry were the perfect couple to do this, the right age, and once they knocked on my door, they wouldn’t go away.”
The play tackles roads not often travelled in comedy theatre, such as old age, mortality, and the loss of friends that becomes a frequent pattern in a certain stage of life. In Sir Roger’s skilful hands, however, these topics are communicated in a delightful fashion, with themes of family and enduring love that are sure to resonate. Sir Roger Hall has penned over 40 plays, and just like Barry and Gen, he shows no signs of slowing down.
“(Winding Up) marks a return to what we do best: creating world-class theatre that speaks to our community, with an undeniably Kiwi voice,” says Artistic Director, Dan Pengelly.
The Court Theatre, Saturday 13 February to Saturday 13 March